Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day. Established in 1975 to draw attention to the environmental degradation happening in the United States in the form of water pollution, litter (remember the crying Indian), toxic chemical use, and threatened species extinction. It was also a day set aside in the spring to celebrate the earth and all the gifts it gives us for our survival and joy. Today, it is all but relegated to the back burner of our consciousness, as most of the celebratory energies around this time are given to green beer, colored eggs and bunnies. But the degradation continues and we now have new battles to fight on the horizon.
People today have full, busy schedules and we often do things out of our need for convenience. But sometimes convenience causes us to miss a few important steps along the way. It seems that in our culture, a person’s success is measured by how much they take themselves out of their own lives. We pay other people to clean our homes, cut our grass, do our shopping, and take care of our children. Some of the dots we are supposed to connect go missing, and perhaps we are left with the function of a life but not its true form…not our own heart and soul.
So this Earth Day, I ask you to consider a simple change in your lifestyle…one that could have a huge impact on our environment and in the lives of people all across the world…if we can begin a “movement” in that direction. The challenge is to eliminate purchasing and consuming “bottled water” for yourself or providing it at functions, perhaps saving that money to purchase refillable water containers, and/or a home filtration system. This will give you one, quiet moment each day, as you fill up from your very own tap, to consider the wonder of water. To give thanks that you have it so freely. To consider those who struggle to live in areas of drought. And maybe to pray for those who are at war over access to this precious resource.
I know that buying a weekly case of bottled water from the Pepsi Corporation may seem like a harmless, and even healthy, thing to do, but in reality it is more negatively far-reaching than you may realize. Food & Water Watch has an excellent short article on the Health Myths of bottled water and the ways corporations negatively impact water sources in the US, India and other places around the world. It also sheds light on the staggering numbers of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills. You can find the article at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/bottled/bottledUp-tappedOut.
At Prairie Pond Woods, we encourage the use of refillable water containers for our day-retreats, putting it on the list of “things to bring.” We hope you will also consider this change in your everyday lives.