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Weis: Thinking Ahead

03/13/12 5:55PM By Russ Weis
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(Host) April 22nd is Earth Day, but environmental educator and commentator Russ Weis thinks that March is a perfectly good time to start planning ways to act on behalf of the planet.

(Weis) Environmentalists like to say, “Make every day Earth Day.”

For Vermonters, March is the month of Town Meeting, when we act locally but also think globally. So I think March is a great time to consider the many ways people in our state are marching forward to make a difference for our planet.

This past Saturday, March 10th, marked the anniversary of the revolt that led to the ongoing exile from Tibet of the Dalai Lama, who believes that “...ecology should be a part of our daily lives.” The banished spiritual leader once said, “Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart.” And he’s taken numerous enlightened positions on eco-issues the world over, including one that many Vermont environmentalists share; namely, opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposal for our own continent that many fear would generate vast new volumes of greenhouse gases.

March is also the month of Pi Day - March 14th, or 3 dash 14 - as in the mathematical constant 3.14.

And, fittingly enough, it's the birthday of the great mathematically minded scientist, Albert Einstein, who said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So tomorrow, I’ll salute the father of the theory of relativity, as well as Mother Earth, by eating a slice of pie - locally baked, of course.

And while I’m at it I’ll also ponder this bit of food for thought: how many new ways can I find for my family and friends to eat at least relatively locally every day of the year? This should be easy as pie to do, given that Vermont has become a leader in the local food movement.

March is also the month when we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, which is always a good day to “think green.” This year the town of Charlotte is hosting a “Green Homes Open House” on that festive holiday, where those Vermonters who are already living the green dream will give us a look at their solar panels, compost systems, and the like.

And, finally, March 2st is “Vermont Energy Independence Day.” On this first full day of spring, we’re being invited to grab a camera and film our state’s local energy success stories. We can interview a neighbor, visit an energy project, or talk with a town committee – anything we can think of to tell the tale of how we’re collectively moving toward a shared green future. There’s even a website where we can upload our images to become part of a YouTube film. With projects like this, we don’t have to be the leader of Tibet, a great scientist, or the patron saint of the Emerald Isle to make a difference in the world.

In fact, I’m willing ti-bet that, if enough of us everyday citizens keep the Earth in mind every day, then it’s neither pie in the sky nor a bunch of blarney to think that together we can create a sustainable green future.
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