25 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day

 

“The earth has music for those who listen.”-William Shakespeare

 

Watching and reading the news can increase our tension and stress. We see so much that fills our mind with worry. We see divides between people, between countries, and between ideas.

But there is far more that brings us together than divides us.

When I interviewed astronaut Ron Garan, I was struck by his orbital perspective. What better way to appreciate our planet than from space? You certainly realize how interdependent we are on each other and on planet Earth.

In our busy lives, it is a challenge to learn to gain perspective. Whether through deep breathing, meditation, prayer, or mindfulness, we all find ways to separate ourselves from the day-to-day stress and refocus on what matters.

 

Fact: the UN declared April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.

 

Today is Earth Day. For me, it’s a reminder of the beauty of our planet, of our interconnectedness, of our responsibility to take care of the environment.

And, in honor of Earth Day, here are just a few ways that we can celebrate our planet:

 

Celebrate Planet Earth

 

Spend time in nature.

Plant a tree.

 

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”-Thomas Fuller

 

Eat vegetarian.

Start recycling.

Look for ways to save energy.

Pick up litter.

Say no to plastic bags.

 

Fact: Each year we throw out enough plastic to circle Earth 4x.

 

Read more online and reduce printing.

Go off-grid and turn off your electronics.

Get a programmable thermostat.

 

Fact: the first Earth Day was in 1970.

 

Fix leaky faucets.

Use rechargeable batteries.

Take a walk outside.

 

Fact: Walking improves concentration and creativity.

 

Use a reusable water bottle.

Clean out your garage and donate to local charities.

Opt out of junk mail.

 

Fact: 100 million trees are destroyed to produce junk mail each year.

28 Quotes to Celebrate Earth Day

Our planet Earth has its own day of celebration: April 22nd.  In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day.  Now celebrated around the world, it’s a day when we pause to think about the environment.

 

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”-John Muir

 

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”-Gandhi

 

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”-Rachel Carson

 

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.”-Einstein

 

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” -Henry David Thoreau

 

“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”-Walt Whitman

 

“Earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”-Lady Bird Johnson

 

“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”-J.R.R. Tolkien

 

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”-Thomas Fuller

 

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there.”-J.R.R. Tolkien

 

“Be the change you wish to see in this world.”-Gandhi

 

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”-C.S. Lewis

 

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”-Benjamin Franklin

Why Leaders Need An Orbital Perspective

The Orbital Perspective

Live on this planet long enough and you will have an experience that changes your life perspective. Whether its watching someone heroically battle a disease or your own near-death experience, these moments linger in our memories and impact our future.

Ron Garan also had a life-altering experience, but not one on planet Earth and not one most of us will personally experience. Col. Ron Garan is an astronaut who has logged 71 million miles in orbit. On the International Space Station, Ron was struck by the fact that 15 nationalities collaborated on creating an engineering feat in space. His perspective shifted as he gazed back at our planet, realizing that we needed to apply the same creativity to working together for the good of our world.

Garan, Ron

I had the opportunity to ask Col. Garan questions about his work, his experience, and his new perspective. His recent book, The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles, gives us the opportunity to glimpse into a new view of our potential.

 

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth, only crewmates.” -Ron Garan

 

What is the “Orbital Perspective”? 

The Orbital Perspective is a call to action to shift our perspective from looking at things as they affect us locally, in the short term, to how they affect us globally over the long-term. It’s a shift from looking at the next election campaign or quarterly report to looking at the 20-year plan and beyond. It’s the acknowledgement that each and every one of us is riding through the universe together on this spaceship that we call Earth, that we are all interconnected and family. It’s the understanding that there are no passengers on Spaceship Earth, only crewmates and as crewmates we have a responsibility to mind the ship and take care of our fellow crewmates. It’s the acknowledgment of the sobering contradiction we see when we view our planet from space between the amazing beauty of our Earth and the unfortunate realities of life on our planet for a significant number of its inhabitants. It’s the firm belief that nothing is impossible — that it is within our power to eliminate the suffering and conflict that exist on our planet and that we do not have to accept the status quo. Above all else, the orbital perspective is the acknowledgement that we need each other. The days are long gone where we can effect the type of change that’s required by adhering to the old way of doing things or having a go it alone attitude.

 

“The orbital perspective is the acknowledgement that we need each other.” -Ron Garan

 

Journey into Space

It’s May 31, 2008. You are about to journey into space. You say you were surprised at how calm you felt as you were “strapped to four and a half million pounds of explosives.” How did that feel?STS-124 Launch White Room

I did say that in the book, but then I go on to say, “Sitting there, I felt some apprehension, of course. But I was also reassured by the idea that what we were about to do would make a contribution to humanity and, at this point, that the outcome of the launch was largely out of our hands.” To me, it was a risk-benefit tradeoff. In this case the benefits greatly outweighed the risk. I also wondered what I was getting myself into.

Describe the first time you looked down at Earth. Was it different than you expected?

The thing that really struck me when I looked at the Earth for the first time from space was how thin our atmosphere is. It was very sobering to think that the paper-thin layer of our atmosphere is keeping every living thing on our planet alive. But also the overwhelming emotion was intense gratitude. Gratitude for being given the opportunity to experience that perspective and gratitude for the gift of our indescribably beautiful fragile oasis we call home. The view was basically what I expected; the emotion that is caused was not.

 

“Working together multiplies cost effectiveness while reducing duplication of effort.” -Ron Garan

 

The Importance of the Worm’s Eye View