The hanging globe we live on is another year older. “Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday, Mother Earth. Happy Birthday to you.” Sing along. Earth is our home.
How old is earth? It depends on who you ask. A creationist and an evolutionist will give different answers. A scientist and a Bible scholar will give different answers.
Who named our Earth? Its name comes from the old English and Germanic words meaning ‘the ground.’ Who or what created Earth? ‘In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void.’ The other theory is called ‘Big Bang.’
What gifts can we give to Earth; a planet that sustains our lives. Air, land, water—essential elements for the human race. Food from the soil and the sea. Oxygen from the atmosphere and the trees. Shelters with wood, rocks, bricks, marble.
We can do better at protecting our Earth home. Some elementary schools support “Our Amazing Earth curriculum.” We need to teach the young how to take care of our planet. Nature is a learning playground.
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
Earth Day Columbus is the largest volunteer-led Earth Day volunteer effort and celebration in the U.S. Organized annually by Green Columbus, a Central Ohio nonprofit. www.earthdaycolumbus.org.
Keep Ohio Beautiful, a nonprofit organization, “believes that everyone deserves to live in an environment that is healthy, safe, clean and beautiful.” As a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Ohio Beautiful serves as Ohio’s umbrella organization for 40 local affiliate organizations throughout Ohio. www.keepohiobeautiful.org.
The Ohio River
Cleaning and protecting the Ohio River does help Earth. In October 2019, the national non-profit Living Lands and Waters organization’s barge focused on a part of the Ohio River, about halfway between Cincinnati and Portsmouth. “It’s a beautiful river valley but there’s a lot of trash from top to bottom. Probably as bad a river that we work is the Ohio River,” stated Mike Coyne-Logan in a 2019 article by Spectrum News. www.livinglandsandwaters.org.
In June 2019, the Ohio River Recreation Trail group “paddled 274 miles from Portsmouth, Ohio to Louisville as a test run to determine next steps and how to better bring the idea to life as an established route.” www.kwalliance.org.
Keeping our region clean, safe, and healthy does help Earth. Portsmouth Cleanup Day was held in June 2019. Main Street Portsmouth asked for community support in April 2019 for a spring cleanup. “You probably didn’t hear about it in the media but last year, Portsmouth made it into the Guinness World Book of Records twice, thanks to the “Friends of Portsmouth” — a community organization of local business owners and residents who decided to take matters into their own hands and work to revitalize the area, pushing back against the negative stigma their hometown has received. When the Friends of Portsmouth organized a city-wide cleanup (where local businesses donated power washers and cleaning supplies), Portsmouth broke a previous Guinness World Record by simultaneously planting 1,405 plants across the city,” according to a 2019 article in the Portsmouth Daily Times.
And there’s my favorite cleanup activity in my area—what I call “Dumpster Days.” Porter Township provides dumpsters at no cost to residents two times per year. A huge thanks goes to Greg Warner for his helpfulness.
What can you do to help our Earth in 2020? Volunteer with a cleanup group. Teach your children not to litter. Watch National Geographic with your family and engage in ongoing conversations about our amazing planet. Checkout www.kids.nationalgeographic.com. Clean up behind yourself when you visit a park. Use a reusable water bottle. Recycle ink cartridges.
“When the last tree is cut and the last fish killed, the last river poisoned, then you will see that you can’t eat money.”—John May, The Greenpeace Story
Happy Birthday, Earth!
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.