earth

An Ode to That One Planet We Can Live On

Earth Day had always been my favorite “holiday” as a child. I am not even kidding.

I have vivid memories of my elementary school class going outside and planting a tree. We could buy t-shirts with endangered whales, swirling clouds, and towering trees on them.

Our planet Earth provides us with so much that no blog post could ever cover it all.

So instead of writing over and over again of how important this Earth Day is, I am just going to show you its beauty and just some of what it has provided, for me personally, in pictures from my everyday life.

Hey Planet Earth, you provide me with:

A place to play softball.

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National Mall, Washington DC

A forest to ride through.

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Cal-Sag Trail, Palos Park, IL

A place to take it all in.

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Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

The opportunity to enhance it.

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Casey Tree planting, Washington DC

Fond family memories. 

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Lake Wandawega, Elkhorn, WI

Somewhere to splash my toes in. 

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Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

The reminder of nature in a concrete jungle.

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Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL

How amazing the tide is. 

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Sand flats, Duxbury, MA

Sunsets that are top notch. 

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New Buffalo, MI

And sunrises that are equally fantastic.

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Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

Fall colors make my heart melt. 

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Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

And breathtaking ocean views.

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Big Sur, CA

The power of water.

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Niagara Falls, NY

Planet Earth, you remind us of just how tiny we are.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

 

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

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And We Are Out of Resources Already: Earth Overshoot Day 2016

A slightly hypothetical situation:

Every day I am out and about for the afternoon between lunch and dinner. Since I can barely go 2+ hours without eating, I know to always pack some snacks in my bag. The longer I am out between meals, the more snacks I know I need to bring. Say I have an apple tree that I use to supply my snacks for in between meals, and I am only able to snack on what my apple tree produces. If my apple tree produces 365 apples, then it would be logical to have only one pre-dinner snack every day of the year.

A not-so-logical and gluttonous way to handle my hungry/hangry situation would be to eat more than one apple per day, fully knowing I will run out before the end of the year.

Well, we as inhabitants of Earth have been handling our resources in a not-so-logical and gluttonous way to the point where we used all that our planet can reproduce in one year as of August 8th.

“As of today, we humans have used as much from nature in 2016 as our planet can renew in a whole year. Nothing will seem to change for many of us from this day to the next, but collectively we are draining Earth’s capacity to provide. Overshoot Day is a red light warning of trouble ahead — and it is flashing five days earlier than it did last year (Aug. 13); eleven days earlier than the year before (Aug.19).” – National Geographic

Basically, we have used a year’s worth of resources in 8 months, and we still have 4 more months of 2016 to go.

Just think about that.

Back in my hypothetical situation, if I ate 8 months worth of my apples, I would be out of luck for the rest of the year. OR I could “borrow” apples from my neighbor’s apple tree. While that seems like a quick fix, I would be taking away my neighbor’s resources and creating a debt that I may not be able to repay.

That is what we are doing with our natural resources.

Here is some more information about Earth Overshoot Day or as it used to be called Ecological Debt Day.