Vail Daily column: Celebrate the earth
Ryan Summerlin April 5, 2014
It’s almost time for Earth Day. Are you an environmentalist? If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then you just might be one.
• Do you like to breathe clean air?
• Do you like to drink clean water?
• Do you like fresh, clean, healthy food?
According to Bob Bullard, an advocate for environmental justice, if you breathe air, you are an environmentalist. And on Earth Day, we are encouraged to take a few moments to think about our relationship with this mighty and magnificent planet on which we live. Don’t ever forget that today is the first day of the rest of your life, and it’s never too late to start a good habit, for yourself and for your planet.
At Walking Mountains Science Center, we want everyone to get out and celebrate this Earth Day! It may be mud season around here, but that’s cause for celebration, too! Get outside and paint your face with mud and let the sun’s rays dry the mud until it cakes on your face, marking you as part of the planet. Take a hike, or just sit out in the fresh air; breathe deeply and appreciate that you can. The world is a beautiful place and if we don’t enjoy it occasionally, it’s an easy thing to forget.
What’s that? You want to do more this Earth Day? That’s great news, because there really is so much that we can do. Stop by Walking Mountains and check out the Energy Resource Center! Learn about how new light bulbs and simple fixes at home can reduce your energy use as well as increase comfort. We’re offering half off energy assessments for everyone who signs up at the Science Center, so stop by on Earth day to learn more!
Learn from environmentalists
Environmentalists sometimes have a bad rap, especially around Vail, but we all enjoy the fruits of their labor. Environmentalists from the past, along with their groundbreaking stories, will be featured in an evening film on Earth Day at Walking Mountains at 6:30 p.m. “A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet,” part of the Sustainable Community Film series sponsored by the town of Avon, features the stories from pioneers of the environmental movement as they share their trials and tribulations. There is much to learn from these tales of environmental activism and unrest, showing us the path others have walked and allowing us to see how far we’ve come.
We want everyone to be part of the Earth Day celebration this year, and so we are offering a valley-wide essay contest for students. Grand prizes will be awarded for the most thoughtful and practical ideas in each age division, including a one-of-a-kind Walking Mountains snowboard donated by our local Minturn snowboard shop, Weston Snowboards, for the high school winner! Check out our website for more information and to submit your winning essay!
We know that the human race hasn’t always been good to Mother Earth. But I like to believe that this was more out of ignorance than from evil intentions. As we move forward together, Earth Day reminds us of the integral role that we all play in the future of our planet and the future of humanity. Happy Earth Day!
Jaymee Squires is the director of graduate programs at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon. Earth Day is her favorite holiday; ask her for some of her famous sunshine granola if you see her out and about on this day!