Our Best Earth Day Tip? Ask Yourself This Question

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Trash in lake.American Lotus at Rahel Pond, HNC

(Photo credit for image 1: Reuters/Marko Djurica)

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Even though the issues facing our environment and ultimately our health and wellbeing can be vast and sometimes overwhelming, there is hope: Your choices DO make a difference. It’s up to you to decide if your decisions will contribute to image 1 or help conserve image 2.

Below are some ideas to help you make better choices for yourself, your legacy, and yes—YOUR environment!


“Every drop in the ocean counts.”

— Yoko Ono

Your decisions make a difference. Even if it’s deciding to use a reusable or a disposable cup, your choices add up and compound with the actions of those around you (just look at image 1). Don’t forget that your decisions influence others’ decisions too, whether you may know it or not.


“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

— Lily Tomlin

It may not be easy, but rarely the things most worth doing are. This might be contacting a business or political leader about an environmental issue, cleaning up your neighborhood park, simply choosing to use or not use a product, or even talking to those around you about how their decisions can help or hurt.


“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching—even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”

— Aldo Leopold

Us humans have an innate understanding of what is good and what isn’t. It might be looking at the images above and knowing that image 2 is good, or understanding that a decision we made that benefits us but hurts someone else isn’t. Integrity, ethics, and personal responsibility are qualities we all have within us and it’s up to us to let them lead in our lives or not.


"All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy."

— Samantha Power

Being a reliable advocate requires having a deeper-than-surface-level understanding, including how your cause is perceived by others and why.  Digging into these details—which can require challenging our own beliefs—creates an empathetic perspective that allows us to make better-informed decisions and ultimately have more impactful conversations with others that can lead to change.


"Only when I saw the Earth from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility, did I realize that humankind's most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations."

— Sigmund Jähn

In today’s increasingly complex world where new discoveries and technologies are being made every day, staying “down to earth” is getting more and more difficult. And as our minds float in the virtual clouds, we tend to forget about all the magnificent cogs in place that make it possible for us to even exist on this marvelous planet. Let’s make sure that as society progresses, we remain humble and push each other to do what we can to protect and enhance this beautiful and fragile home of ours.


So…Which one will be your legacy?


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