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What’s so bad about hugging trees?

Burning through Earth’s natural resources irresponsibly is much worse

Whitney Beyer

The Broadside

I hug trees.
OK, I don’t literally hug them. When I say I hug trees, I mean that I, by definition, am a tree hugger. A tree hugger is most universally defined as someone who cares about the environment.
On Apr. 22, over 1 billion people will hug trees as they collectively admire their favorite parent: Mother Earth.
Earth Day – a day of sustainability and green love – comes once a year, and while nothing particularly eventful happens on this day, it’s one of my favorites. In fact, I wish every day could be Earth Day. More so, I wish everyone could be a tree hugger.
While I personally don’t mind being labeled a tree hugger, I find it unfortunate that so many people attach a negative connotation to the label.
If anything, I would think being called a polluter or a tree hater would be a much more offensive term, but it’s only us “tree-hugging hippies” that suffer the name-calling. In my humble, opinionated opinion, I’d rather be a tree hugger than an excessive consumer of our world’s natural resources.
For many, Earth Day will bring out the inner tree hugger; some will plant trees, some will ride their bikes to work, and some will acknowledge that nagging voice in the back of their heads that seems to be screaming: “Reduce, reuse, recycle!”
On Apr. 23, however, many of those people will go back to their tree-hating lives as they suppress their inner tree hugger until Earth Day 2011.
So, in honor of the Earth and not just Earth Day, I challenge everyone to do something mindful for Mother Earth every day.
I’m not saying everyone needs to retire their vehicles and stop taking showers, I’m merely suggesting more conscious actions here and there in regards to the planet.
Picking a couple of papers out of the trash and moving them into the recycle bin or spending the extra dollar on locally-grown produce may not seem like it’s going to matter, but it does.
People underestimate the power of unity. If every single person on this great big planet were to do something small, the collective impact would be unfathomable.
For me, personally, every day is a day to remember how fertile and yet fragile our great, providing earth is; every day is a day to reduce, reuse, and recycle; every day is a day to do my part to reduce my carbon footprint in any way possible, and my greatest hope is that maybe every day can be Earth Day for you, too.

You may contact Whitney Beyer at wbeyer@cocc.edu

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