As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April 22, we’re perhaps more reminded than ever about our natural planet: this year, with so many businesses, factories, and schools shut down, and in midst of significant travel restrictions and a stalled global economy, we’re noticing things we’ve likely overlooked for many years.

Things like the grass growing in our yards again. Buds on trees being beckoned out by the occasion warm and sunny day. The first Spring blooms in our gardens. And the music of  songbirds as they greet each fresh, new day.

And maybe we’re reminded, at least in part, how good this time off is for Planet Earth: with people largely removed from the picture, Mother Nature is starting to heal things the way only she can. And that’s starting to look like a very good thing!

Same time frame last year (left) vs this year (right): the decline in greenhouse gasses during the shutdown. Credit: FOX News Detroit

It may, in fact, be the planet’s best Earth Day since Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson persuaded Congressman Pete McCloskey to join his environmental efforts and help recruit Denis Hayes, a young activist they chose to organize campus teach-ins in front of national media that fateful April 22nd in 1970. Wanting to inspire ALL Americans, Hayes grew a national staff of 85, named the effort Earth Day, and – with intense media support – involved fully 10 percent of the American population in rallies across the country in support of Earth Day’s environmental protections.

The original purpose of Earth Day’s 1970 grassroots movement was to encourage the US government to implement standards so industries would become better stewards of our nation’s natural resources: air, water, soil, landscapes and wildlife. The movement received support from both political parties, business and labor leaders, and ordinary citizens ranging from farmworkers to urban dwellers – over 20 million in all.

By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day had led directly to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Earth Day efforts have, therefore, influenced major US legislation regarding protections of our natural resources ever since – and, having made a noticeable impact stateside, the Earth Day organization took its efforts global in 1990, where its influence continues to have significant impact on environmental issues around the world. 

Today, in the midst of threats from climate change, Earth Day’s efforts are even stronger (you can read more about them here).

And today, the Earth Day organization reminds us that there are many small things each of us can do to take better care of the planet we call home:

  • Join a local park, beach, or river clean up
  • Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning agents
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs (reduce your carbon footprint by 450 pounds a year)
  • Keep your tires inflated (you’ll improve your gas mileage and reduce your carbon footprint by 20 pounds for each gallon of you gas save)
  • Teleconference instead of commuting
  • Read documents on line instead of printing them
  • Print on both sides of the paper
  • Choose reusable bottles for water and reusable mugs for coffee
  • Compost kitchen scraps to use as fertilizer in your garden
  • Fix leaky faucets and shower heads to conserve clean water
  • Move your thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in summer to reduce your carbon footprint by 2000 pounds (see Earth Day’s full list of 50 tips and suggestions here)

To that list, we at Compassionate Care By Design add: use natural alternatives instead of manufactured ones for temporary relief of a variety of symptoms (even aspirin was originally created from white willow bark! For more information, click here!).

We at Compassionate Care By Design have always been rooted in nature: we believe nature is medicinal, and our main products are naturally grown from the earth, processed without artificial ingredients or chemicals, and tested for purity and efficacy. We’re proud to offer them in a variety of modalities as cleaner, healthier, natural alternatives that can help people live their best possible lives.

To us, it’s simple: we take care of the Earth, and the Earth takes care of us. 

And if everyone does their part, no matter how small it may seem, the planet will be better off for it. So let’s come out of this global pandemic with more awareness about our collective impact on our natural world, and greater commitment to make changes for the better. At the grass roots level – where the Earth Day global initiative got its original start 50 years ago. 

Happy 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! We hope you get out in nature today, breathe deeply, and appreciate and enjoy the medicinal properties available in nature all around us! 

Has this article given you any ideas about small changes you can make to help heal the planet we call home? And if you’re a worker who’s temporarily displaced, has your time off affected the way you think about environmental issues? 

We’d love to hear from you on our Instagram or Facebook page, so let us know how you’re celebrating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary this April 22!

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