Today is Earth Day. We are now entering the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.
I took part in a small project hosted by the Rotana Hotel in Fahaheel, Kuwait to plant bougainvillea shrubs to mark the occasion.
In 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, they continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of example.
Back then in the 70’s, groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values and came together to make an annual global statement. Earth Day has now reached its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes – we hope.
Here in Kuwait, in the Gulf Region of the Middle East the message seemingly has not come through yet loud and clear, as apathy towards mother earth and real action against environmental disruption plays an all too common role. And yet, this is the area on the globe that receives arguably the most from mother earth in black gold – oil. Looking at the global initiatives that Earth Day has inspired this year, it is hugely disappointing to see there are only 17 projects in the whole of the Gulf and of those, only 2 here in Kuwait see here for the global map of projects. At The Rotana Hotel, staff and guests joined together to plant bougainvillea plants having first painted their pots. It was a lovely initiative by the hotel, and organizer Maricris Limbo agreed that little by little each year more people in Kuwait were becoming aware of such mini projects. Leading the front in the Gulf with inspired projects was the United Arab Emirates where perhaps a more enlightened group of parents see what they must leave for future generations. I personally know of a friend there who will be kayaking around the mangroves collecting discarded plastic bags. As the old saying goes, ‘its never over, until its over’ is at present the best wish and hope for this region of our planet. There are many flag bearers of earth consciousness here, they just need to speak up louder to open peoples eyes… I pray for a better response next year.
So wherever you are, today make a little difference to your part of the planet by planting a tree, tidying the garden or just tending to a plant pot – do something, every little helps…
A fantastic and beautiful way to end this blog is for you to go and watch a wonderful clip about mother earth, it is only 2 minutes long – trust me it will make you think…see it here