If your idea of helping the environment ends at watching “An Inconvenient Truth,” you may want to step it up and take a little more of an active approach. Lucky for you, Earth Day is right around the corner and is the perfect time of year to re-evaluate your impact on this ball of dust we all call home.
You don’t have to go out and buy a Prius, or live on bean sprouts and organic quinoa for the rest of the year — although that wouldn’t hurt. No, the biggest impacts can come from some of our smallest actions. We all know the basics: reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s never a bad thing to review and practice these basics, but what about the old adage, “Leave it cleaner than you found it?” I think this is one of the most important and often overlooked environmental reminders.
It may take some extra time, but how nice would it be if your favorite outdoor location was completely free of garbage? A few years ago, on a kayaking trip at the Great Salt Lake, I gathered a bag full of random, non-degradable garbage. It all consisted of plastic and Styrofoam. It was amazing how much garbage was scattered along the shores; there was even an entire car chassis! It was obvious I wasn’t going to be able to fit everything into my eight-foot kayak. So, I gathered what I could and made a promise to myself to pick up what I can, when I can. It’s as simple as that.
You don’t have to spend more money, or show-off how “green” you are. It’s the little efforts that go a long way. Whatever your politics or religious beliefs are, just remember that earth is OUR home. It is a joint effort that requires us all to be involved. So, be proactive. Start simple by gathering a bag of strewn garbage, or take that extra step and plant a tree. Whatever your effort, it’ll be rewarding.
Photos by Lindsay Daniels