#earthday, #ecology, #environment -



© 2019 by Marsha Silvestri

In honor of Earth Day (April 22nd) and Earth Week, concurrent this year with Easter (April 21st), the topic of today's LifeBlog is RENEWAL.


Easter always coincides with the spring season of new beginnings, renewal and rebirth. The date for Easter changes year-to-year according to the Lunar calendar as the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the March 21 Vernal Equinox. Orthodox Easter, based on the Julian Calendar, usually occurs about a week later. In Christianity, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Resurrection is a common theme in many religions and cultures observing feasts and festivals celebrating the Rites of Spring, such as Beltane from Celtic traditions, which occurs on April 30–May 1st. In pagan traditions Ostara preceded Easter as a time of renewal after a long cold winter.   

In nature, the transition into spring represents the cycle of new life after the dying leaves and fallen seeds of autumn, the awakening from hibernation of living creatures at rest through the dormancy of winter, and the regeneration of nature. Seeds are sprouting new shoots, leaves are budding on branches, and flowers blooming, blossoming, preparing for the fruits of summer. Spring is considered the season of fertility, which is where the tradition of easter eggs and bunnies originated. Rabbits are known to procreate rapidly, and spring flowers also symbolize fertility.


Also in spring Passover (Pesach) is observed as a reminder of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. According to the Jewish Lunar Calendar, Passover falls on the 14th day of the month of Nissan, the first Full Moon marking the start of Spring. The holiday is linked to Easter because it is believed that the Last Supper of Christ was actually a Passover Seder. Both Easter and Passover are celebrations of rebirth, liberation, and the promise of life renewed. This year (2019, Hebrew year 5779) Passover begins on April 20th, coinciding with the Sun entering the sign of Taurus. Passover is observed for 7 or 8 days, being concurrent this year with Easter, Earth Day, and Arbor Day.


The Cherry Blossom Festival, (aka Hanami Sakura Matsuri) celebrated in Japan and now worldwide, is another symbol of renewal. Hanami means “watching blossoms”, and sakura is the word for “cherry blossoms”. The blooming of cherry blossoms is very short, lasting about 2 weeks before the petals start to fall, symbolizing the fleeting nature of life. The festival dates back more than 1000 years. Depending on the weather for the peak blooming season for each local region, the festival usually runs between mid March, and the end of April. Celebrations can include parades, ceremonies, parties, traditional music, dancing, costumes and customs, as well as the planting of new cherry trees. 


Trees function as the lungs of the planet. They provide oxygen that we breathe, shelter for birds and other species, protection from winds, plus shade and cooling from the Sun in hot and extreme climates. Their leaves help purify the air, turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. Many trees provide healthy food, fruits and nuts for humans, animals and insects. Their root systems provide stability to the soil to prevent erosion. When their leaves fall, they decay to replenish and enrich the soil. Forests also contribute to the planetary water cycle by trapping and circulating moisture into the atmosphere from condensation. Their aesthetic beauty value cannot be underestimated. Saving our trees and forests should be among our top concerns for preserving life on Earth and restoring balance to the atmosphere and land. We need to replace trees faster than they are being destroyed, and work towards stopping illegal logging and all deforestation. 


Arbor Day is a tradition dedicated to the planting of trees. It began in Spain in the late 1500s and was adopted in the US on April 10th 1872 when one million trees were planted in Nebraska. President Roosevelt, a conservationist, issued a proclamation on April 15th 1907 about the importance of preserving the forests. The tradition eventually spread worldwide with dates that vary from country to country. In the USA National Arbor Day falls on the last Friday of April, celebrated in 2019 on Friday April 26th. 

