Another year, another short single day dedicated to all things green (& blue). Those of us in the environmental industry, or at least actively engaged in environmental enthusiasm and activity find the grander scale initiatives of interest and appealing - and we are generally willing to lend support however possible; be it signing another e-circulated petition, joining a green community event, participating in a beach or park cleanup, or even making a small donation. These efforts are of course impactful, meaningful, worthwhile, and represent noble initiatives by those who organize them.
But it is a tremendously limited reach.
As an ocean advocate within the scope of my own work, I constantly press the issue of how to expand this reach. It is no easy task. This morning's Sunday news dedicated a short segment to Earth Day by showcasing products that are 'green and eco-friendly'. Samples includes various soaps and bath products, pens and papers, some common recycled household items, and so on - all focused on meeting the consumer market. This is saddening to think that 'the masses' need to be met so superficially, when in fact this remains the problem - consumerism. Stop consuming is the solution - to better sustain natural resources, and improve our ever compounding global financial crisis. Just as I reiterate in my book, 'Black Beans, Mean Business', "be a producer, not a consumer". But we are where we are, and if buying one bottle of organic shampoo makes you feel like you made a contribution to saving the planet, then so be it.
We need to think, and act, bigger. That means the major players - the mega-corporations that control the system - need to improve communications to the consumer market on how their products all ultimately come from Planet Earth. This is a closed sphere after all, and one way or another, it all comes from mother nature; medicines, oil, power, water, all of it. Further, rather than be engineered as profit generating machines, big business MUST consider cyclical models for sustainability - it has to happen, or we'll continue to fall grossly out of whack.
Back on communications however - this one is bigger than shampoo; cures for disease. This video shares the success of just one breast cancer drug - there are many - that has its origins in the sea:
So, this Earth Day, do everything possible to keep life and your actions in perspective. It is easy to get wrapped up in our own individual microcosms on a day to day basis. In the grand scheme of things, we are all connected in one large living and breathing sphere called Planet Earth, which just so happens to be VERY BLUE.