I’m going to momentarily age myself: one of my favorite shows as a kid was Captain Planet and the Planeteers. (Don’t judge me!) In case you have no idea about this fantastic show, it was about a group of teenagers who encouraged environmentally-responsible behaviors. And, of course, they used their awesome rings to summon Captain Planet, a superhero who dealt with environmental crises. Seriously, you should check out some of these old clips on YouTube. These days, there’s still a bit of remaining nostalgia – the Captain Planet Foundation has programs and events to help kids get involved in taking care of the earth.
Why did I love this show so much? For one, it was fun. But I also learned a lot from it. I learned about clean water, endangered animals and the importance of the oxygen released from trees. It helped stir a great love for the earth.
Throughout my elementary and middle school years, Earth Day was a big deal. This enhanced my fascination with protecting the rock on which we live. Teachers would create enticing activities that related to taking care of our planet and raising awareness to the dangers we have allowed into our environment. We would plant flowers around our school, learning about how pollination helps the earth thrive. We would research endangered species and discover ways that we could help prevent their extinctions. It was fun, educational, and important.
Now, as an adult in “the real world,” I’ve discovered that most people don’t actually care about saving the planet anymore. We’re all wrapped up in meeting deadlines, affording rent, and raising children; we have forgotten the importance of planting flowers. We can’t find the time to take care of ourselves, much less be concerned with the hazards of smog and destroying the rainforest. We often are consumed by the day-to-day and no longer look at the bigger picture.
But we forget that we – and the children that we’re raising – are affected daily by the combined actions of other people.
This year, Earth Day Foundation has chosen the 2019 theme as Earth Day: Protect Our Species. The goal is to raise awareness of endangered species and advocate the various ways to protect them. (Did you know that giraffes are in danger of extinction?!) So this Earth Day, let’s get back to loving our planet, even if only on April 22nd. And maybe – just maybe – we can get our kids to be as excited about saving the world as we once were.