It seems as if almost every time I speak about Earth Day, someone says ‘Why isn’t every day Earth Day?’, which is true, but also kind of misses the point.
While there are many campaigns which are aiming to highlight the myriad ways in which we could take better care of our planet, the ones that are really grabbing my attention this year are the ones that are inspiring us to take DIRECT ACTION. To get our hands in the soil, to plant a seed, to turn off our computers and phones for a moment and give some much needed attention back to this amazing and beautiful planet.
One of the most inspiring of these is the “PLEDGE TO PLANT” campaign that was created by a group of organisations and facebook pages including The Master Shift, Forest Nation, The White Feather Foundation and the Earth Day Network to give back a giant collective offering to the planet.
This has now grown into hundreds of organisations joining together, including UPLIFT. It seems as if there is a collective awakening happening right now that has been inspired by the power of social media, but now seeks to go beyond that; to take tangible real world action that makes a difference. Those inspiring facebook pages that you might like and share in your daily newsfeed are beginning to talk to each other and realise that alone each page may reach thousands, or even a million or so, people a week. Working together, however, we have the potential to reach tens of millions of people in a way that challenges the traditional mainstream media outlets. The difference is that instead of highlighting what isn’t working in the world, all of the problems, injustices, conflicts and destruction, we can highlight what is working, the solutions, the collaborations and the co-creations that are making the world a better place. This is the essential vision of UPLIFT, which Satish Kumar has described as “Sarvodaya”, or “upliftment for all”.
So, how do I participate in “Pledge to Plant”?
It’s really simple. All you need to do is commit by clicking on the link below and registering. Already there are enough people registered to commit to planting over a million trees. And that’s just the beginning! If you share this message to your networks, you can be part of this global wave of action. In fact, the whole success of this campaign depends upon YOU to DO SOMETHING! Of course, the next thing you need to do is to find a tree to plant (contact your local nursery, garden centre, or permaculture impact centre for advice) and then somewhere appropriate to plant it. There’s a bonus if you can film yourself doing it and the share it with us, so we can show the world that this is actually happening.
PLEDGE TO PLANT: Link: http://forestnation.com/earth-day-tree-planting/
If you still have any doubt whatsover that we need to change our collective behaviour and stop cutting down trees and start planting them instead, watch the entertaining (and moving) 2-minute video that The Master Shift created for Earth Day here. It’s been watched by over 13,000,000 people already, so the campaign is really starting to catch fire.
How much will it take before we wake up to the impact we have on the world?
It’s a fact that forest fragmentation has had lasting detrimental effects on our planet’s ecosystem with habitat fragmentation leading to 13 to 75 percent decrease in plant and animal diversity!
“Nearly 20 percent of the world’s remaining forests are the distance of a football field, or about 100 meters, away from forest edges. Seventy percent of forest lands are within a half-mile of forest edges. That means almost no forests can really be considered wilderness,” Professor Nick Haddad, North Carolina State University.
Some people might argue that just planting a tree and then doing nothing else for the rest of the year makes no real difference. A good response is always to ask what that person actually did for Earth Day. Doing something is ALWAYS more powerful than being an armchair (or facebook) critic, but it is also true that we need to make a SYSTEMIC change to the way we treat our planet, not just an OCCASIONAL change. This is why the Declaration to Restore Mother Earth is so powerful, by making a personal commitment to change, we initiate the beginning of that systemic change, which is what we all really need to do in order to turn around the Global ecological crisis. Take a look at the video below and then sign the Declaration. It’s the perfect thing to do on Earth Day and also the best way we can ensure every day really is Earth Day too!