"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility." —Rachel Carson

EarthToday more than 175 countries observe Earth Day, which started 43 years ago in the United States by Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in that aimed at inspiring more people to be more conscious of the environment.

Now, four decades later, scientists are sounding more and more alarms about the fate of the ice caps, the acidification of our oceans, the loss of our equatorial rainforests and the consequences all these things will have on low-lying countries, on our health, on our ways of raising food, and the foundations of our civilization.

In light of the ecological destruction we have witnessed and are witnessing all over the world, it becomes apparent that merely raising awareness is not enough. Awareness can be translated into change if, and only if, it is backed up by meaningful action.

We live in a world that is desperately in need of real action to ensure the survival of all life in the near future.

Thinking about this now challenges us to not only gain positive feelings from participating in Earth Day related activities, but also to think larger than our usual “own little way” but to actually focus our attention into channeling popular concern about the environment into direct action, political clout, lifestyle changes, environmental policy and ultimately holistic transformation that brings to life a society that is socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling.

Celebrating Earth Day 43 years since its inception challenges us to a higher level of consciousness, that translate into tangible actions that would benefit the whole planet, and come to think of it, this is something that shouldn’t just happen on Earth Day, but ultimately every day.