This Earth Day - Are You a Human 'Being' Or a Human 'Doing'?

by Brian Price, Certified Personal Trainer

Every day, our planet Earth is a bit overlooked. It is taken for granted, trashed, polluted and mismanaged. We assume the sun will rise, we will have air to breathe and food will be provided to sustain life. We assume there will always be flowing water and trees will always be a natural resource. We assume this because we do not know anything else.  

But, what if? What if the sun didn’t shine as bright due to increased air pollution? What if trees are continually cut down or animals and plants started to die off? What if there were fewer flowing streams? What would we do? April 22 is Earth Day, which serves as a reminder to continue striving to make environmentally responsible choices throughout our lives. There is an ancient Indian proverb that says “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. Every day, more and more of the Earth’s resources are destroyed. Trees are cut down, animals are poached, and our air is becoming polluted. Additionally, we are not getting healthier. In fact, today’s population is experiencing more illnesses and more obesity-related diseases and early deaths than our ancestors. So, what can we do for ourselves and our Earth?

It doesn’t take a specific day to become eco-friendly. Nor does it take a specific day to take steps to increase your health or the health of those around you. What it does take is action and dedication. You can do simple things like walk or take public transportation instead of drive your car, pick up yours and others' trash, and recycle. As we incorporate more of these changes and behaviors, we’ll generate less waste. But, no matter how efficient we become at reducing and reusing, recycling will always play a key role in preserving our resources. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. generated more than 34 million tons of food waste in 2010 – averaging more than 200 pounds per person – and that doesn’t include what was recycled. You can make recycling fun for the family.  For example, raid the recycle bin and find items to make games. They can be as simple as plastic bottles for bowling pins to creating an army in the backyard made out of everyday household items such as boxes, ice cream containers, straws, tin foil, newspaper and old clothing. 

As far as increasing your overall health, you can start simply by getting more activity in your day. Go outside and enjoy the scenery with your family. Or, you can improve your diet. You can eat more organically grown foods or eat more sustainable foods which provide proper nutrition while not harming the environment.

Start enjoying more activity to increase your overall health and well-being and do something that will preserve our Earth. The future generations will thank you. On April 22, and from this point forward, be less of a human “being” and be more of a human “doing”.