A simple illustration can be a good way to start on something of great complexity. With Earth Day, celebrated yesterday, launching us into Earth Week, we’ve seen some good local examples of young people putting their hearts into environmental efforts.
In neighbourhood and street cleanups held around the province in the past several days, many eager youth and school classes took part. As some have observed about the continuing problem of litter or illegal dumping, years ago it was often done out of ignorance – it was so common many people didn’t see it as wrong.
Children these days, however, have been taught that garbage has its place – as do recyclables and compost for that matter.
They’re also starting out young to think about the bigger environmental picture, first by keeping surroundings clean, and in many cases advancing their understanding and care throughout their lives.
An environmental pledge, for example, at a Go Clean Get Green event in Pictou County had a three-year-old leading others in the environmental pledge: “I promise to take care of my Earth every day.”
And so it is, through the eyes of someone full of hope, Earth Day is something special, but so important that it needs to be reflected every day in our thoughts and deeds.
People are becoming increasingly aware of the strains we put on this planet, demands on resources, industrial activity and the depositing of waste that latter day thinking deemed limitless.
We know now that there are limits, however, and consequences if we continue to push exploitation with insufficient checks and balances.
We hope to see some of these young people, with all their determination in cleaning up a school yard or neighbourhood, taking their zeal to another level in the future. This country and many others face a lot of challenges and tough decisions in developing resources and establishing environmental safeguards. With this, an unfailing, conscientious approach is a vital ingredient.