Happy Earth Day!

As Earth Day celebrates 40 years, it is a time of reflection and hope, a time of excitement and frustration. It is amazing to see the work that has been done to protect and nurture our environment, starting back in 1970, 40 years ago. But, also frustrating to know so much that was started and then unraveled during the consumer age of the 80's and 90's. Just the thought of all that has been consumed and then wasted, all the chemicals now commonplace on the market, and the culture of consumption that has become the norm, well, it does more than strike a chord. It strikes at the core of our society. But, there is hope. 

The "green" movement is taking hold once again, and while I disagree with the thought of every business out there trying to "be green" just to make a buck, as long as it wakes up the corporate giants to make even one small change in their business practices, at least it is something. And, that something is also taking hold in our youth today, as they are being raised as more conscious consumers, proving that yes, you can vote with your dollars. Help stop the stronghold on our market by the major players, and buy local, fair trade, and organic whenever possible. And, if it is not necessary, think about whether you need to buy something new in the first place, buy secondhand, reuse, or barter. Support your local farmers, it is not only better for your health and our environment and our local economies, but it tastes better, too! You don't have to grow all of your own food, although that isn't such a bad idea, but you should know where it comes from and what is in it. And, involve your kids in how to grow food, where their clothes come from, and what are simply wants and what are truly needs. It is empowering to realize that you do have a choice, and that our choices do impact the market. If we teach our kids these values, they will be conscious consumers that will literally change the landscape--- economically, socially, and environmentally.

In another 40 years, I can only hope and dream that these values are the norm, and that the out of control consumer consumption that has rattled our precious planet will just be history that our kids discuss in disdain. I have faith that the earth can heal from the ravages of her current imbalance, as long as we have faith in ourselves that we can heal from the ravages of our consumer-driven history.

 

Angela Malson