Sadly, however, it seems even too much to ask to get people pumped up about it just once a year, let alone every day. What will it take to get people passionate about Mother Earth? Seriously, what will it take to make Earth Day sexy?
This year, I really wanted to encourage and gather as many people as possible to proudly participate in Victoria, BC’s Earth Walk.
My usual accomplice for these types of events and I went through our respective phone/facebook lists and messaged everyone we knew to come join us in making this our biggest Earth Walk ever! The two of us even spent a couple of hours the evening before making colourful signs with beautiful quotes scribed on them.
I was really hoping a large crowd would be cheering and chanting merrily along with us in celebration of this beautiful planet we call home. Alas, only one friend decided to join us, making this year’s Earth Walk one of the worst attended I’ve ever been in.
Shamefully, there were only about 250 to 300 other people who walked along Government Street that day — a small musical procession in celebration of life on Earth with signs and costumes, waving at onlookers who wielded cameras as we made our way to the grassroots sustainability kiosks and small-time local entertainment in Centennial Square.
The following day there was a festival called Earth Fest tucked away in the heart of Fernwood. It was definitely more successful in drawing in a slightly larger crowd, and for the entire afternoon, no less. It was fun and had great energy, with awesome entertainment. However, it was mostly attended by the usual suspects for these types of “Earthly” events … which is absolutely great, but it’s much like preaching to the converted, if you know what I mean. Very few of your average consumer joes who don’t already make sustainable choices were anywhere to be found. Those are the people we really need to get on board.
It baffles me how, with everything we now know about our effects on climate change, people seem even more complacent than ever about taking part in these types of events.
I mean, if the government suddenly decided to abolish hockey there would be a national uprising! Petitions, rallies, even rioting in the streets…hell, a revolution would most definitely ensue!
Yet when our government continually decides to clear cut and sell off our natural resources, to do nothing of any real significance about reducing emissions and pollutant industries, to deliberately refuse to make corporations accountable for the waste and devastation they produce (which are all inevitably killing wildlife and eco-systems), decreasing our ability to breathe fresh air and drink clean water with every passing moment (all this despite extensive scientific warnings of the potentially catastrophic effects if do not act now) — what do most of us do? Nothing. Oh wait! We watch hockey.
Well then, let me put it this way — No Earth! No Hockey! Maybe that will motivate the masses into action!
Okay, so I’m ranting. But seriously, all it takes is couple hours of our time to make our presence known. We need to gather in great numbers and actively participate in these events, to take a stand, make our voices heard and let our governments and corporations know that our HOME means, quite literally, the ‘world’ to us.
Having attended both of this year’s events, I’ve come to realize that organizers really need to band together and plan an event that will make the masses want to excitedly participate. A real celebration!
I would love to see an Earth Day event that would attract crowd as big as Canada Day’s (but with a theme of sustainability, of course). I think it’s important to remember that without Earth, there would be no Canada to celebrate. Why can’t we be as proud to be citizens of Earth as we are to be Canadians?
So what will it take to make Earth Day sexy?
Well, for starters, at the very least let’s make it a Statutory Holiday! THAT in itself would make a significant difference! Close down everything, except for emergency services. Make it accessible to everyone! Create something absolutely amazing! Off the chart! A huge celebration of historic proportions. An event with the warmth and feel of the “good will towards others” spirit of the Christmas holidays, coupled with a global community feel of “we love and honour our planet”… something to truly be proud of.
So what do you think it will take to get people passionate about Mother Earth? What would be your vision of a fabulous Earth Day celebration? Share your comments.
“Miracles” Original Bliss @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
“Question Earth” courtesy of UCLA