Earth Day One World One Mind Open your green heart and mind to the most celebrated secular civic holiday in the world, Earth Day! The recognition of this day is more than marching and parading or showing scientific evidence of man's deep ecological footprint on Earth. It is about envisioning an entirely new way of co-existing together on this beautiful blue planet. On April 22, humanity pauses to show gratitude to the Earth for sustaining us. In return, we must promise to do our part to ensure a greener tomorrow.

Thirty-nine years ago, the birth of this holiday gave people hope that Earth-friendly solutions were coming soon. Today, thousands of green organizations and over one billion earth-conscious people contribute to making this world more sustainable for future generations.

What planet will our children's grandchildren inherit from our choices today? Is an environmental apocalypse really possible in our lifetime? Can the ocean actually rise several meters as a result of melting ice world-wide? Will the population growth create scenarios of water and food shortage? Can we make a difference now, just one person?

Earth Day brings hope to people's hearts; the first step to healing our planet is just one intention on one day out of the whole year. Realizing how our actions and even thoughts are influencing our life, mankind and our planet connects us to a moral choice to help make a difference. Our new Earth is closer than most of us realize. It is here!

We Must Stand Together

Our imagination is the most powerful tool to capture our desires as well as prophesize our most feared outcomes. It creates our life experience. What are you imagining? What are you creating? We are tethered together in this great escapade of life, here to manifest humanities moment and future.

The hundredth monkey effect is a well documented phenomenon that defines when a critical mass is reached in a group. New behaviors of a group of monkeys on one island began spreading to other groups on other islands after a critical mass was reached. This study shows us the universal law of oneness in action.

When a certain number of people reach a realization or take action, it in turn ripples throughout the world. We are all connected by an inseparable link that encourages us to work together to rise above our challenges and celebrate our successes. We are truly one people who are beginning to see the value in working together. Look around you, the world is changing and you are right in the middle of the masses awakening to the feeling that we are all connected. How will we choose to experience the state of affairs of this planet, our home, the Earth?

The quintessential question of this century is, will we take responsibility as individuals for co-creating the present environmental health of our planet or will we choose to blame others for the deterioration of Earth's ecosystems. On one hand we stand together unified, working together. On the other hand, we stand divided, struggling alone. The divide between people, nations and religions is narrowing. The voice of our spiritual self is getting louder. The greatest accomplishment for us as a modern world will be to hold hands with neighbors, strangers and even enemies to halt and reverse the damage already done to Mother Nature. The damage is real and it is proven with scientific facts.

Wake Up Call

We may soon have a new issue to contend with called environmental refugees, as a result of water and food shortage world-wide. Humans have depleted 60 percent of the world's lakes, grasslands, forests, rivers and farmlands. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have been rising and are continuing to rise threatening the homeostasis of our planet. Life sustaining plants that clean our air, provide food to us and most importantly turn CO2 into vital oxygen are being decimated. Even if we begin using 100 percent green energy today, scientists believe that the planet will warm for decades to come. Earth needs our help to begin healing its ecosystems. The land, sea, air and earth are polluted. Will our planet one day have trouble sustaining us, humanity?

Ten thousand years ago, approximately one million people inhabited the planet. Today there are approximately 6.8 billion. Environmental sustainability is using resources equal to what can be naturally replenished by the environment. What future would you like to envision with the billions of people recreating their viewpoint of our relationship with the environment on Earth Day? Consider not leaving a carbon footprint behind at all.

What Can I Do To Help

If you accept one new behavior that helps our planet, congratulate yourself. Even if you simply entertain the notion of doing one thing to bring our world to a healthier more sustainable balance, you deserve to be applauded! Actions may be powerful but thoughts also create our reality as well. Please hold thoughts of a green revolution. Let us mark April 22 as the day that we stand united with our fellow citizens of the world and Mother Earth.

Recycling is an action you may take right now and a vital one considering we are currently using our planet's resources faster than they can be renewed. Today, tonight and tomorrow recycling is an ongoing awareness to improve our ability to sustain life on Earth. Your role in recycling can be as small or large as you want it to be. Most things can be recycled today, even with our present processing systems. Below is a list of things you may recycle right now. To find out where to take each item for recycling please contact your local city chamber of commerce or search online for resources.

  • Glass containers
  • Metal: cans, caps, lids, bands and foil

  • Scrap aluminum: lawn chairs, pots and window frames

  • Plastic: bottles, bubble wrap, bags and containers

  • Newspapers and newspaper inserts

  • Mixed paper: Grocery bags, junk mail, magazines and cardboard

  • Motor oil and old tires

  • Batteries: automotive, rechargeable and gel batteries

  • Printer cartridges

  • Household chemicals: paint, oil, solvents, pesticides and cleaners

  • Electronics: computers, monitors, appliances and cell phones

  • Water: greywater and blackwater

  • Polystyrene: disposable cutlery, foam, cups and packing material

  • Timber and wood

  • Textiles

  • Aggregates and concrete

  • Bio-degradable waste and compost

Zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) are vehicles such as planes, trains and automobiles that produce no pollution or emissions when stationary or operating. ZEVs can use many energy sources including battery-power, fuel cells and compressed air. The Tesla Roadster, a clean zero-emissions car, goes 0 to 60 in less than four seconds. Vehicle that use bio-fuels, hybrid engines and near-zero-emissions vehicles use technology to limit emissions but do not eliminate pollution all together like ZEVs do.

