Today is the 40th Anniversary of “Earth Day.” On Apr. 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated nationwide in honor of the first Earth Day, making it the largest environmental rally of its time. Since then, Earth Day has served as an annual way to raise awareness for environmental issues, awareness that now transcends U.S. borders. This year, 190 countries around the world will participate in Earth Day celebrations.
Regardless of our feelings about the politicization of environmental issues, we must recognize that God created this beautiful, unique planet for us. He made us to be caretakers of this wondrous creation, “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15). He gave us dominion over it to sustain, not destroy it.
Do you remember the 1971 Keep American Beautiful commercial, where the Native American man, “Iron Eyes Cody,” paddles his canoe through a badly polluted waterway, walks across the trash covered landscape, and finally turns to the camera revealing a tear rolling down his time hardened face? That’s how I envision God feels when He looks down on His extraordinary gift to mankind.
Forty years later, the work of Earth Day still continues. While many engage in arguing policy and legislation – big things over which I have little control – I am responsible for the stewardship of my little piece of the earth that is completely within my control. Here are some ideas:
– reusable shopping bags to use at every store
– reusable water bottles, get rid of the styrofoam
– low-flow shower heads
– energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs
– hybrid or fuel-efficient cars
– composting garbage and food waste
– buying local and organic products
– using natural cleaning products like lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda around the home
– Xeriscape the lawn with native plants to reduce the need to water and fertilize
Celebrate Earth Day by being grateful to God for the home He gave us, and caring for it in a way that will make Him smile.