Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Reflections

Today was Earth Day. Most pagan bloggers got up really early to wax all righteous about how Earth Day has become a pseudo pagan holiday. Because, you know, 8 sabbats a year just isn't enough. Started in 1970, the movement has become an excuse for every star in Hollywood to go green - if only for 24 hours.

Here's my beef: for the few hours that make up the broadcasting day on April 22nd each year, everybody is hypercharged about recycling, saving some whales, giving to poor kids, etc. Then, like the love we think we feel on Valentine's Day or the instantaneous blank slate we give to loved ones coming off planes after being absent for long periods of time, it fades. Fast. We buy biodegradable underwear and eat only organic, grass fed, free range, free roaming rabbit food that harms nothing and nobody - for one day.

There's nothing wrong with raising awareness for a righteous cause, and saving our planet is potentially the most righteous of all causes, but I just can't get behind this overly commercial...event, for lack of a better term. Is there something wrong with hokey, Hallmark-style holidays such as this? Probably not. But I'm unsure why pagans feel so closely tied with Earth day.

I get that we're all supposed to be tree-hugging eco-Nazis, but to claim this day as ours...hmm... Something feels false about this, too.

My question to you: Are we pressured by others in the pagan community to feel celebratory about Earth Day, because of the ideas that we find the divine in the natural world? Are we allowed to just treat this day as any other? Is Earth Day too commercial, yet? What are YOUR thoughts on Earth Day?

Send responses to IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com, or leave a comment below!

On a literary note: I got a really cool present in the mail today from one Velma Nightshade. Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal looks to be a promising book! If you'd like to read along with me, purchase the book through the link below.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

5 comments:

  1. You raise a good point about Earth Day. One day does not make up for 364--it's like the proverbial "doing what you want on Saturday because you'll make up for it in church on Sunday" that you hear so much about in Christian circles.

    On the other hand, there are benefits to having this special day, that don't often occur to those of us who embrace a Nature-friendly lifestyle all year anyway. For one thing, April 22nd is when all of us eco-nuts wax poetic about the various energy-saving gizmos and compost heaps and other things that the average person can use to reduce his/her ill effects on the planet. When you're not part of a spirituality that charges you to do this stuff anyway, you don't often keep up with all the latest green trends, and Earth Day is the only time you really hear about much.

    Earth Day also reminds us that maybe we should do those little projects we've been putting off. "Maybe I should start saving up for that solar panel TODAY." "Maybe we should stop poisoning our lawns with dangerous chemicals so that the local wildlife can take care of insect control. I'll talk to the homeowners' association." "You know, organic veggies taste a lot better than the usual kind. Maybe I'll stop getting manicures and buy organic instead."

    No, a lot of people don't change their lifestyles as a result of Earth Day. But for some of them, it sticks. And that makes all the difference in the world.


    Also, I've read Lamb, and it was great! Happy reading! :D

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  2. Pressured? No. Everyday is earth day for me because it's my religion and even if it wasn't it was part of my moral code that BROUGHT me to my religion.

    Am I always good at conserving energy and being Earth friendly? No, but I try and I and care and that matters.

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  3. I'm not going to lie, I had no idea it was Earth Day yesterday and to be honest, if I had known, nothing about my day would have been different.
    I recycle, save water, cut down waste and do my best for the environment every damn day. One day out of 365 makes no difference to me.

    I think it's kind of hypocritical to make Earth day some sort of psuedo-holiday when people know, full well, that what they promote on that one day should be done everyday of the year.
    It's a complete cop out. People will use it as an excuse to just do good on that one day and not others. They'll think "Hey, now I've done my bit. Back to my 4x4 car and chain-store, consumer lifestyle."
    The lesson won't be learnt and people won't change unless there is constant pressure to do so. In Germany all garbage bins have recycling containers next to them and actual waste bins are few and far between. Here in the UK I can see some changes taking places but at a snails pace.

    If change is going to happen. If Earth Day is really going to matter then people need to make sure Earth Day is Every Day :D
    *hops off soapbox*

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  4. I feel that Earth Day is an important day for awareness. I do not feel pressured by others to participate, but I do enjoy the day. For me Earth Day is everyday, I try to live by example, as a pagan it is in my blood, I guess you could say.( Eeek my grammar has fallen down and can't get up.)

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  5. Wow. You have a very good point! Why celebrate Earth Day only one day a year? That's sort of pathetic. XD Just like Valentine's Day. You should express your love every day, not just on a single "holiday" that seems to be designed to get you out of work!

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