Earth Day, Earth Day, Earth Day... so much to say and so much emotion that goes along with the day. Somehow I have always had some connection to the earth. As a kid I had a big back yard that backed up to a big cow field with an awesome creek. During the summer, that creek was where we lived, we walked along it and just wandered the fields. That was before video games became cool and then we would hide up in a house and soak in the A/C. But there was still that connection that never left. Then there was the lake, also known as Table Rock Lake. My grandpa had a house there so we would go there a few times in the summer. There is something awesome about just laying on the dock or a raft and just enjoying the outdoors; having the waves bump you along. For this reason, I want to live on a lake someday. There were also the family vacations to National Parks and camping.
But the point I am getting to is there was always a connection to the environment and that connection only grew once I went the college. I am not even sure how it all began but it did and I am glad it did, I am who I am because of it. So in college I joined the environmental group on campus and became a very active member, was secretary, then VP, then President my last year. It was a great experience and I learned so much from it, and I cared even more about the earth. I lessened my meat intake drastically and I have felt much better about it ever since. With the group I went to conferences, recycled at a major music festival, camping, a wind farm, and Green Festivals and made a group of great friends. All part of a great learning experience.
Recently I have been reading a lot of books about our food system, such as "Omnivore Dilemma", "Eating Between the Lines", "In Defense of Food", "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle", etc. They have all been very informative and have made me change my diet even more. I have also watched Food Inc. and it is a great movie for people who are wanting to know what is in their food and more about our food system, without having to read a book.
I feel like I can never know enough about the environment and our environmental impacts. But really the most important thing a person can do is just pass on the information. Whatever they find is useful tell one other person and the word will get out there. That is how it all starts.
And I think informing/educating children is very, very important. They are the ones that will take charge and rule the world eventually. Just letting them know what is out there, the plants and animals, they can make their own decisions and will see how important it all is. And the kids these days are so smart they already know what is happening in the world. I worked at a zoo one summer as a camp counselor. Part of this job was to create lesson plans on different animal species, families and the environment. During that time, I was so amazed by how much information these kids already knew and what they already thought. It was a great experience.
So with tomorrow being Earth Day, I hope my journey and connection with the earth will continue and grow as I grow. It will always be my greatest passion.
Happy Earth Day.