Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

April 17, 2013

No tree hugging necessary

— Earth Day is coming up. It has been a thing since 1970 and always falls on April 22, but I was a little late coming to the party.

I had seen the crying Indian PSA that started airing on Earth Day 1971, but I wasn’t a litterbug and the message didn’t really click. My first memory of an Earth Day celebration happened in 1976. I was a Girl Scout then, and we fudged the date a little and had a camporee thing with an Earth Day theme that weekend, even though the actual day was a Thursday. No, I don’t have that kind of memory. I looked it up. I do remember the camporee, though.

That camporee wasn’t the event that turned me into what my children describe as a tree-hugging hippie, but it did have an impact. That weekend in 1976 was my personal “aha moment” where I finally understood that what I do has an impact on this third rock from the sun.

That weekend, I started looking at the environment as something I needed to protect. Then I got overwhelmed and nearly hysterical as only a teenage girl can do when I realized how big the world is and how many people there are who just don’t give two darns about it. I was certain the world would be used up before the seventies came to a close.

Then I became a self-absorbed young adult and pretty much ignored all the things I knew about being a friend to the environment. I am not proud of those years. The thing that brought me out of them and back to my current state was the birth of Eldest.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

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