The Countdown to Earth Day series is BACK in Kane County Connects, as Earth Day (April 22) is approaching.
This year, we have a whole new list of things focusing on taking ACTION: what you can do to show your appreciation for the earth and make a positive impact. Today is the first day of three weeks full of tips — 15 in all, one for every business day before Earth Day.
Throughout this series, find out how your actions matter and how the choices you make can benefit our Earth. Then share that message with your family and friends!
— Jessica Mino, Resource Management Coordinator
Kane County Division of Environmental & Water Resources
March 29, 2018
Tip #15 — Get Inspired
What is a better motivator than inspiration? Beginning the Countdown to Earth Day series, I encourage you to GET INSPIRED. Take time to observe your environment, appreciate the beauty around us, and seek out knowledge to strengthen your drive. Become inspired to care for your Earth and all the living things that it entails.
Earth Day is one reminder that the environment is not a separate component of our lives; it is all around us and part of our daily lives. Our health, well-being, and future depend on the environment.
I am inspired this Earth Day by Aldo Leopold, who was a(n) conservationist, forester, educator, and outdoor enthusiast. Leopold wrote, “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
This is true no matter where we are throughout Kane County.
In the agricultural lands, we are surrounded by winding streams, soil, and crops with Canada Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and Red-tailed Hawks passing overhead; in subdivisions, a variety of landscaping plants, insects, and critters, such as rabbits and chipmunks, surround our families and pets as American Robins feast in the turf grass; and in the cities, different species of trees, shrubs, and birds are dispersed among buildings, as stormwater races across the pavement each time rain falls.
In all of these places, soil is below us, water runs around us and air surrounds us. The environment extends beyond our parks and preserves and is something that we are continuously a part of.
Now it is time to discover what inspires you …
One of the best ways to get inspired is to take the time to observe your surroundings. This can be finding a quiet spot in a park or forest preserve, hopping in a kayak to catch a view from the Fox River, or simply taking a moment to look around on your normal commute to work.
Leopold was an avid observer, similar to the habits of the world-renowned conservationist, Jane Goodall. Like these well-known environmentalists, build your connection with our natural world through observation where ever you are.
You can do this by simply taking in the sights, smells, and sounds, or by making a point to sketch or write in a journal, as Leopold and Goodall frequently did.
Seek Out Knowledge
To understand how you can transform this inspiration into action, it is important to learn HOW environmental systems work, and WHAT you can do to make an impact. For Earth Day, seek out this knowledge! Take a few moments to explore the links below and gain a deeper understanding of our connection to the environment.
Sustainability is the key factor connecting how we live our lives to the well-being of the earth and future generations.
- The Environmental Protection Agency explains that pursuing sustainability is “to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.” Follow the EPA’s sustainability guidance at the Agency’s Sustainability or Greener Living resources.
Explore Kane County’s commitment to sustainability at Sustain Kane.
- Strive to reach the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, labeled the “17 Goals to Transform Our World.”
- Discover water conservation with the Kane County Division of Environmental & Water Resources’ World Water Day article.
- Look for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label that is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water.
- Practice National Geographic’s freshwater conservation tips.
Promote energy efficiency by looking for products with the Energy Star label.
- Explore Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Clean Energy with the Department of Energy.
Conservation and Wildlife:
- Learn how to plant, protect, and appreciate trees from the Morton Arboretum.
- The Fox Valley Wildlife Center provides information on how to help wildlife and what to do if you have found a wild animal.
- Preserve the Fox River with the Conservation Foundation’s Guide.
- Discover our local open lands and wildlife with the Forest Preserve of Kane County and Illinois DNR.
To continue building your knowledge base, follow reputable environmental organizations on social media, sign-up to receive newsletters, or even better, attend meetings and events. Information about our environment is all around us; you just have to be receptive to it!
Use the inspiration you have gained to take part in the rest of the Countdown to Earth Day series. Take a moment to consider your actions, observe how our natural elements surround you, and be an active learner all year long.
Enjoy the month of Earth Day as we strive for a great environment!
For general questions and to get started, reach out to the Kane County Division of Environmental & Water Resources or one of the organizations in this article or throughout the Countdown to Earth Day series.