Daily Archives: April 6, 2022

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: The Most Important Earth Day Event

As another Earth Day approaches, after so many years, I  have to sit back and take a breath when I think about how long we have been coming together to celebrate our love for the planet.

Since 1970 great things have come from this very special grassroots day. The concept of clean air, clean water and saving endangered species evolved from regular everyday folks like us that chose to stand up for future generations and protect our environment.

This year may be even more special than most Earth Days in recent memory. We have come through great loss and tragedy in so many ways dealing with the wrath of Covid-19. And now with hopefully some light at the end of the tunnel we are waking up again, getting back to something that resembles normal and, with that cautious sigh of relief, there are many, many great Earth Day events scheduled in just about every community this year.

Our Earth Day themes for this year seem endless, from recycling plastic to discussions on green economies, from climate change to clean energy and saving the bees, organic farming and planting milkweed, just to name a few of the great number of environmental issues we need to bring attention to.

And yet however important all those issues are (and they are), unless we do one very simple thing all of those critical environmental challenges will never be won. And that one very important thing is so simple that many of us have sadly forgotten how to do it. It does not cost anything, no need to sign a petition or make a donation or even volunteer for anything. Yet unless we decide to do it and get our family friends and neighbors to do it, we will never really get a full understanding on why all those important issues we environmentalists preach about every day until you are sick of hearing us really even matter.

So what is the most important event that you can attend to help put an end to climate change, save endangered species and put us all on the road to a healthier, happier life for everyone on planet Earth? That single most important environmental practice is called, -are you ready? -GOING OUTSIDE!

I am often asked what the biggest threat to the environment really is. Habitat loss? Climate change? Pollution?  Well, at least to me it’s none of the above. Sure, they are the major threats that need solutions and answers so that we can avoid environmental cataclysmic disaster. But how will we do that if we lose our basic connection with nature?

How can we expect to have the resolve of the people of our community and nation to do the right thing if they are not getting outside to actually see for themselves all the magnificence of the natural world we stand to lose? A world, by the way, just in case you forgot, that we need for our survival as well.

To witness the flight of a hummingbird or the migration of a Monarch butterfly is to grasp the concept of why we need to stand together to fight climate change. To watch a Bald Eagle hunting fish on the river or a Peregrine Falcon diving out of the sky is when you will feel the pounding in your heart that tells you saving threatened and endangered species is the right thing to do. Watching a Robin nest in the backyard, a Blue jay hide an acorn and bumble bee pollinating a flower will remind you that everything and all of us are connected to the natural world and that the only way to fully understand that and feel it in your soul is to get outside and witness all the wonders for yourself.

So when you visit your local Earth Day events, stop and look around, talk a walk, a stroll or even a hike into nature and take it in and connect with it all. Then grab your kids by the hand, call a friend and a neighbor, and ask them to join you outside. Only together will we remember for sure what we need to do and how we all need to come together to protect our environment for generations to come, just like we did at the very first Earth Day a long time ago.

See you in the Meadowlands.