I’m writing this on April 22, 2022. This ties into last month’s blog ‘Renewal,’ particularly as it relates to regeneration and restoration, as well as last year’s Earth Day blog. Then I shared how much caring for the earth by cleaning up – neighborhoods, beaches, parks, trails – means to me, at least in the communities I’ve lived and the places I’ve traveled. I also pointed out how Wide Horizon, a Christian Science nursing care organization, does its part in having adopted and implemented more sustainable practices, which partly reflects its caring mission for the past 75 years, especially as these practices have been updated more recently. In rereading last year’s blog, it remains one of my favorites. (Go to https://www.widehorizon.org/?s=earth+day)
This year’s theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet’ which calls for “businesses to shift towards sustainable practices. This movement is expected to change the business climate, the political climate, and how to take action regarding the climate” in general. This is definitely a very good investment which will garner great returns. (See www.ndtv.com)
Earth Day, which falls on April 22 every year and is a growing movement since 1970, is the most widely observed secular holiday around the globe. It’s not recognized as a federal holiday in the United States, but Americans across the country have observed it for 52 years. It is also a Student Conservation Association (SCA) day of service. (See www.usatoday.com)
And every year, April 22 is celebrated as International Mother Earth Day. The day is observed to create awareness about the rampant increase in pollution and other practices which directly or indirectly harm the environment and which result in the continuing destruction of our planet. Many countries throughout the planet have taken steps to help bring solutions to our Mother Earth.(See www.news18.com)
In my lifetime, I’ve moved many times, although Colorado has been home for a few decades. I’ve also moved figuratively having been a member of several political parties. In more recent years, I’ve become apolitical or independent because of the increase in discord and disfunction in the United States political arena. My values, influenced strongly by my faith rather than politics and news, are what drive my decisions in what I support. For I simply care about what’s best for our planet, including particularly the children, animals, nature and hopefully the majority of people on earth. (Obviously, all man-made wars and all houses continually divided against themselves cannot stand and do not improve conditions on earth.) It is sincere compassion, empathy, understanding, love and care lived and practiced which will bring about true change and improvement for all.
Today I read: “Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods. We need to act boldly, innovate broadly, and implement equitably. It’s going to take all of us. Businesses, governments, and citizens – everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A global partnership for the planet. The Great Global Cleanup is a worldwide campaign to remove billions of pieces of trash from neighborhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails, and parks – reducing waste and plastic pollution, improving habitats, and preventing harm to wildlife.” (I absolutely love it, for I’ve been doing this cleanup campaign for decades as I shared last year.) (Go to www.earthday.org)
Did you know that “the fashion industry is responsible for over 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions on earth” and, “Sustainable Fashion refers to a clothing supply chain that is ecologically and socially responsible”? This is only one of many steps that must be taken because “we need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century to keep the global temperature below 1.5 degrees C.” Although for years I’ve given a lot of clothes and shoes away to charities and families, I still have too many, so to do my small part, future purchases will be fewer. (See www.earthday.org)
In the past I have owned a lot of gas-powered cars, including two BMWs that I enthusiastically enjoyed as they were really a joy to drive. For Earth Day 2022, BMW announced “The Future Finds Us” as its initiative. Indeed, the present circumstances partly caused by gas and diesel emissions has found the earth in dire straits. On a brighter note, I see and count many more electric and hybrid vehicles while commuting than even two years ago. Thankfully, auto manufacturers have finally seen the light and are taking serious steps to offset their carbon footprints, and more consumers are doing the same.
I love reading and studying the Bible (which mentions the earth numerous times but does not refer to BMWs). I own different Bibles and have studied many English translations. In Genesis 1, one reads an account of creation that is entirely good. Verses 26 and 28 thereof refer to dominion and replenish, respectively. In a spiritual context, dominion refers to care of or stewardship of creation, including all creatures (as contrasted to only sovereignty or control). Therefore, compassionate care and selfless stewardship are key to caring for the earth and all upon it. In a like context, the meaning of the word replenish includes “to fill with inspiration; to nourish; to fill or build up again; to make good; to become full.” I hope to feel more replenished and inspired so that I may better help to nourish the earth and make our global environment better for future generations and creatures who populate our planet.
When one devotes many years to an organization called Wide Horizon, whose mission is to provide care for others, one’s perspective is only broadened. The ministry and even name lends itself to looking away from self to practice greater good. It is with this in mind which influences my hope for more focus on harmoniously correcting the issues, challenges and problems of the present, so the future will be a healthy environment that nurtures all children and blesses all individuals on earth.
So, remember our Mother Earth deserves our best efforts every day. Will you join in doing whatever you can to leave the earth better than you found it?
D. Brian Boettiger