Front Porch Blog

How Will You Celebrate Earth Day?

While many self-proclaimed environmentalists get in their cars tomorrow to drive to any number of Earth day celebrations, my wife and I will take a road less traveled.

This journey began long ago when I too would get caught up in the hype of joining like-minded folks at Earth day festivities. Mercifully, that all came to an abrupt end following an Earth day celebration sponsored by my college–S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry–in 1991.

It was a beautiful festival, complete with bands, frisbees, dogs, kids and concessions. As the buzz of that gorgeous spring day began to fade while walking home that evening, I was struck–and not for the first or last time–by my inability to see what was actually happening around me.

Leaving the quad that night, I passed a number of trash cans overflowing with the disposable debris generated by the day’s events–paper plates, plastic cups, napkins, food wrappers, diapers, etc. I was physically sickened.

While I had taken my own coffee/beer mug to the party, I somehow felt that I could do more. So the next day, I vowed to celebrate Earth day in a more respectful manner. Over the years, my celebration has evolved.

Today, my wife and I begin those 24 hours by unplugging every electric appliance in our home–no radio, no TV, no computers, no phone/answering machine, no refrigerator (they can usually be shut down for 24 hours if you keep them closed and cover them with a few blankets). For sustenance, we rely solely on air and water (no need for the stove). For travel, if necessary, we walk or bike. When the sun goes down, we go to bed, when it rises the next day, we break fast.

While I know that our celebration may be a bit rigorous for many (and seem awfully self righteous to others), I urge you to think about how you will celebrate this and future Earth days.




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