Keep America Beautiful. A very powerful trio of words. Words I agree with 100%. Words I believe we must get children to latch onto as well for they are the problem solvers of tomorrow. They are the ones who will probably have to fight to keep America--the entire planet, really--beautiful. In fact, let's change it to Keep Earth Beautiful. I don't have any children myself, but I spend my days teaching fifth grade. I hope that in the 180 days we are together, they get the message that keeping Earth beautiful is one of the most important things they can do.
Our school is part of Roots & Shoots, a youth program affiliated with The Jane Goodall Institute. Every year we as a school community engage in Earth-friendly projects such as creating a schoolyard wildlife habitat, cutting a nature trail in the woods behind our school, raising money for our local Audubon society or the Big Cat Initiative through National Geographic, and participating in energy saving campaigns. Students get really involved in these projects. From planning, promoting, and executing, they are working together to make a difference. Hopefully, these experiences will extend beyond the school walls and start to shape the way they live their lives as stewards of the planet.
In the fast-paced, high-tech society we now find ourselves in, it is very easy to become disconnected to the little things that make this big blue marble revolving around the sun beautiful. Dewdrops on leaves. Rainbows after a storm. Butterflies fluttering above flowers. Ducks floating on lakes. Mountains reaching up for the clouds. Jungles, deserts, tundras, wetlands. All of it is gorgeous, and by not taking a moment to stop and witness the gift that is this planet, we're missing out. Big time. There have been many times in my own life where I've had a crappy day, my head aches, I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm tense. A few deep breaths just standing in my backyard can change all that. Nothing like a fresh breeze to blow away all that ails you.
So you see, if you keep the Earth beautiful, she'll return the favor.
What will you do to Keep Earth Beautiful this month? Earth Day is in April, but really every day should be Earth Day, don't you think?