It was Earth Day yesterday. We celebrated 40 years of acknowledging we need to - and actually doing something about - pulling the earth back from human destruction. Corporations and other groups were out in force this week showing corporate spirit for a clean environment.
I'm all for it. But the challenge of this week is the likelihood that some people will feel that with all these groups working on the problem, they, individually, do not need to get involved. Or, perhaps, that as one individual they cannot do anything, or anything meaningful, or anything today or this week.
But the need and the opportunity are in front of each of us every day. And each of us can do one thing. Pick up that plastic bottle someone else threw in the street. Pick up that candy wrapper that - accidentally, I'm sure - slipped from someone's hand in the lobby. Choose to buy the food that is not over packaged. Buy produce that is in season and grown locally.
Each of us can do one thing. And the cumulative effect of each person doing one thing can be huge.
Recently, I interviewed Gary Stortz who runs Stortz General Store north of Decorah. Gary and his wife provide fishing gear to trout anglers along North Bear Creek. North Bear Creek is one of Iowa's success stories - a stream of exceptional quality where the waters run clear and cool and trout reproduce naturally. Achieving that stream quality required the cooperation of a lot of people, Stortz told me. Keeping it clean does, too. "When trout fishermen find a wrapper on the ground, they pick it up," he said. "When everybody kicks in, you can do anything."
I like to think what Gary has seen along North Bear Creek can be true across Iowa, the nation, and our world. When every kicks in, we can do anything. We can each start by doing one thing.