|Starved Rock State Park, IL|
“The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.” - Gaylord Nelson
Happy Earth Day everyone! Here in the Midwest it was a beautiful sunny day, albeit a bit chilly due to a strong wind. Wherever you are, and whatever the weather conditions I hope you took some time out today to take stock of the world around you, and give thanks and appreciation to this amazing planet we call home. I hope you also engaged in your own personal act of conservation to show solidarity for the Earth. - ie. Keeping your lights turned off, using as little electricity as possible, taking a garbage bag when you go out walking and collect some trash, donate a few dollars to an environmental organization etc... - Spent as much time as you could outside and enjoyed the wonders that nature has to offer, far too often we take this world for granted and today is the perfect day for us to all stop, take a step back and ‘smell the roses’ so to speak.
A little bit of interesting Earth Day information for you is that the origin of Earth Day is credited to a former Wisconsin senator named Gaylord Nelson. After witnessing the destruction caused by the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and inspired by the student anti-war movement of the time, he called for an environmental teach-in, or Earth Day to be held on April 22nd 1970. Over 20 million people participated in that first year, and now Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd of each year by more then 500 million people, and several national governments in 175 countries. Now there is even an Earth Week, which is celebrated by many communities around the world in which the entire week people focus on environmental issues and activities. Nelson, who was an environmentalist and conservation activist took a leading role in organizing the original celebration, modeling it on the Vietnam war teach-in’s of the time, and hoping to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda.
It really is amazing how such an enormous movement can grow out of one simple idea. Such things always give me hope for humanity.
“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” - Gaylord Nelson
Since I already try to live everyday of my life as environmentally friendly as possible, my Earth Day celebration this year focused on just taking time to appreciate the world. I started my day by going for a nice long walk. I stopped by the lake near my home to visit the families of Canadian Geese that reside there year round. I’ve been visiting them for years, but haven’t had much of an opportunity over the past couple of weeks to see them. This morning I discovered that one family has had it’s goslings already. Six cute, fuzzy yellow fluff balls chirping and waddling around the tall grass. So I found a sunny spot on the grass overlooking the lake to sit and watch them for a while. They are the most adorable little things, and seeing them always fills me with joy. After returning home I played with my dog for a while and went for a second walk this time with her as my companion. I spent some time hooping in my yard, enjoying the sun and the breeze, and then it was off to the kitchen to prepare a feast fit for an Earth Day celebration.
I wanted the dishes to be relatively simply, and yet a bit gourmet. I wanted them to take into account all the wonderful bounty of spring produce, and I wanted them to reflect the holiday we were celebrating. Every dish - except the dessert - incorporated something green to represent Mother Earth and Nature. Every dish utilized at least one fruit, vegetable or herb we commonly associate with the change of season and the warmer months. The resulting meal was more then I could ever have hoped for, and it was well worth the three hours I spent preparing it. By the time everything was plated, all the photos were taken and we sat down to eat, we had a lovely four course meal laid out before us.
It started with an appetizer of Crostini with Pesto and sauteed Chanterelle Mushrooms. Followed by a warm - not hot - Creamy Spring Pea Soup. Next was a Kickin’ Kale Coleslaw, and finally the main dish, a delicious, delectable Spring Onion Phyllo Tart. After another walk to and around the lake we returned home to enjoy our fifth and final course, dessert. Which was a melt in your mouth Blackberry Vanilla Buttercream Cake with Blackberry Buttercream frosting. Keep your eyes peeled because I promise recipes and photos of all five or our Earth Day dishes will be appearing in the next week. They were just too good not to share!
Finally we ended the night by going to see Disney’s new Earth Day feature “Chimpanzee” which was an absolutely incredible film. Not only for it’s moving story but for it’s feats of technical brilliants and awe-inspiring camera work. The film had me smiling with joy, teary with sadness, and totally dumb-struck by beauty the entire way through. If you haven’t yet seen the film, I highly recommend it, and if you do choose to go please go during the first week. As a percentage of all ticket proceeds in the first week is donated to the Jane Goodall Institute as a part of the “See Chimpanzee’s, Save Chimpanzee’s” program to help protect chimpanzee’s and their habitat. Or if you can’t or don’t want to see the film you can always go to the Jane Goodall Institute or Disney Nature’s website to see how you can help Chimpanzee’s in other ways. Remember that every little bit helps, and it’s the least we can do for these amazing creatures that are so like us.
Happy Earth Day!
May the majesty and beauty of nature always surround you.
“It’s not just a fight for clean air, but a fight for everyone in this country to live in a personal environment in which he can live like a human being.” - Mary Lou Oates
The Jane Goodall Institute
“The fault lies not in the science and technology as such but in the sense of values of the contemporary world which ignores the rights of others.” - Indira Gandhi