This is the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, begun in 1970 with strong public and bipartisan government support. 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 during the Nixon administration.

Rx The Freedom To Travel - Happy Earth Day - Karen Emerson

Archive image courtesy of FreeRangeStock.com

People and governments seem more divided today about environmental issues, and we wonder if our voices are heard and heeded. The denial of climate change seems to be well-funded by those who have much immediate profit to be gained by polluting.

What can we do?

Considering that Rx: The Freedom to Travel is about exploring the world regardless of our challenges and limitations, the first and most important thing to remember is that this entire planet Earth is our home. When you leave your house, treat every place with the same care and reverence that you have for your own dwelling of that of a friend when you visit. That filters into mutual respect for the people we meet along the way, considering that we are all hosts and guests, sharing this beautiful planet that is our home.

To get into the wilder, more primitive, true Earth travel experience, we can learn much through Eco-travel.

There is nothing more refreshing to the human soul than to commune with nature. There are many travel companies with experienced guides to show you the majesty of rivers, mountains, glaciers, and pristine beaches. If camping is truly not your cup of tea, many outfitters offer luxurious experiences.

Other fun, eco-friendly ways of exploring cities throughout the world might be green hotels, hostels, bicycle tours, and volunteer travel. When you are not traveling, there are many ways of living with a gentler ecological footprint.

– Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Think before you throw something away.

– Be mindful of the origins of your food. Is it grown with pesticides and shipped from a great distance or is it organic and locally grown?

– Support your farmers market!

– Gardening is not for everyone, but if you are so inclined, grow your own vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

– If your space and time are limited, consider growing a few edible plants like herbs or a potted tomato plant.

– Drive less. Have you explored your local public transportation? Bicycling and walking come with added health benefits.

– If those are not viable options, consolidate your errands to reduce car travel.

Every little bit helps. Take time to smell the flowers along the way, notice the beauty around you, and offer kindness to a neighbor. We are all neighbors, sharing this magnificent planet, Earth!