The highs & lows of nature and my Earth Day Challenge

Last night the kids, Jody and I enjoyed a show put on by Mother Nature. A rain storm complete with lightning streaking across the sky and rattling thunder was our pre-bedtime entertainment. Thunderstorms are somewhat of a rarity here (or at least it feels like it lately), and I love sitting in the upstairs window seats watching them with the kids. Lightning is nature’s perfect fireworks.

Image credit: Flickr – PeWu

Seeing my kids get excited about the storm – “Oooh, that was a big one!” – made me enjoy the experience all the more. I love it when they appreciate nature, and after being cooped up inside all winter, I’m so glad that spring is here and more nature discovery is on its way.

Earlier this week I read on Mama Milkers Facebook page that her daughter’s class took an impromptu field trip to see the dead gray whale on a beach in West Seattle. What a great opportunity for those children to see a whale up close like that, but also so sad that it died.

Image credit: West Seattle Blog

While the cause of death of the 37-foot near-adult male whale is still unknown, it turns out that he had quite a bit of trash in his stomach, including a pair of sweat pants, a golf ball, 20 plastic bags, small towels, plastic pieces, surgical gloves and duct tape.

How are these two things – the storm and the whale – related? Well, they aren’t directly, but they are both part of nature, part of this planet Earth that we are celebrating today with Earth Day. There’s so much beauty in nature, but there is also so much pollution that is, literally, trashing and killing it. The whale’s death may have had nothing to do with the garbage in his stomach, but many animals’ deaths *are* a direct result of the trash they ingest.

Today on Earth Day, let’s set our differences aside. Regardless of how you feel about climate change, politics or President Obama, perhaps we can all come together to do something positive that makes us feel good about ourselves. We humans have a lot of power. Let’s use it for good.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb

I challenge you to give some thought to your daily habits and routines and find one positive change you will make (no matter how small). Do it not to save the Earth – because the Earth is going to be just fine regardless of what we do – but to save ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and all of the animals that have no control over the way humans treat their environment.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated… I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of human kind.” – Gandhi

Will you accept my challenge? What will *you* do?

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10 thoughts on “The highs & lows of nature and my Earth Day Challenge”

  1. I accept your challenge! I’ve got the big stuff down like saving electricity and natural gas, reusable bags and water bottles, food (for the most part), etc. I’m focusing on the little things I can change this year. I’ve been making one small change each month – the stuff I’ve been overlooking while I’ve been fixing the big stuff. My April change was to replace the last of our Teflon for a cast iron griddle. I think May will be recycle plastic cosmetics tubes through Origins. I just found out about their program and got excited that I don’t have to toss those things out. Is it weird to get excited about a new to me recycling program?

  2. Wonderful post. We have made ALOT of green changes already this year. The biggest one? A change in our mindset — looking at each and everything we do/use/buy/etc. and the better alternative. If you’re interested, visit my blog to read about our changes. There’s a big post about it from yesterday.

  3. Such a sad post. It’s tragic that this whale’s stomach had so much trash in his stomach. To think that fifty or seventy-five years ago, this wouldn’t have been the case, and that so much of this has happened in more recent years as people began to accumulate and take advantage of natural resources. There is hope, though, in knowing that there are other people out there who care.

    My challenge is to begin making my own soap: dish soap, hand soap, cleaning soap, etc. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time and keep putting it off.

    Thank you for your post.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog, Amy! I’m enjoying yours. I appreciate that you invite us to set our differences aside on this. There is so much common ground that people of differing views can agree on.

    So sad about Mr. Whale! But I’m thrilled you got a decent thunderstorm! I miss those. 🙂

  5. I love that Native American proverb. I had it on my wall as a child…

    The stomach contents of the gray whale make me incredibly sad, incredibly, but I am also not at all surprised. That makes me more sad.

    I am absolutely deciding today that I will not again forget my reusable travel mug if I decide to go to the coffee shop. If I don’t have it, I won’t get my coffee… thanks for the challenge.

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