Today, I am wishing you a "happy" Earth Day with the caveat that our worldwide window to tackle climate change is beginning to close. A few days ago I read something about 15 years. If we don't achieve a definite downward curve on carbon emissions within that time frame our lives will change drastically, and not for the better. We can't keep shrugging our shoulders and putting the onus on "the government," because "the government" gets its nudge from all of us. Things change when true pressure is exerted on "the government" from all of us. Change comes from within, moves from the bottom up and out, and government is a reflection of us.
Why am I saying all of this? Because the onus for drastic change is on each one of us! Now! Don't throw your arms up in despair at the enormity of our challenges. Instead, make a conscious effort to embrace what needs to be done by fully accepting our environmental calamity and committing to make a difference.
So, what can you do? Here are lots of ideas, and the more of them you incorporate into your life the better for all of us.
Recycle and compost your kitchen scraps, plant a garden, buy an energy efficient vehicle (or at least consolidate your trips, or car pool), insulate your home to the max. and consider installing new tight windows, read all you can about climate change and the environment in general, buy local, bring your own bags to the supermarket (no more plastic bags! there is a plastic swirl in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas!!! and plastic does not, I repeat, does not disintegrate in hundreds and hundreds of years), drink well water and forego buying water in plastic bottles (and who knows what leaches into that water from the plastic anyhow), read all you can about industrial food production, then make a drastic change in where and what you buy to feed your family, install solar panels on your home (30% incentive state tax credit until 2015), consider a geothermal heating/air-conditioning system (after tax credits, cost is similar to a conventional system and you'll be off fossil fuels), switch your electric supplier to one who provides 100% electric from renewable sources, eat less meat (it's better for you anyways), spread the word to other people and inspire them to make a difference, most of all - inform yourself and become aware.
Don't be surprised that none of this is for free. However, you have a choice of making these investments now on your own terms (consider them an insurance premium for environmental health), or shortly being forced by environmental circumstances into a very ugly reality that money and technology will no longer be able to improve.
If you love your planet make it a happy Earth Day by making a difference for yourself and your children and grand-children.