“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the hell you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all in a miserable home….., choose your future……, choose life.”
Nothing summed up a generation of global capitalism and consumerism, things we didn’t need, or want, keeping up with the Jones’s, or now the Kardashian’s. Life having little meaning other than the rampant greed of the 1980’s and 1990’s summed up brilliantly in monologue spoken by Trainspotting chief protagonist Mark Renton in John Hodge’s screenplay for the film.
Today, Wednesday 22nd of April sees us celebrate the 50th year of Earth Day. It is an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries. And Earth Day is and always will be a very real rebellion against everything that Trainspotting speech denotes and a celebration of everything beautiful nature offers!
The reason why we celebrate Earth Day is that it affirms the principle of human beings as an equal part of nature and that though we have the greatest benefit of being the intelligent species, we also have the enormous responsibility of protecting the Planet – so far we have failed!
Has anything changed since that rebellion speech in Trainspotting in 1996?
Fifty-years of angry voices shouting, environmental activists marching, Millennials’ pleading with politicians and corporations to respect the planet. A school girl from Sweden turned environmental activist shaming world leaders for their shoddy green credentials and disrespect for the planet and its future generations.
Globalisation raging, ice-caps melting, droughts, floods, forest fires, earths biodiversity dying at a rate not seen for 65-million years since the annihilation of the dinosaurs! And we have just one generation – less than 12-years to start healing our planet before it’s too late!
And even knowing all this it seems the world’s super powers – the worst offenders still aren’t listening.
But the irony is that since the global pandemic Covid-19, and a worldwide lockdown we have seen the human-race fighting for its survival while nature quite rightly re-claims what is rightfully hers all along!
There have been many positive stories of how wildlife, nature, forests, ice-caps, coral reefs, rivers, air quality and the ozone layer have seen positive outcomes because the world has come to a standstill.
It is amazing to see that a planet so damaged can begin to heal itself – proof that when life gets back to normal it’s not too late to make the changes we need to ensure our planet’s survival.
And as Millennials have pointed out, the horror and panic that the world is feeling right now because of the global pandemic is how Millennials feel every day worrying about the on-going destruction of the planet and their future on it.
So, we must, must, must learn lessons because our environmental mistakes have been huge – the learning curve we can embrace from this is just as big. Because the only thing worse than being the worst offender is being the worst repeat offender!
We aren’t world leaders, but we all have the capability to lead!
During pervious celebrations of Earth Day, there have concerts, festivals, tree plantings, litter picks, community recycling projects, energy conservation, growing your own or even keeping a birdfeeder full!
Because of the pandemic Earth Day 2020 with its theme of, Climate action will be different due to the lockdown and social distancing regulations.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t get involved, you can’t lead and a small environmental legacy. Click the link to see what you can do to help save your planet and become part of that global environmental legacy! https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/
And right now, we have the time to think about what we can do today, tomorrow and every day after that to do our bit to save the planet and make it healthy again.
No matter when or how you celebrate Earth Day, its message about the personal responsibility we all share to “think globally and act locally” as environmental stewards of planet Earth has never been more timely or important.
So why not choose…., a litter pick, a long walk, join a conservation group, recycle more, upcycle everything, donate more, throw away less, grow you own, plant a tree, plant another tree, feed wildlife in your garden, make do and mend, buy less, value more, go vegetarian, boycott plastic packaging, shop locally, walk more, drive less, ride a bike, volunteer, go paperless, adopt an animal, turn your thermostat down, have shorter showers, don’t have baths, start a compost heap, join a library, cook, not convenience, invest in house plants to cut pollution, car share, insulate your home, garden more, join, get involved in your community, join an environmental group, have the courage of your convictions, share your green credentials, be mindful, get mad, think outside of yourself, think longterm.
Choose your future, choose their future…, choose life…, and choose it together!