Earth Day: from plastic to compost — take care of our Mother

Earth Day: from plastic to compost — take care of our Mother April 22, 2024

Earth Day
Happy Earth Day, Big Blue Marble! PHOTO BY CHERYL

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day once again….but I say it’s every day. Every single day we should be Earth conscious in what we do. Earth Day itself has become too commercial in my opinion. This is when the big stores act like they are doing something important. “Come, shop with me and get a free reusable bag.” OK, but think about what the store is doing for the environment besides offering free reusable bags. I bet not much.

The schools and townships gather to do a “spring cleaning.”  They pose for pics with plastic garbage bags, rakes and shovels. Litter is picked up…finally. The playgrounds and school yards never looked so good. It doesn’t last, soon enough we are back where we started again. Only a few weeks afterwards and the litter collects again. 

Earth Day
Aged plastic bag floating in a wild sea.

I am probably one of the few that is glad New Jersey no longer gives out plastic shopping bags in retail and grocery stores. They were a real nuisance. This year’s theme focuses on the threat of plastic on the environment. This is a huge problem.  Plastic is still the biggest form of litter that I notice around my town. Paper is probably the second. 

Lately, I noticed a theme…less trash and recycling containers in New Jersey. I was seeing them pop up in more places and now they seem to be vanishing. I am not sure if it’s because the idea didn’t catch on or something else. Funny thing though, I went to the UUA’s General Assembly conference in Pennsylvania last summer and they were everywhere. In fact, not only did they have trash containers extremely visible, but included with trash were recycling and compost.  One giant bin with separate sections for each. It was a great idea. Additionally, not to confuse people, instructions on what is actually trash, recycling and compost was listed above each section.

Compost is great! Not only are you giving back to the environment but also cutting your trash in half. Black gold they call it, and it is that rich. My garden is so much healthier because I compost on a regular basis. You can get a bin or you can do it the old-fashioned way — dig a hole and drop it in. 


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ where I attend has a compost bin near the garden. We started a vegetable and herb garden about two years ago and it’s growing. Congregants get to enjoy the garden’s crop and pick what they need. Moreover, the front of the congregation has a native flower garden. Native gardens are important for bees.

My township has a free Compost Day for its residents every year in April. Residents can take the equivalent of five leaf bags or two garbage cans full. We still have Earth consensus events every now and then starting with Compost Day and continuing throughout the summer. However, I have yet to see an entire day focused on it since before the COVID-19 pandemic. It does seem to be lately the focus has died down. At one point Earth Day brought on excitement. Kids got involved — their schools, clubs and organizations. There were town wide events and people gathered in the parks for clean-up. Demonstrations on composting and what can and cannot be recycled on display. These focuses are no longer prominent. Subtle maybe, if even at that.

It’s time to get back to where we left off before the shutdown. I can bet this is not only happening in my state and my township. OK so Pennsylvania seems to be moving forward but I wonder about other places. 

As a Pagan, Mother Earth is everything to me. This should be important to all Pagans, at least I would think so. It’s very important to my elder, the Rev. Foxxy Pullen. When she can be, she is always in her garden. She started me on composting, although she has a bin for hers. I know that she is unable to have one this year and that really hurts her.

Taking care of Mother Earth is something we need to put more focus on; our top priority. Pressure our local governments to do something about this. It all starts somewhere. We Pagans can be trendsetters. Get your gloves out and start it on your own if need be. In the words of Brooks and Dunn, “It’s just a drop in the bucket, til the bucket fills up…”

In other words, the butterfly effect. 

We are the flow, we are the ebb. Mother Earth is here to stay, we need to treat her with the utmost respect. This is the 54th anniversary of Earth Day, it should be just as important this year as the past years. For more information on Earth Day, visit

Oh and don’t forget, Earth Day doesn’t stop after April 22, it’s every day!

See also: It’s Earth Day Again; A Time To Reflect On Our Actions,

Earth Day 2022: 52 Years Of Awareness – Let’s Continue The Effort… , and

Earth Day 2023 — Plant A Tree, Plant A Seed And Your Intentions Too

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