". . . on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was held, one of the most
remarkable happenings in the history of democracy. . . "
-American Heritage Magazine, October 1993
Today's the day...Earth Day! We celebrate all these things year after year, they are printed on the calendar so they must be important. Yet, I often don't have a clue why or how they got started. I did a bit of research on Earth Day and found and interesting site here: It's a two minute read, definitely not thesis material, but you will feel a tad more educated on the origins.
I also stumbled upon this sweet poem. In my dreams my kids would recite this to us at dinner tonight, then we'd make a paper mache globe and listen to Neil Diamond. As if that will happen! In reality I will make them listen while I read it...they will roll their eyes and run off to build Lego again before I even finish the last syllable. It's worth a try though...
I am the Earth And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass, Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud, And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle, Skin and bone.
And just as I Need every bit
Of me to make My body fit,
So Earth needs Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here Naturally.
That's why we Celebrate this day.
That's why across The world we say:
As long as life, As dear, as free,
I am the Earth And the Earth is me.
I also wanted to share this helpful article I found on the Oprah site. I continually struggle on how to prioritize my spending in the name of protecting the environment and making healthy choices. This is a simple breakdown to learn from.
Not Easy Being Green: Four Environmental Decisions We've Made for You
"People can decrease the amount of pesticides they ingest by 90 percent by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the 12 least contaminated instead," says Lori Bongiorno, author of Green, Greener, Greenest. The dirty dozen, according to the Environmental Working Group: peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes. (For the complete list, go to FoodNews.org.) "I also buy organic dairy and meats," Bongiorno says, "because that's the only way to guarantee avoiding antibiotics and hormones." In packaged foods, such as cereals and macaroni and cheese, the health benefits of organic versus nonorganic aren't nearly as dramatic.
2. Should I be buying organic makeup and body products?
You should be buying nontoxic products. "The problem with 'organic' is that there are so many different labeling systems, it's hard to know what you're buying," says Sonya Lunder, senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group. Check your toiletries at CosmeticsDatabase.com, the Environmental Working Group's list of more than 25,000 products rated by toxicity and ingredient safety. When possible, purchase those rated 0 to 2 on their 10-point scale.
3. Do "green" household cleaners really work?
Yep—because it turns out that our households don't need to be sterilized. "No surface is going to stay sanitized for very long, anyway," says Bongiorno. "Remember, too, that disinfectants can be poisonous—they're regulated as pesticides—and that there are many affordable and worthwhile green options."
4. Paper or plastic?
Canvas. "The paper versus plastic question is a wash," says New York University professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health Marion Nestle, PhD, author of What to Eat. "Plastic pollutes the environment, and paper either cuts down trees or costs a lot of energy to recycle."
Arianne Cohen is a Manhattan-based writer. Her exploration of the world of tall people, The Tall Book (Bloomsbury), will be published in January 2009.
Additional reporting by Brooke Kosofsky Glassberg and Kate Sandoval.