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Make Every Day Earth Day

April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

The first Earth Day was the brainchild of Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson and began as a national teach-in on environmental issues. It was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses.

The first Earth Day significantly transformed public opinion and made it a national priority to protect the environment. It led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment. It also influenced the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, and the Endangered Species Act, among other laws.

In recent years, teenager Greta Thunberg and the Climate Strike movement, Pope Francis in his Laudato Si’: On Care of our Common Home Encyclical, scientists, and countless others worldwide are working to save the planet.

Each of us can do our part to care for our Sister Mother Earth.  In our everyday lives, we can make simple choices to reduce, recycle, and reuse.

  • Drink tap water and shut off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
  • Eat plant-based meals and reduce your consumption of meat.
  • Read about ecology issues and read the pope’s encyclical.

The list is endless, so bond with others and create your own lists.

For this Earth Day, and in the midst of this pandemic, my housemate and I spent time outdoors preparing the soil in our small backyard garden.

We soaked in the sun, got our hands dirty, and exercised a few unused back and leg muscles. We listened to the cardinals, gazed upon the budding trees, and let the wind blow in our faces.

It was glorious. I am grateful.

May you find ways to celebrate this Earth Day and may every day become an earth day for you.

Follow the BVM Sisters Facebook page for monthly reflections and actions.

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Thank you for this wonderful reflection, Nancy! Today is going to be a beautiful day here in Dubuque…a perfect time to get out to enjoy Mother Earth and renew our commitment to her care!

  2. Nancy,
    Thank you for sharing your celebration of Mother Earth in the variety of ways for each of us to carry on in simple joys Mother Earth’s gifting to us EVERY DAY. Let us continue Earth Day the next 364!
    Yes every day is Earth Day!

  3. Nancy, so appreciate your reflection regarding Earth Day. As a science teacher, I celebrated with students and staff ever since 1970. Then, had some event here at Mt Carmel. Each year we did an action. So important to care for Mother Earth. C Jean

  4. Thanks, Nancy. It is so good to keep history in mind and appreciate your capturing that piece. Unfortunately the current White House has gutted many environmental policies. May we together advocate for a return to the Paris Agreement and re-instating former policies regarding climate change.
    Thanks for all you are doing. We began to plant our garden for summer (as of now the rhubarb continues to flourish well as parsley and thyme. The EARTH will heal us.

  5. Thanks, Nancy for encouraging us to commit to some action today.
    Especially during this time I am trying to take in all the beauty of the spring flowers when I go for my walks. This year they seem more extravagant then usual. Does it have to do with less traffic on our roads therefore cleaner air???
    I am trying hard to cut down on my water usage, especially living in California where we will probably be moving to another dry summer: recycling shower water collected, water off for teeth brushing, using the shortest cycle washing clothes and dishes. Definitely planting a garden with a variety of vegetables.

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