Earth Day isn’t just for activists
It’s Earth Day. And no, this isn’t going to be a long-winded, self-righteous diatribe. That’s because I’m as guilty as you are for global warming, bad air and wasted resources. That’s also why it seems so odd to me that dedicating just one day a year to our home base on Earth Day seems like a pretty paltry thank-you for all that this planet provides to us.Say “Earth Day,” and visions of Birkenstock-clad free-spirited flower children with wreaths in their hair comes to mind. But it shouldn’t be just about that. All of us – everybody who wakes up on this third planet from the sun – should at least give some thought to the care and feeding of our home on Earth Day.My husband Erik and I went up the JQS Trail, just north of Rifle, a couple days ago. I wanted to get some photos of the garbage and junk people dump alongside this popular dirt road that leads up to the Roan Plateau. I thought it would make a provoking cover shot for the Citizen Telegram, Rifle’s weekly hometown paper that I edit and manage, especially during Earth Day week.It’s a mess up there on the JQS. Bottles, cans and fast-food wrappers are strewn everywhere. And that’s not all. We found a washing machine, a couch, even an old Camaro full of bullet and shot holes. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to load up the truck with an old couch we no longer wanted, and head to the JQS Trail to dump it.”OK, honey, back up … a little more, yeah, next to this boulder on the other side of this juniper tree. Yeah, OK, give me a hand. One, two, three.” Shove. And once the task was completed, I really can’t imagine what it would feel like to drive away.But people do, and don’t think twice. They don’t want to pay the charge at the landfill. They don’t want to clutter their vehicle with beer cans or food wrappers. So they just throw the stuff out the window, and they drive away. Most people don’t treat the Earth like this. Most of us have that image in our heads of the commercial that used to played years ago of the Indian (in pre-politically-correct terms) looking out over mounds of garbage, a single tear streaming down his worn face. So it’s Earth Day today. I’m hopeful that maybe, just maybe, one person who might think it’s no big deal to trash our fragile planet, will read this. Maybe they’ll re-think the next time they get ready to toss a soda can on the ground, or pitch a washing machine out of the back of their truck.There are a lot bigger, supposedly more important things to do. But maybe, just maybe, someone will read this – and they’ll think twice. Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle. If you want to check out pictures of the JQS Trail, go to http://www.citizentelegram.com. If you want to help clean it up, come to the community cleanup on April 29. Contact Carrie for specifics: 625-3245, ext. 101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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