The history of Earth Day is rooted in civil action and growing awareness of environmental issues, and for 2020 the Earth Day Network has a host of different actions people can take to help improve the local and global environment.
The Network are also promoting the notion that Earth Day is not just about one day, it’s about caring about the planet and its future every day of the year, through our actions and decisions, a movement that has been going for 50 (official) years and longer, (or click here for a longer article about the history of environmentalism)
This is much like yoga: we can ‘do yoga’ once a week in a class, and then forget about the beneficial breathing practices, meditation techniques, movement patterns and yoga philosophy for the rest of the week, or, we can incorporate aspects of yoga into our daily lives – whether that’s daily meditation and pranayama (controlled breathing practices), daily physical yoga or following the yama and niyama and ethical ways of living.
With the world currently consumed by the Covid-19 pandemic it might be tempting to think that Earth Day doesn’t matter and that climate change isn’t that important right now. But short term thinking and not seeing the deeper connections between human actions and the Earth is partly responsible for the terrible pandemic. And many places are already reporting the benefits of less traffic and transport such as improved air quality, which is particularly important in polluted cities, and improved water quality.
Humour can get straight to the point and it seems when we’re faced with immediate threat, we can do things that help the environment.
Let’s hope that some of the beneficial side effects of our enforced changed circumstances can be adapted as new ways of living, such as more and bigger cycle lanes and pedestrian spaces, for the benefit of Earth and all living beings.