Friday, April 6, 2012

Gaia – CELEBRATE Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd and it’s a Sunday this year.  What a great opportunity to really get in touch with Mother Earth and refocus our efforts in making the environment a priority.  What other element has its own special day?  Don’t let it just pass by – get out there and celebrate.  Make a difference!  Every little bit helps and can be the catalyst for a larger change down the road.  Here are some suggestions to get you thinking about how you can keep Earth Day sacred.

1.      Attend an Earth Day event.  Check your local paper or the local news website for a listing. 

2.      Organize an event yourself.  It doesn’t have to be a “pagan” gathering.  Perhaps you can simply rally the neighbors to walk around the neighborhood picking up trash.  Serve simple refreshments after and you can turn it into a social event as well and build strong relationships with those who live next to you.

3.      Don’t drive.  If at all possible, leave the car in the driveway for the day.  Walk where you need to go, or take public transportation.   Car pool if necessary. 

4.      Plan your errands.  While the car is taking a break, think about the errands you run during the week.  Are your trips to the store well thought out that you are only picking up groceries once a week and consolidating all your other stops into that one trip?  Are your stops in order so that you are not cris-crossing back and forth across town?  If you must have a car the rest of the year, use it wisely. 

5.      Recycle.  Though I would hope that as a Pagan you are already doing this, sometimes it’s helpful to take a look at your efforts and make sure you are still on track.  Do you take the easy way out and throw “just this one can” in the garbage since the recycling bin is not nearby?  Do you donate unused items to the local thrift shop?  Do you shop at the same thrift store to see if they have what you need?  Do you sell your items on a website or list them as a free giveaway?  Do you use what you already have for art projects?  The web is full of great creative ideas for items easily found around the home.  Get creative with cans, plastic bottles and toilet paper rolls.

6.      Keep electrical use to a minimum.  I HOPE you get through an entire day without the television or computer on.  Keep the lights off too (let’s face it; we probably all have enough candles to make it through a month long power outage.)  If you start to get jittery about not having TV or the computer, just remember that also means no laundry or vacuuming.  See?  I can see you smile already.

7.      Plant something.  There is no better way to get in touch with Mother Earth than getting your hands dirty.  Plant a tree, a vegetable garden, some flowers.  Get in there and DIG. 

8.      Research environmental organizations and choose one that you would love to support.  Even if you can’t financially help out, these groups often need volunteers.   Find one and commit to doing what you can to help them.  If you’d like to keep it on a local level, search parks or lakes/rivers that are nearby.  Frequently there is a group that works to protect that park or body of water.  Get involved.

9.      Teach.  Are you knowledgeable about composting?  Collecting rainwater or building your own rain barrel?  Solar energy?  Have you mastered simplicity and downscaling?  See if you can find a way to share what you know with others.

10.    Hold a ritual to Gaia.  Many Earth Day events have a place where you can “pledge” to go greener in everyday life.  Take it further and dedicate yourself and your efforts to Gaia in Sacred Space.  At the least, celebrate her and everything this earth has provided to us and say THANK YOU!