The Nature Conservancy has an ongoing mission goal to plant a billion trees to help save the Earth from deforestation. Massive tree planting projects are taking place in China, India, and several other countries recognizing the essential value of forest restoration. Unfortunately many forests are still being clear-cut for building timber, fuel burning, agriculture / farming, ranching / livestock grazing, plus real estate development; and in major cities worldwide trees are being felled to install 5G cell towers. The insanity of this is mind-boggling, and the decisions to remove these trees are usually never approved or decided by the citizens of the areas who prefer the trees to stay… 


4/20 Day aka National Weed Day, is an unofficial holiday falling on April 20th during Earth Week. It celebrates the cannabis community. For centuries cannabis, a species of the hemp plant containing the psychoactive substance THC, was regarded as a powerful sacred medicinal herb, beneficial for countless health conditions. Non-THC hemp (aka industrial hemp) has hundreds of industrial uses that are much more sustainable for the environment than many other plants or synthetic materials, petrochemicals and petroleum-based products. Hemp is drought-resistant, easy to grow/fast-growing, economical and does not deplete the soil like many other crops. It actually helps remove toxins from the soil.

Sadly the herb has been vilified, maligned, propagandized and criminalized through the past century due to corrupt corporate, industrial and political interests that stood to gain from its prohibition. Hemp became highly regulated in the 1930s due to competition with the paper industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the cotton and synthetic fabric industries. The strict criminalization of marijuana in 1970 also served to provide big bucks to the legal system, while the war on drugs greatly discriminated against countless poor and minority populations, to fill and enrich the prison industrial system. 

There's been an ongoing movement towards the decriminalization of cannabis, being a natural herb with a multitude pf positive beneficial uses and no serious side effects. Although recently non-THC hemp has been legalized, THC cannabis remains in a gray area. As of 2018, 14 states have decriminalized it, but have not fully legalized it. Many restrictions remain while BigParma is poised to cash in on synthetic and patented forms and uses for the plant. CBD oil right now is one of the hottest products, and other hemp products are quickly supplying hungry market demands for hemp-based foods, clothing, fabrics, fibers, paper, biofuels, building materials, biodegradable plastics, batteries, plus many medicinal, beauty and hygiene products. 


In 1962 ecologist Rachel Carson published a book “Silent Spring” that became a New York Times bestseller sparking mainstream concerns about environmental issues. It brought public awareness to the dangers of the chemical and pesticide industries and their future impact on nature. Ironically Carson died in 1964 from cancer, the disease she predicted would be among the potential consequences of DDT and other toxic chemicals. 

During that decade people were stating to wake up to the devastating impact on human health from pesticides, radiation and pollution. The back-to-nature movement of the late 1960s inspired the hippie values of peace, love, non-violence, organic gardening and living simply off the land.


The first Earth Day in 1970 was considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. Conceived by John McConnell, a San Francisco activist, and Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, partly inspired by the youth anti-war movement and response to the ravages of a 1969 massive oil spill, Earth Day was founded as a grass-roots effort dedicating day of education bringing awareness to growing environmental issues.

April 22 was the date chosen for Earth Day to tie it in with the tree-planting conservation traditions of Arbor Day (originally April 10th). The 4/22 date was also selected to coordinate with the college spring break, to encourage as much student participation as possible. It was estimated that over 20 million American's took to the streets participating in activities for the first Earth Week. These included trash and litter cleanups, rallies, marches, demonstrations, promoting bicycling, exhibits, teach-ins, die-ins, and other forms of volunteering and activism. Many protestors were arrested.

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment took on issues of industrial air and water pollution, toxic waste, nuclear waste, sewage, recycling, pesticides, auto pollution, freeway smog, the loss of wilderness and many species, as well as finding and promoting solutions to these growing problems. Groups began to organize to fight against the business establishments responsible for much of the pollution, and to influence political powers to regulate the offending industries. Positive initiatives that resulted from that first Earth Day included the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, The Endangered Species Act (1973), plus the formation of many environmental organizations.

With serious threats to nature continuing to impact our entire planet, in 1990 the Earth Day movement went global, mobilizing over 200 million people worldwide, leading to the first United Nations Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. Today Earth Day is celebrated worldwide in over 150 countries. Unfortunately today we also face many worse environmental challenges and catastrophes than existed 50 years ago.


Each year Earth Day celebrates a special theme or cause. The 2019 theme is “Protect Our Species”. So many animals, insects and plants have already become extinct or are facing severe threats unless we do more to stop the assaults to the planet. Currently the number of vanishing species is estimated to be up to 10,000 times higher than “natural extinction rates”.

