April is an appropriate month to observe Earth Day as the ground thaws, trees come back to life and wildlife begins to shake off the winter. As a third generation Washingtonian, I’m forever amazed at nature’s offerings in our area—from the glorious mountains throughout Maryland and Virginia, to the incredible parkland within Washington, D.C. It’s encouraging that so many organizations and individuals have made great strides in the past few decades to improve damage done by lack of concern. Yet, there remains much to do.
I am sure that many of you remember Smokey Bear, who told us to prevent forest fires or Woodsy the Owl who implored us to “give a hoot—don’t pollute.” Of course, everyone knew that it was really uncool to be a “litterbug”. Each of us had an important role to play.
As adults, we are still called to play a part in building a cleaner, greener world. There is growing concern that we are losing a battle against climate change and the severe weather of the past few years appears to bolster that claim—making our individual actions even more important.
Our feature for April looks at some of the practical but necessary steps that each of us can take to do our part against climate change—with a specific look at sustainable living. We offer steps (and some idea of the benefits) to move you a bit (or quite a ways) off the grid. Costs are down, technology is advancing, and tax credits are up for grabs. There’s never been a better time to declare energy independence and explore consumer options that specialize in solar, wind and geothermal systems. Each of us starts at a different place on a continuum of earth-care but each of us can do just a bit more to lessen our carbon footprint.
Part of our renewed emphasis on sustainable living includes sustainable eating. This month, we offer a piece by Ocean Robbins, the author of the newly released 31-Day Food Revolution. Robbins, who stands apart from his grandfather, Irv, co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, has devoted his life to making connections between food, community and the health of the planet. He is here to remind us that saving our planet requires us all to take a holistic approach to the ways we live upon our fragile Mother Earth.
So on April 22 and every day, and with all the young people across the globe inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who have been on the streets to demand that we all do a better job—let’s get to it so we can continue to enjoy the bounty and beauty of our region for generations to come.