Simple Thanks and Respect for Earth Day


All creatures great and small make up our earth. Treat all with respect and the world will be a healthier and more compassionate place.

Many years ago when I was a child I lived a very difficult life. Money was tight for our family (consisting of my mom, my step-dad, my brother and sister, and assorted step-family members who stayed with us on unpredictable, varying days). We lived in a very rural area – miles away from the small town’s main street that boasted of an ice cream shop and a tiny movie theater – and relied completely on farming, gardening, hunting, and fishing to sustain ourselves. Clothes were homemade and food was made from scratch – it was a physically demanding life and I was always jealous of my friends who lived in town, buying their food and conveniences in the supermarket and whatnot.

While many of my memories are extremely painful – I was a very sensitive animal lover, so you can well imagine some of the horrors I had to witness or participate in – with today being Earth Day it got me to thinking as I’ve aged, that I’ve also come to respect and appreciate what I once found objectionable.

Living off the land for survival tends to give you a different perspective about the world around you. Frugality, respectfulness of nature, patience, and a commitment to hard work become a part of who you are. I’m not saying those traits don’t exist in current day, but for most of us, we’ve been brought up to expect the conveniences around us so that we inadvertently take them for granted, often causing our precious Earth to suffer.


Take a moment for earth day to look at the amazing world around you. This is the planet we live on – treat it with respect and and be aware all you do to it affects future days to come.

I’m not perfect – I no longer rely on the land to survive and I enjoy the conveniences that make my everyday life easier – but I do try my best to be as respectful as possible. Perhaps that’s why I have such a low tolerance for certain things – for example, littering makes my blood boil. If you can’t find a trash can to throw something away immediately, wait until you can. Our earth is not meant to be a receptacle for soda cans, water bottles, foam cups and more. Wildlife suffers, the earth suffers, and there is no excuse for it.

And wasting water – that’s a major pet peeve of mine. I can’t tell you how many times here in Florida I’ll see someone’s water sprinkler on while it’s raining outside and it makes me nuts. Within the United States alone there are several regions under severe drought conditions, not to mention many countries where water is nearly non-existent. Try to be respectful of that in your everyday life – turn the water off while your brushing your teeth or doing the dishes and only turn it on when you need to rinse instead of keeping it running from start to finish. Can you imagine how those without water would feel knowing you’re letting precious gallons of water just waste away for no reason? I daresay they’d be flabbergasted at the nonchalance of it and we often treat it like it’s an unlimited resource.


Jazmine shares one of my favorite public messages – help to conserve water by shutting it off when you’re not usin it!

Recycle, reuse, reinvent. Don’t waste food on your plate – rather than throw away what you can’t eat, figure out a fun way to incorporate the leftovers into a creative new meal. When it comes to our cats, if you have toys or items your cat doesn’t use, such as scratching posts, consider donating them to your local shelter. I could go on and on but I’ll leave it to one of my favorite pictures that says it all – Explore, Appreciate, Respect, Treasure, and Honor.


Our world is truly magnificent – get out there and enjoy it – just remember it’s only ours to borrow and we have to share it for generations to come.

How about you – what kind of pet peeves do you have when it comes to keeping our planet healthy and green? What are some of the simple ways you contribute to making our earth a better place?

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  1. Bernadette says:

    People often forget the harsh cruelties of the “good old days” when people worked hard and lived off the land, but they give you a different perspective on life. I have much the same pet peeves as you, only adding excessive and unnecessary chemicals to grow our food, but mostly I think it’s that most people are out of touch with their own impact on the earth. Being a good example is one of the best ways to slowly change that. Happy Earth Day from my family to yours!

    • Deb says:

      Bernadette – yes, life was harsh and brutal at times. But I also miss the simplicity of it all. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would. Only exception, as a vegetarian…

  2. jmuhj says:

    My elders still retained a lot of our traditional ways, all of which revolved around respect and love for everything and everyone; their example was something I revered and was grateful to have as a guide for my own life. I share your frustrations at the thoughtlessness all around us, and when I remember my elders, I know that one thing we can do is to live by example. Some of us call it “paying the rent”.

    • Deb says:

      Jmuhj – I hear what you’re saying. I feel like the earth is given to us on lease – meaning we should respect it and always leave it in better shape than it was given to us. Living by example is a wonderful way to educate and I hope our live experiences can affect others in a positive way.

  3. Deb this was a fabulous, insightful and touching post. I never knew that about your past. I love that as an adult, you now understand, (and are able to appreciate), what you once didn’t like. isn’t it funny that with all of our conveniences, I often think it would be so much fun to live off of the land and live in one of those tiny houses? I love them! Wasting food on my plate is something I WISH I had to worry about……….I am a human garbage bin. xoxoxo

    • Deb says:

      Thanks Caren – yeah…I could go on and on about my childhood. Rather than dwell on the negative, I try to look for the silver linings – it’s made me a better person, and for that I’m grateful! I would love a tiny house, too! Dan and I have a nice sized home, yet we tend to spend the majority of our time in about a three foot radius on the couch with our kitties!

  4. Great post ! Lots of people are totally disconnected from nature and unaware of human impact on the earth. We do the same like you to be good with Mother Earth, and we reuse and recycle a lot. Happy Earth Day ! Purrs

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Swiss Cats – I wish more people could see the beauty in nature around them. Much as I enjoy social media and my fancy iPhone and computer, I find them ironic. We can see the world at our fingertips in an instant, yet we can barely see the world around us in our own lives and neighborhoods.

  5. mariodacat says:

    Deb, this is a great post and I couldn’t agree with you more. I grew up much the same way – mother was divorced back in the day when that “just wasn’t done.” We had a rough life too, but I never lacked for hte basics – food, water and love!. Pretty much the same things that drive you nuts also drive me nuts. My big one is tossing litter into bodies of water – like hte ocean or lake. Then the fish or other sea/lake life come along and get caught in it or choak on it. What a horrible death just becuase some human was too lazy to collect hte trasn until they got home and could recycle it proeprly.,

    • Deb says:

      Thank you mariodacat – you definitely can relate to what I was saying. It makes me crazy too, how careless some people can be when it comes to bodies of water. Living in Florida, we’re quite close to the ocean and sometimes I could just cry at the atrocities I see. Even worse, there are trash cans all over the beach for people’s convenience, yet they can’t make the effort to use them…

  6. Ellen Pilch says:

    Excellent post. We are in a rural area and people will leave entire bags of trash or furniture on our property- that is a big pet peeve of mine.

  7. Littering drives me crazy! I keep a messy car before throwing trash out the window. What really drives me crazy is when someone walks by the trashcan and misses and doesn’t bother to pick it up.

  8. Chirpy Cats says:

    Wow, what a lovely touching story, thanks for sharing. Those two things are my pet peeves too and it somewhat also stems from my childhood. Littering is the worst and poor marine animals end up suffering so needlessly.

  9. Beautiful post. I love, love, love Jazmine in the sink. She’s such a beautiful girl and it’s so obvious how much she adores you!