The bee die-offs are most concerning as bees are needed for the pollination and survival of plants and crops for food. Major coral reefs are dying, essential for the balance and habitats of marine life. Giant dead zones composed of garbage patches are killing off ocean life. Micro plastics and plastic trash are killing sea animals and birds. Unexplained mass bird and fish deaths have appeared across the globe. Raw sewage, industrial and agricultural waste dumped into oceans and waterways are also causing a lack of oxygen and imbalances leading to dead zones and toxic algae growth.

It is estimated that over 80% of the world's rainforest have been destroyed over the past few decades. Rainforests are the habitats for about 60% of the planet's wildlife species. Experts estimate that we are losing 137 plant and animal species every day! According to the World Wildlife Fund reports, humanity is responsible for the extinction of 60% of animal populations since 1970. That's 60% fewer mammals, birds, fish and reptiles than 50 years ago! Freshwater habitats have collapsed by 83%. Half of all plant species have also been wiped out. Even if the destruction ceased today, experts believe it would take 5–7 years for the natural world to recover. Deforestation also is responsible for the destruction and displacement of thousands of indigenous communities along with their cultural traditions and centuries of plant wisdom.


The leaking of radiation since 2011 from the Fukushima nuclear power plant continues to poison and heat the Pacific ocean. Fish are turning up deformed and diseased from radiation poisoning. The burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil, and gas are increasing carbon emissions and pollution. Weather modification (aka chemtrails) geo-engineering is disrupting normal weather patterns causing more severe storms, floods, as well as contributing to massive mega-wildfires. Fracking is poisoning underground water systems, leaving many communities uninhabitable, destroying property values of the residents. GMOs threaten food diversity and have known and unknown long-term consequences.


There is still heated debate (pun intended) about the causes for global warming. What is certain, is that human activity has a major impact on the Arctic icecap melting and rise in sea levels, threatening all coastal cities worldwide much sooner than previously predicted. Temperature rising also impacts weather patterns, causing extreme heatwaves, severe drought, increased wildfires, desertification and loss of wildlife and human life. Superstorms and tornadoes are also linked to weather pattern changes. Climate changes have existed for centuries as natural cycles, but according to long-term record-keeping, warming patterns have accelerated in recent decades due to human activity. ( )

And don't even get me started on all the devastating environmental impacts of war and the military industrial complex. That insanity is a topic best left for its own blog post. There are many more environmental problems and challenges, too many to cover fully in this post, but for now I will put those aside to focus on viable solutions for what we can do as individuals in our lives and communities to make a positive difference.

We're all part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth, and now more than ever the citizens of this planet need to unite in the quest to do our part in the healing of the planet and the survival of future generations. 


The Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a new international grass-roots socio-political, environmental movement that began in 2018. Similar to the youth involvement in the first Earth Day celebrations, XR has inspired many young activists, students and millennials with a sense of apocalyptic urgency that demands civil disobedience to confront and call out the capitalistic greed and neocolonialism responsible for the greatest injustices, exploitation and abuses to nature and humanity. Their mission is to use nonviolent resistance draw attention to their ultimate cause - to gain public support and influence policies towards averting climate breakdown, halting biodiversity loss, and minimizing the risks of ecological collapse that can lead to human extinction. Their actions include organized group art, theater, marches and social media networking to raise public awareness to the most urgent ecological issues we face today. Their logo, an X within a circle forming a symbol of an hourglass, emphasizes their focus on the survival of humanity, signifying that we're running out of time unless major changes are made. 

If activism is not your cup of tea, there are so many other activities and conscious personal choices individuals can make in our daily lives towards being part of the solutions. 


Below are 10 simple tips and positive actions anyone can do to help.

  1. Become aware and share: educate yourself, your family and others about many serious environmental issues and actions you can take to help.
  2. Respect Mother Earth: make personal choices to reduce waste, pollution and consumption of resources. Do no harm, and clean up after yourself.
  3. Recycle: plastics, metals, glass, papers. Donate unwanted clothing, books & furniture to needy causes or individuals. 
  4. Reuse or Repair what you own, Up-cycle or Re-purpose outdated items. Give them new life.
  5. Refuse single-use plastics, bags, straws, utensils, packaging and impulse purchases you don't really need.
  6. Make wiser buying choices: support local farmers and green markets. Choose organic produce over conventional. Go vegan or vegetarian.
  7. Reduce Energy Use: keep thermostats low in winter, minimal or no AC in summer, turn lights off when not in use or use low-energy bulbs, dimmers or timers to turn devices off when out.
  8. Reduce Food Waste - Practice Composting for your own garden or separate food scraps to drop off at local community gardens.
  9. Support Renewable Energy technologies: solar, wind, geothermal, water turbine power.
  10. Drive Less - carpool, bike, walk or take public transportation if possible.

There are hundreds more... For more practical tips for conserving water and other solutions, please see my blogposts on Water is Life.


Stopping rainforest destruction, depletion of natural resources and the poisoning of our ecosystems, are still crucial and relevant, but they are only part of the solution. We've gone beyond the tipping point to where prevention is no longer enough to solve our current and future looming crises. We need new methods, innovative technologies and practices that provide viable solutions to repair much of the damage already done, and to work towards healing and restoring balance.


A growing trend in the environmental movement is a utopian lifestyle system known as permaculture. Meaning “permanent culture”, this practice and philosophy includes principles of bio-dynamic farming, organic agriculture, horticulture, aquaponics, gardening, architecture and design. Promoting off-grid lifestyles within cooperative community networks, permaculture is broadly based on interrelated principles and core values that include:

  • Ecological building methods, materials, environmental design (as green roofs, earth-bale homes, hempcrete, bamboo, resilient and regenerative design)
  • Innovative tools and technologies (water conservation and filtration systems, clean alternative energy solutions…)
  • Health and spiritual well-being (healthy organic foods, plant-based diets, spiritual practices, living in balance with nature, preventative health care)
  • Sustainable finances and economics (can include barter systems separate from the official local currency)
  • Land and community governance (ethical cooperation, community sovereignty)
  • Responsible nature stewardship 

Permaculture centers have been springing up worldwide, with the growing awareness and need for sustainable, ethical lifestyle strategies. Many have become educational destinations serving a growing market for eco-tourism, featuring yoga/ healing retreats, dance camps, health spas, artisan cottage industries and artist communities.

Permaculture and intentional communities have been around for some time. A few well-known examples include: the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, founded in 1962; Damanhur in Italy, established in 1975; and Arcosanti in Arizona, conceived in 1970 by visionary artist / architect Paolo Soleri. Soleri fused principles of ecology with architecture coining the term “arcology”.

Modern permaculture communities are not traditional communes where everyone shares all possessions and resources. Some eco-villages share spiritual activities and green lifestyles within a pure nature setting that may include a communal garden, a central theater or gathering space, shared activities of residents working together towards a collective vision of living in harmony with nature. Along with living in alignment with the environment, such communities also stress the social aspect of like-minded residents. 


Coming this May 3–5th in Port Townsend Washington State, is the first Global Earth Repair Conference. Port Townsend is one such permaculture center. If you're interested in learning more about these new technologies, this is a great opportunity to network with that community. This amazing 3-day event will feature more than 70 presenters offering solutions and strategies for healing the planet, including topics of: mico-remediation, reforestation, soil regeneration, remineralization, biochar, reversing desertification, river-stream repair, erosion control, agroforestry, carbon farming, indigenous ethno-ecology, ecosystem restoration camps, rebuilding and restoring coral reefs, mangroves and marine ecosystems, plus much more..

 Global Earth Repair Conference 2019

No time or funds to travel? There are plenty of Earth Day events happening locally in cities worldwide.


On Easter Sunday April 21, 2019 from 3–8pm Planet Heart, in collaboration with We the World, the Vigil 4 Peace & Ecology, and the World Yoga Community, are hosting a beautiful annual Earth Day event in NYC featuring a variety of musical performances, dancing, ceremony, poetry, guided meditations, inspirational talks and more, with many distinguished guests. I'm honored to be one of the presenters, looking forward to the amazing celebration. Tickets are only $15 in advance ( via ) or $20 at the door. The address is 4 West 43rd St. NYC. For tickets or more info go to  or contact, or call (212) 222-5432.

Earth Day NYC - Planet Heart, We the World, Vigil 4 Peace

There will be Earth Day happenings throughout the week towns, cities, parks, gardens, greenmarkets and public spaces across the country and worldwide. Most Earth Day festivals are free to the public and provide fun educational outings for both young and old, offering a chance to meet and get to know like-minded people in local communities. 

Another extraordinary spring event I highly recommend is the annual Earth Celebrations Ecological City Procession for Climate Solutions happening Saturday May 11th, 2019, 11am–5pm. This parade takes place in NYC's Lower East Side, visiting more than 20 sites, gardens and parks in collaboration with the LES community and participation of hundreds of artists local residents and volunteers. Founder/Executive Director Felicia Young has been organizing these pageants and other projects for over 30 years in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of preserving the gardens and public green spaces throughout the community. Featured throughout the day will be climate solutions, nature ceremonies, performances, music, dancing, poetry, amazing costumes, art, puppetry, teaching and more. Come for part or all. It's free to participate. Children and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to take part. Contact: or call 212-777-7969 for more info.

Earth Celebrations Ecological City 2019 


So many individuals and organizations are doing important work towards repairing the destruction of the planet and restoring the balance of nature. A few of my heroes and heroines doing amazing work on global levels towards sustainable goals include:

Vandana Shiva, Indian scholar, environmental activist, author, champion for food sovereignty, plant biodiversity preservation, eco-feminism, anti-GMO corporate crimes and seed patents, and founder of Navdanya initiative (that promotes seed saving and sustainable organic farming traditions), and the Research Foundation for Science, technology and Ecology. The causes she has championed include some of the most important work needed on the planet today.

Fabian Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, is a documentary filmmaker and ocean conservationist in his own right, working with local communities worldwide to help restore local water ecosystems. His non-profit Fabian Cousteau Ocean Learning Center is dedicated to the education, community engagement and restoration of the world's waters. 

Wangari Maathai, Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nobel Laureate, environmentalist, and founder of the Green Belt Movement was responsible for the initiative of planting more than 1.5 billion trees in 50 countries.    

David Suzuki is a Canadian scientist, author, broadcaster, documentarian, influential environmental activist, professor, and recipient of the 2009 Right Livelihood Award. His David Suzuki Foundation founded in 1990, is dedicated to reversing global climate change, clean energy, sustainability, and protecting the oceans.

Winona LaDuke - is an indigenous environmental and land rights activist, author, politician, public figure and speaker, working for food sovereignty and renewable energy. In the 1990s she ran for Vice President on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader (another environmental hero). The daughter of Sun Bear, famed Native American author, teacher, elder, and a Jewish artist mother, Winona has been working for decades to help promote sustainable initiatives to protect indigenous land, cultural preservation, food rights, civil rights, fighting against corruption, and many other important environmental issues.

To note: Indigenous societies have lived in harmony with the Earth for thousands of years, practicing ethical, natural agricultural and building methods, respecting the land, animals and water, living peacefully in sustainable communities. Respect, protection, water and land rights should be granted to the First Nation tribes and keepers of these indigenous territories who lived as stewards of the land long before colonial invaders arrived and brought so much destruction.


There are so many more environmental issues and threats today, than what we faced in the 1970's at the time of the first Earth Day.

Among the most serious include:

  • pollution (of air, water, soil and land from numerous sources, indoor and outdoor air pollution, motor vehicle exhaust and industry...);
  • household and industrial waste, trash disposal, landfills;
  • medical waste causing hormone disruption and antibiotic resistant disease;
  • Toxic household cleaning products, chemicals in body care, pest control products, hormone disruptors, PVCs and VOCs outgassing from furnishings, 
  • RF & G5 radiation pollution, EMF chaos, cellphone towers, wifi signals, smart meters;
  • light and noise pollution;
  • acid rain;
  • oil & chemical spills, pipeline spills, oil drilling, shipping / transport accidents;
  • climate change; global warming, melting ice caps;
  • deforestation, clear cutting for building, agriculture, ranching, development, cooking & heating; 
  • increased carbon footprint;
  • marine life die-off, ocean dead zones, dying coral reefs;
  • loss of bio-diversity/ ecosystems / natural habitats; endangered species;
  • ozone layer depletion;
  • mining; natural disasters; man made disasters;
  • nuclear risks, meltdowns, accidents, radioactive waste;
  • chemtrails/weather modification, high altitude emissions spraying;
  • desertification / water scarcity;
  • food scarcity, nutrient depletion, denatured and fake foods;
  • GMOs/biotechnology;
  • agricultural destruction / imbalances / soil depletion / degradation;
  • overpopulation;
  • privatization of the world's natural resources;
  • and one of the biggest threats is the war machine/ modern weapons/ the military industrial complex and the intentional destruction of lands and societies for political and economic gain and power grabs.

These issues threaten and impact us on many levels, from our health, to our homes, jobs, families and finances. We're not only challenged by these numerous threats, but the environment is interwoven with other important issues, such as poverty/ unemployment/ hunger, violence/ conflicts and war, political corruption, economic collapse, immigration injustices, capitalistic greed and exploitation of people and resources.


I believe most people do care and truly want a better, cleaner, healthier and more sustainable world, but are so preoccupied with basic survival needs and responsibilities of family, work and personal or economic challenges, that they have little time, energy or resources leftover to devote to environmental causes. Any single issue listed here can have a serious impact on our lives, that dealing with or even thinking about so many challenges can feel overwhelming, causing a sense of helplessness - especially with current corrupt government policies that seem to be taking us in the opposite direction of where we need to go for the survival of humanity. This is not the time for apathy, fear, complacency or denial. We're facing so many serious problems, that continuing to do things we now know have negative environmental impacts, or doing nothing at all, is being part of the problem.

None of us can solve all the problems on our own, but we can take small steps individually to make positive choices in our lives to make a difference. We can help educate others. We can work together with environmental organizations in collective missions to support vital causes and solutions. We can become active in social media, sharing important information, exposing the the truth and corporate mainstream media lies. We can join grass-roots groups and like-minded communities at local levels to practice community gardening and natural lifestyles. We can become involved with political causes, supporting pro-environment leaders helping to influence lawmakers and policies.

There is much work to be done to fight the tyrannical powers and forces that have been exploiting Mother Earth for greed and profit. We need enough people to stand up and say “NO” to the industries, products, policies and practices that are contributing to the planet's demise. Over one million children from 125 countries recently took part in mass coordinated protests against the government's inaction on climate change. We need multitudes of people like these dedicated students to form a critical mass of environmentalists large enough for the rest of the world and the leaders in charge to notice and pay attention.

With so much to do and so little time, it might be more effective to choose one area or aspect of the battle to focus on, perhaps clean water, renewable energy, or causes most dear to your heart. Take a stand to make a difference! We can all become a part of the collective consciousness supporting awareness and solutions on multiple levels, big and small.


I'd like to suggest that we start honoring the Earth not just on Earth Day or during Earth Week, but to be conscious of our impact on the Earth every day. That's the message I've created for my latest t-shirt design: Make Earth Day Every Day!

Now through April 30th we're having an Earth Day Sale! All shirts are 15% off, including free domestic US standard shipping. Use discount code: EARTH at checkout to receive your discount.

Make Earth Day Every Day Tees

In closing, I'd just like to REMIND everyone that it's up to all of us to take RESPONSIBILITY for our impact on our planet. Learn to: RESPECT, RELEARN, REDUCE, REFUSE, RECYCLE, REUSE, REPURPOSE, REPAIR, RENEW, RE-PLANT, RESPOND, REBEL, RECONNECT and REALIGN, leaving a better, more sustainable world for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

YES - We can make a difference in big and small ways to celebrate EARTH DAY EVERY DAY! 

Sending a BIG THANK YOU to all who have done and continue to do positive work in healing, restoring and preserving our precious planet, and for all the Earth warriors who have risked their lives and freedom to stand up to evil powers, greed and corruption to do what is right and needed for a better, cleaner, healthier and more sustainable life on this planet we all share..

🙏🌿 🌎💚

Blessings & Love,


© 2019 by Marsha Silvestri -