My thoughts on 40 years of Earth Days!
Since this is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day (a few days late) I wanted to focus on "green". Today I was struck as I was coming out of a local hardware store and saw a really nice looking rain collecting barrel (made from recycled plastic, of course) for sale. I remembered back in 1990 when I was an organizer of our southeastern MA regional Earth Day anniversary celebration....if you wanted such an item you had to build it yourself. There were several plans and instructions circulating -- of course, back then the internet was in it's youth and most people didn't have access to it. Most of the plans were really funky-looking very rustic homemade items designed for function, usually out of some waste materials -- in other words....they looked kinda crappy! This new sleek elegant looking rain barrel just blew my mind!
Only 20 years ago being "green" was an "earthy-crunchy-hippie-kinda-thing". I remember making my own composting system from free wooden pallets that I picked up at the local newspaper -- an now I have a really cool looking composter that I got from the city of Attleboro, for goodness sakes! How far we've come in these last 20 years.
Then I think back to the first Earth Day when I was in high school and got to be a representative from my school at a symposium of high schools around the state sponsored by Northeastern University where we were introduced to the very idea of pollution and spent 3 days learning heart-breaking information and watching gut-wrenching movies of incredible pollution. 40 years ago...that's what....??? half a lifetime? I know that people are still all freaking out about our ecosystem and environment -- BUT we really have come a long long way in that 1/2 lifetime!
In 1970 we were dumping raw sewage and industrial waste freely into rivers; we were spewing up all sorts of junk from every smokestack of every factory. NOBODY recycled anything! By the 20th anniversary, the general population was very much aware of some conservative measures. Strict waste guidelines had been implemented and many totally polluted bodies of water were mostly cleaned up by then. Now in 2010, we can readily purchase all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that help us reduce, reuse and recycle.
In 1990, a group of citizens of our town were allowed use of City property 1X a month to sponsor a newspaper drive. All volunteers, both workers and recyclers, this program continued until curbside recycling was instituted in our city many years later.
We really have come a long long way in a relatively short time (considering the ages that we were polluting fiercely. I know there's still a way to go, but I do believe that "what you focus upon, expands", so why not take a few minutes to be grateful for how far we've come in our loving consideration of our planet and celebrate the expanded responsibility so many people and communities take in making an effort to be more "green".
All of these wonderful photos are the property of the photographers linked to below. ENJOY!
1. Untitled, 2. tiny little jewels, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. Gota ., 6. And Now..., 7. Untitled, 8. tranquil, 9. Maybe one of the Smallest Love Messages♡, 10. I Will Wrap You In My Arms., 11. the reeds flowed, 12. Northern Lights, 13. Musical String of Life
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