On our daily dog walk, I make a point of going through a park which borders upon two schools. I also stroll along a street that has some vacant properties which have become overgrown with blackberry bushes and cottonwood trees, just so I can enjoy some non-manicured nature.
The enjoyment I get from my walk is often disrupted when I see how people have such little disregard for this place we call home. In our neighbourhood, you'll often find discarded couches, televisions and other cast-offs - waiting for I-don't-know-who to pick up something that is no longer wanted or needed. I have also seen people use the park as their own toilet. There are dinner left-overs scattered throughout the park, which I'm sure the rats are happy to find.
Then there are the dog walkers who don't pick up after their pets. It boggles the mind, especially when you consider that the next day, they or their dog will walk in the poop they neglected to pick up the day before!
I have spent over forty years in pool change rooms - on my way into the pool, of course! I have never seen it as bad as it is now. There are waste paper baskets in each section of the change room, yet the floor is littered with paper towels, discarded wrist bands and empty soap and shampoo bottles. The administration has even taken the preemptive move to pull off the sticky tab on the wrist bands prior to handing them to patrons because the floor was littered with rectangular pieces of "confetti". Presumably, one goes there for exercise. Can people not walk the very short distance to the garbage can to throw away their junk?
I don't get it! We live in a country that is the envy of the world for its abundance of nature. Schools have now educated several generations of children on the importance of nature and the responsibility of looking after this earth, but the mark is being missed. With all the efforts of government and grass-roots organizations - the 3-R programs, the advertisements - how is it that we have such little regard for this place called home? Have people given up? Are we so used to having things done for us that it becomes someone else's responsibility?
The responsibility rests with each of us, from individuals to communities, countries and corporations that live on this place called home. I don't have children, yet I wonder what will be left for your children and grand-children?
Is this what we want? Overpopulation, overconsumption - in pictures. It's enough to make you weep, isn't it?
It's time to show you care about this place called home.
Make each and every day Earth Day. Do your part, starting in your home. I know what one action I am going to take. How about you?
Here are some past tributes to Earth Day: