The commemoration known as Earth Day began in 1970 and marks the beginning of what was to become the modern environmental movement. In fact, it was the Earth Day celebration in 1990 that gave way to massive recycling efforts that our children now see as commonplace in our homes and communities. Given how our seventh Principle guides us to protect our planet and the “independent web of all existence,” then it seems if ever there was a Holy Day for Unitarian Universalists, this would be it.
From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet. In response, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics. Find all about this year's campaign on the Earth Day 2018 website and think about what you and your family can do about eliminating plastic pollution in our world. The website also details what events are planned around the world this year for Earth Day which falls on April 22nd this year.
Even if there are no official Earth Day events or activities in your area (and you are not feeling motivated to initiate them regionally), parents can still commemorate this day through intentional efforts as a family: taking time to clean up a local park, re-purposing plastic or other disposable items – or even planting a tree. The important thing is not so much what you do, but that you do it. While your family may regularly recycle and engage in other “green” activities, establishing this day as a holiday worth celebrating for Unitarian Universalists lifts it up and highlights its value.
Earth Day is a time which has been set aside to celebrate the gains we have made in the areas of conservation and environmental protection; it is also a time to recognize how far we have yet to go and to understand that we can all play a part in the process. Earth Day can be a time for families to unite around action and our intentions to improve our natural home. So while every day is a time for Unitarian Universalists to engage in environmental activism, recycling and being “green,” Earth Day is a time to celebrate those efforts and our connections to the Earth. How can it get more Holy than that?