avenue flashes

Upcoming Earth Day a real tree’t

Column by John Akal
Posted 4/15/21

Look down. Right now, just take a second and look down. You are either sitting, standing or laying on something. Maybe it’s a chair, a floor or a bed but look a little farther down. Maybe you …

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avenue flashes

Upcoming Earth Day a real tree’t


Look down. Right now, just take a second and look down. You are either sitting, standing or laying on something. Maybe it’s a chair, a floor or a bed but look a little farther down. Maybe you can’t see it from where you are right now, but it’s there. It is the one thing we all have in common. The planet we all live on. Earth.

I’ve been watching a lot of educational videos since this pandemic started and got us all stuck at home a lot. OK, that’s not all I’ve been watching, I pretty much binge watched every series on every network out there as well, to the point that I start to think that comic book characters are now some kind of distant relatives and part of my family. Some days I feel like I’m actually living in the Marvel Universe, but then I change the channel and a title about getting sucked into a black hole or a volcano exploding catches my eye. There’s one up in northern Wyoming that’s due to blow sometime between now and 10,000 years from now that will wipe out everything we know in the area. Yeah, if you are a little paranoid, you might want to skip that video.

If you start watching some of that stuff, you are reminded that we all live on one planet, we really can’t get off this planet quite yet and we are the only life forms living here that can both destroy the place or protect it from ourselves.

I’m bringing this up because Thursday, April 22 is Earth Day. It was created as one day out of the year which can be used to remind everyone that despite all the day to day things we usually worry about, we can’t forget to take good care of our home planet. Once the industrial revolution hit civilization, all kinds of things were invented that created totally unregulated ways of doing massive damage to our environment in ways never imagined before. After about 100 years, it got to a point that people realized that we needed to rein things in a bit and start doing some damage control. Earth Day marks the start of the modern environmental movement that began back in 1970.

Now, having lived through the 70’s and beyond, I can tell you that the significance of Earth Day to most people has diminished quite a bit. Back when it started it was kind of a big deal and there was a lot of press and media coverage surrounding loads of events that were scheduled for that day. You knew when Earth Day was happening. Unfortunately, time has a way of taking the novelty out of things and nowadays it barely gets mentioned. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not important anymore. We still have a lot of work to do to clean up the mess that is still out there and try to stop bigger messes from growing again.

Which brings me to one Earth Day event that is happening right here in Golden. It’s the Colorado School of Mines Earth Day Fair. It will be happening on the campus on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Highlights include a 12 foot carbon cube designed to illustrate what one metric ton of CO2 looks like, a solar demonstration, student club tables, an art show and food. Plus they will have a really cool, self driving autonomous shuttle bus on display that the school will be acquiring soon. I’ve seen the video about that thing and it’s really amazing! This will all be set up on Stratton Commons in the middle of the campus at 15th and Illinois Streets.

If you want a little more after the Earth Day Fair, you can go check out the new Mines Greenhouse. They will be giving tours and also giving away a free plant. That’s located at 2021 Infinity Circle, which is on the West side of Hwy 6.

For more information about all of this and more plus a map to the Greenhouse, just go to www.mines.edu/sustainability/earth-week-2021. They actually have some more events for the entire Earth Week on there plus some guest lecturers if that sounds interesting.

You don’t have to chain yourself to a tree to be an environmentalist. Maybe just plant one.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com.


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