Earth Day on April 22, was founded by a U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, after witnessing the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day is one of the largest civic events in the world, celebrated by close to 1 billion people every year. This year, will be the 45th Earth Day. Throughout the week and on April 22 itself, groups of people from all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities will join together for festivals, rallies, and environmental activities which build community awareness and activism.

What Can You Do on Earth Day?

  • Plant a tree
  • Carry your own water bottle and grocery bag
  • Become a vegetarian
  • Buy locally grown vegetables
  • Print less
  • Walk, hike, ride a bike
  • Remember Earth Day should be every day

Sadhguru on Consciousness and Conservation

Sadhguru relates a story showing the importance of being conscious of everything, especially for those on the spiritual path.

Sadhguru: There is a beautiful story about a Zen master. In Asia, usually people take cold-water baths, like a dip in the river. Once in a way they may have a hot-water bath, where they sit on a stool, and oil is applied and they are properly scrubbed. It takes one or two people to do this job.

The Zen master was being given a bath like this by his two disciples. After the bath was over, there was a very small amount of water remaining, which the disciples then threw out. When he saw this, the Zen master took a stick and started beating both of them. “Why did you throw that little bit of water?”

“That little bit? What are you talking?”

“Yes! You could have watered a plant.”

“What difference does it make,” his disciples asked. “We will water the plants if you want.”

But that’s not the point. The point is, the Earth that you walk upon, the air that you breathe, the water that you drink, this is the life-making material. You never think, “Chuck this little finger and throw it away.” If you want to become truly inclusive, you must learn to treat everything the same way. You must bring awareness to this. It is very important.

It is not about turning on or turning off the lights. It is not about saving food, water or the economy. Living consciously is important. Whatever is around, whether it is a fan or a light, turn it on and off consciously. It is not for the electricity or the bulb, it is important for you.”

Editor’s Note: Support Project GreenHands, a massive grass-roots environmental movement by gifting or sponsoring a tree.