So, wow, the very first Earth Day was April 22, 1970?!? Really? How come I don't remember ever doing anything to celebrate Earth Day in grade school, high school or college? In fact, don't remember even hearing the phrase "Earth Day" until the late 90s. Maybe. Maybe it was 2002, I don't know. Maybe it wasn't a big deal where I was living or going to school, so maybe we weren't out planting trees and holding "Save the Earth" rallys and all that stuff. Maybe it just wasn't as cool to "go green" then as it is now. Or maybe (and most likely) I just wasn't paying attention and/or didn't care to participate. Whatever the reason, Earth Day is in its 39th year and all of a sudden it seems like a Big Fat Deal and I'm left wondering: where the hell have I been? The answer: late to the party, as usual.
So, okay, people have been celebrating Mother Earth for almost 40 years, right? Then I have to ask: if this "save the environment" movement has been about this long, then why is the planet still being polluted, poisoned, razed and overpopulated? Why haven't we been building smaller electric or solar cars instead of ginormous pickup trucks and Hummers that spew filth into the air and keep us dependant on foreign oil? My grandfather waited decades for an electric car but had to settle for a hybrid, which is really cool, yeah, but still. How hard is it to come up with an electric car? Toyota had the all-electric Rav-4 SUV, but wouldn’t let the general public buy it – only companies could temporarily lease them - then when the “experiment” was concluded, they destroyed the vehicles rather than put them for sale. Why are we still clear-cutting the forests that will take hundreds of years to be renewed to build huge estate homes that the majority of Americans could never afford to buy? Why does it still cost an arm and a leg to install solar panels on our homes? And why aren't solar panels just automatically built into new houses? Shouldn't all these things have become the norm decades ago? WTF, people?
And also, where have I been? Have I really lost a good majority of my brain cells, or was I really NOT PAYING ATTENTION to the fact that there's been a dang EARTH DAY for most of my freakin' life?!?
Then again, now that I think about it (with what's left of my muttled grey matter), my family have pretty earth friendly as long as I can remember. My maternal grandparents have been organic gardening since the 60s. My parents were zero populationists, which is why I'm an only child (and I suppose I could be considered a negative-zero populationist since I'm not having any children at all!). I remember my dad would holler at me if I left the light on in a room I'd just left or forgot to close the back door when we were running the AC. We recycled our aluminum cans back when you had to take them to the recycling center rather than having them - and paper and plastic and corregated cardboard, etc., etc., - all picked up in one bin like we do now (at least here in California). I commute to work on the bus rather than driving my car every day. So, I guess, in a way, I've been doing the Earth Day thing my whole life without even realizing it.
But I need to do more. We all do. Happy Earth Day!