Today is my birthday and I’m doing nothing for Mother Earth. If you know me, I know you would wonder why. Why do nothing when I have dedicated my life to do what I could for her? Why do nothing when last year I had a successful a green gifts for Gaia birthday wherein I asked my friends to plant trees instead of buying me gifts? And in response, my friends gave all sorts of wonderful gifts for Mother Earth in celebration of my birthday. One friend updated me this afternoon about the Spanish Plum that she planted for me last year. She said it is now three feet tall. It will be taller than me next year. Sweet! I even had a mangrove planting celebration with Climate Reality colleagues last year. And now I’m doing nothing?
Doing nothing today is not out of lack of energy or resources to celebrate. I always believe if there is a will, there is a way. I could have a party if I wanted it. I could really be stubborn, you know. Nah, I’m not really the one for parties, just trying to stress a point. But today my will lies in doing nothing as a conscious, green birthday celebration.
I think environmentalists like me are so enthusiastic, sometimes to a fault, always wanting to do things for Mother Earth. We do all sorts of things with good intentions. It’s not our fault, greenies are often hard wired that way. But sometimes we think up of all sorts of activities and events, ideas and stuff that actually generate a negative impact to the planet. For instance, Earth Run fails wherein runners stop by water stations to drink from disposable plastic cups and dump the used cups on the street; Earth Hour fails wherein lights are off for a while and while giant sound systems blast a concert to kingdom come; green event fails wherein there are so many plastic or disposable stuff given away and there are no vegan dishes served.
Those are just some examples. I could go on and on. Remember that most of them are done with good intentions. But as they say, sometimes, good intentions are not enough. We have to be mindful of what we do, and their consequences to the earth. We can’t always do a perfectly green event or project, but if the negative impact outweighs the positive, what’s the point in doing it?
So I’m doing nothing as my green gift to the planet today, because sometimes we need to pause for Mother Earth so she too can rest. Today I’m not having a party, not even cooking anything out of the ordinary, no outings nor shopping nor cinema, no gifts from others nor from myself. I’m just basically at home, but more laid back than an ordinary day. Less of everything, less carbon footprint, happier Gaia.
This is not going to be a regular birthday thing. Who knows what I could come up with next year? But doing nothing will be something I will be doing more than once a year, and hopefully, more mindfully each time.
On another note, I have another gift for Mother Earth. I’m letting go of a dream project, an idea that came out of my last birthday. The idea is so solid but after trying what I could, I realized that it wouldn’t take off under my care. I’m giving it away to somebody who has the capacity to make it soar. In the right hands, the project could become really big. I feel like a mother letting go of my child by giving it wings so that it could fly. I will post a call for intentions on social media soon.