Last week we celebrated Earth Day. What is Earth Day? What does it mean to save the Earth? Don't we all just live in a system and there is little to nothing we can do to change the system's impact on the environment? To celebrate Earth Day is to desire to make that system a sustainable system. But what does 'sustainable' mean? A sustainable system is one which can continue indefinitely without depleting or destroying its parts. Earth Day recognizes that our present system is not sustainable and we must act to push it into sustainability. The sustainable system must consider at least three E's: Economy, Equality, and Ecology. Without all three of these being sustainable, our whole modern system will not last. The economy must continue, the benefits of that economy must be shared, and the environment must not be irreparably harmed.
How do we act to make this modern system more sustainable? The system is so huge! We must recognize that we are the system and our consumption is a large part of the problem. It is not the fact that we are here, existing, that is the problem. The problem is our consumption. All of us who are reading this in its digital form are part of the modern system, we all have a stake in it, and we all can help to shape it. We live today as consumers and our economy relies on that fact. Yet, as consumers wanting to create a sustainable system that will save the Earth from us, we need to live within certain boundaries. Living in a free market means that we have the free choice to determine what we consume. The car and distance we drive, the fuel we use, the temperature we set the thermostat, the light bulb we choose, the light switch we turn on, the energy we waste, the causes we support, the businesses we support, and the food we eat are all choices we make every day that help to determine how many Earth Days future generations will enjoy. We have a big impact on our world, we should try to leave as small a foot print as possible. As you look back at your footprints, how deep are they? What can you do to tread more softly?
Trying to do our part,