Sustainable design offers a way for us to build and own the things we love but designed in a way that incorporates recyclability. Manufacturers please require your design teams to incorporate 100 percent recyclability into the every product design. If you are a consumer, only purchase products that have 100 percent recyclability. Lawmakers must require products to be produced with 100 percent recyclability, putting pressure on manufacturers to implement green statutes immediately. To support 100 percent recyclability, we will need local centers capable of processing all recyclable products. We can't wait. Our youth must receive a better world than we were left, not one more damaged than today. Will design teams move humanity into a direction where healing our environment is not a matter of cost practicality but one of moral duty?

Greening your home and business will bring the planet one step closer towards healing. In most cases it will also lower the operating costs. Below are tips to green your home or business. For more information on greening your home, search online for the tip you are interested in using.

  • Clean sustainable energy. Purchase green power from your electricity provider or unplug from the power grid altogether by installing solar panels with a backup generator. Those with acreage may install wind turbines to add to their energy independence from the power grid. Geothermal and hydro power are less likely to be used onsite, but rather purchased and brought to a home by an electricity provider.
  • Design. Knowing the orbit of the sun relative to the position of your home can be used to your advantage when placing windows and skylights. Bring the most daylight into your home during the day and place shading devices such as canopies, trees and green screens over doors and windows to block hot summer sun. Reduce heat absorption by installing a heat reflecting, light colored roof or a landscaped roof. If you choose not to design a completely green home now, at least design it to be easily upgradeable for the future. Think ahead.

  • Use native plantings. They are adapted to the local climate, soil and habitat which means they require less care. You'll save money, time and water. Also, they probably won't need pesticides or fertilizer. Trees can be used to shield your green home from the sun and wind.

  • Energy efficiency. Purchase energy star rated appliances as well as energy efficient lighting, cooling, heating and water-heating systems. Energy star windows and doors along with tight seals around them will avoid heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Where you save energy, you will save money. Tuning up your cooling and heating system every few years will considerably increase its efficiency. Program your thermostat to 78° F or higher in the summer and 62° F or lower in the winter and to "off" when no one is home or sleeping.

  • Location. Chose locations that are within walking or biking distance to frequented destinations such as parks, schools, stores, banks, restaurants and public transportation. The exercise and savings you'll get by cutting back on gasoline will ease traffic congestion and put a big smile on your face. Less traffic leads to less air pollution. Obviously, stay away from building new homes on environmentally sensitive sites like wetlands and endangered species habitats. The best sites are in-fill where developers target properties that were once shopping malls, rail yards, parking lots or other locations that are not destroying any existing natural habitats, but rather using previously developed land. Though we generally want more space, the environment loves it when we use less space for the same number of dwellings, so be conscious of the average housing density per acre. Try to keep it to at least six dwellings per acre. As green as a home may be, all things equal, a 6,000 square-foot home will consume more energy than a 1,500 square-foot home. Size does matter in this case.

  • Low-VOC products. Low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will protect your health and the environment. You'd be surprised how eliminating toxic products will improve the air quality in your residence. You can even make your own cleaning products using borax, baking soda, vinegar and other household materials.

  • Wise water usage. To cut back on water consumption, install low-flow aerators. A rainwater collection and storage system will provide water directly from the sky instead of chemically processed tap water. Recycling greywater and blackwater can significantly cut back water usage.

  • Green building materials. Using building materials available locally cuts back on energy, pollution and in many cases money to get them onsite. Green materials include rapidly renewable plant materials such as straw and bamboo, recycled metal and stone, sustainably managed certified forest lumber and products or materials that are reusable. Be aware of using materials efficiently so less waste goes to landfills from the building process. To top off the eco conscious process of creating your home, use non-toxic building materials and furnishings.

Earth Day is a time to unify and celebrate our ability to create our reality. What Earth experience have we manifested together and how do we want to recreate it? Our motivations to create a better world are different. For some, it's as simple as making a difference or because it feels good to give. People also love community. It's our nature to come together. Find your motivation, whether your motivation is for self, others or the Earth. It's the first step.

For those of you who aren't sure of why you are motivated to make a difference in the world, can we do it for the kids? Here are some things to do with children on Earth Day. Share truth on the subject through film, storytelling or games. Create new things from old waste such as a tire swing from an old tire or color on perused paper. Enjoy nature and plant a tree. Create your own activities. Go to a park, beach or natural habitat and simply pick up a few pieces of trash. Simple acts can contribute more than you may imagine. The greatest gift you may give the Earth is to be appreciative. Let gratitude swell from within you for being alive. Thank You Earth!


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© 2015 Jason Nelson

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