(HOST) Can a New Year be a new beginning for the Earth around us? Commentator Ruth Page thinks so, and suggests simple ways to make it happen.
(PAGE) Every New Year’s Day is a continuation of the old year, except for humankind’s wish to get a fresh start now and then. It’s a good idea; every 12 months we can draw a deep breath and consider that we have a whole “new” 12 months ahead of us in which to figure ways to change what we didn’t like about the previous year, and ways to continue actions or plans that we do like.
Anyone who can’t think of a practical or useful place to start can consider preserving our home. Not just our houses; the home we share with every person, plant, animal, fungus, bacterium or other form of life on the planet. Now there’s a home worth saving. Love to care for antiques? By human measure, Earth’s an antique. We all need it, it took billions of years to develop, its beauty, variety and uniqueness are clearly worth saving, and we have finally reached the point, in science, where it’s pretty clear what we need to do to preserve it in good shape.
We can start in our smaller home. We can drive a smaller car, reducing air pollution. Some of us can get hybrid cars, reducing air pollution further. We can, where practical, switch to canoes and sailboats on our rivers and lakes to greatly reduce water and noise pollution. Those of us who love the thrill of so-called jet skis can decide our private leasure isn’t worth the annoyance to hundreds of neighbors, not to mention the effect on waterways.
We can fly to vacation spots and hike or bike on our visits to nature’s loveliest places. We’ll see a great deal more that way, have a mind-bending spiritual experience triggered by immersion in the rich green world around us, and find that nature is more comfortable and comforting than streets and traffic.
With cleaner air we’ll be able to enjoy the sparkling vistas of America that our forebears enjoyed – less lung-wrecking smog, purer waters, lilting birdsong, the flash of butterflies and the perfumes of tree and flower.
People used to write letters across the paper both ways, to save postage. I save the backs of old letters and ads and use them for writing drafts of articles on the computer to save trees. Computers were originally expected to save paper. HA!
And we will never think, “What difference can I make, one little person in the whole world?” While we think that, nothing can change. Hundreds of people are already out there refusing to use earth’s soil, air and waters as garbage bins, or to wound the environment unnecessarily. More people have been taking earth-protective measures in recent years than ever before. They never stop trying to improve. Is there any better thing to do for a New Year than to try to freshen and renew our oldest, loveliest Home?
This is Ruth Page in Shelburne, welcoming a New New Year.