Today, April 22, is Earth Day, “a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace.” While there are lots of ways to think of today, which just happens to be a beautiful spring day in New York City where I am, the Earth Day Network offers lots of suggestions for calls to action.
Sure, we can promote laws to help reduce the impact of climate change, plant trees, or volunteer to clean parks. All worthy projects on their own and all of which help us to get out of our offices, homes, and routines to interact with nature in some way.
Or, we can foster an elephant orphan.
This is what I did, fostering Siangiki, a little baby elephant who would have otherwise not survived on her own if she were not helped by the wonderful people at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. For a small commitment you can help her be fed and cared for, eventually to be released again in the wild when she is old enough to survive on her own. With 64% of African elephants killed in just the past 3 years, it may not be long before the work of the Sheldrick Trust is not only kind and generous, but literally a link to the survival of the species itself.
So, I ask you, Today Is Earth Day. So what?! The scientific evidence is overwhelming that change is happening–just see what NASA says about it. While those issues are big, complex, and in some ways hard to relate to, just take a look at little Siangiki, and consider how taking one small step can help in a more tangible way.
The question is not what can I do. . . it is what will I do?
Perhaps, in the spirit of open and networked learning moocs like #rhizo15, we can share some of our ideas for how to pitch in and do something, anything, here on Earth Day.