It is true that every day we see more people, organizations and regional or national governments carry out new activities and/or programs that somehow make people aware about the importance of caring for our environment; but we all know that, by itself, it is not enough. We, the citizens of this beautiful planet, are the ones required to care for, to improve and maintain the wonderful world around us.
Some of us live in the Caribbean surrounded by a beautiful sea, while others live in beautiful mountains and valleys. Some live in heavily contaminated and polluted cities while others live in environments with a very clean and pure air. Regardless, we must ask ourselves, what are we doing - each of us - to maintain and even better improve our environment? This year, thanks to an initiative (which has partially worked in the school of one of my children), we started in our house a recycling program; and we have seen an stunning change in ourselves and have started to do things automatically, because we now realize what we must do in this sense. In many of our countries we do not see a major recycling awareness. And like everything in life, recycling is also something we can learn. Now you know what to do with the plastic bottles and plastic caps; with newspapers once we read them; with carton boxes or other materials; with the plastic we use; sometimes we unnecessarily consume too much energy or waste water, so close the taps or sinks in your bathrooms; and there are many other things and activities that we know today that in a sense, we are obliged to learn how to make, do and use better. Recycling is a new kind of awareness we need to develop, a new way of acting on our daily lives. Ask yourself: What actions can I do today to improve the environment? I do not think we're talking about very big things but of little things, one after another, which together make a small difference. And small differences, as we know, generate large differences!
Among the many interesting conversations we have throughout the day, a friend recently told me that he and his daughter have started a modest campaign to reduce the use of straws, as these are an important factor in the death of animals, especially birds. Something I consider a very important initiative. And maybe, each one of you have ideas or have friends and family with ideas not only on recycling but about activities for taking care of our environment.
In most developed countries, there are countless types of waste cans or baskets for recycling different materials such as plastic, paper, aluminum and other materials; and recently I saw dispensers for recycling liquids, such as the sodas, juices and other liquids that are not finished and thus we just throw away. Well, do something about it and not just wait for others who do something about the environment.
There are many organizations that are carrying out activities for Earth Day. The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, for example, has a campaign of daily actions to carry out during the entire month of April (for more information visit the link http://www.epa.gov/earthday). Earthday.com, like every year, has established a series of activities to raise awareness on this important issue; for this year they have set the goal of reaching two million actions that contribute to the better caring for our environment. I recommend that you visit their website http://www.earthday.org/takeaction/ and see the everyday simple actions that we can all do.
Similarly, the Disney Company, through Disney Nature, in an effort to continue raising awareness of the world we live in, this year brings to the screen a wonderful new movie: BEARS, which premiered on April 18th. Part of the proceeds from the collection of this movie will help the Disney organization make a significant donation to the National Park Foundation in the United States. I suggest you see the movie and watch the trailer of the film in the following link: http://nature.disney.com/bears
Earth Day is celebrated every April 22. Are you doing something about it?
I think we should all seriously ask a question: how many of us and the people that surround us really know that every year the World Earth Day is celebrated? How many of us do something for it, not only that day but actually throughout the year? Last year CNN indicated that only 3% of respondents knew that there is a special day in our calendar dedicated to the care of our planet Earth. I do not think that number has changed too much, so it is now - like every day – our responsibility to do something about it and help others become aware as well.
Taking care of our planet for our children and grandchildren so that they can enjoy it for many years is a very important task. So please go out and make Earth Day not only on April 22, but every day of the year. Just start today.
Luis Vicente Garcia
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