Editorial: Let’s resolve to save Earth

New year’s resolutions are broken and forgotten. So why not start anew, this week, with Earth Day resolutions?

Many of us make new year’s resolutions every Jan. 1 and by now, most of them are broken and forgotten. So why not start anew, this week, with Earth Day resolutions?

This Wednesday (April 22) is Earth Day, and as there aren’t really any mainstream traditions that comprise the celebrations, we are free to decide how to mark the occasion.

We might get a few million years on this planet, if we’re careful, and each of us gets to live here for 81.25 of those years. It doesn’t seem too much to ask, for us to keep it clean and tidy while we’re here, and wouldn’t it be a good and worthy thing to do to leave it better off than when we arrived?

It does seem a daunting task some days, the sort of days when we make messes like this month’s English Bay oil spill, have to scrub ducks with dish soap and recognize that there was a failing somewhere along the way. Are future generations going to see the Strait of Georgia the way we imagine it to be, pristine, wild, beautiful? Or will it be another polluted waterway, like too many around the world, that have become outfalls of human waste and selfishness, where we wouldn’t dream of even dipping our toes.

Every day we do see instances of people doing their part to make their environment a better place. For instance, Ontario and Quebec are announcing a new carbon-credit partnership. Carbon credits aren’t a perfect solution, but they have merit, and maybe we can think along those lines as individuals. If we’re not going to stop making single-occupancy commutes in our SUVs, then maybe we can earn a credit some other way, by cleaning a stream or planting a tree or improving our recycling efforts.

It is our choice to save the world or not, but there is some responsibility, we think, to leave it in good enough condition so that future generations will have that choice, too.

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