Reflecting on Earth Day 2021

By Vahid David Delrahim

April 22nd will mark the 51st anniversary of Earth Day.  As we get closer to this holiday, I’ve been contemplating the changes the pandemic has had on the environment. While traditional Earth Day events range from cleanups to events that focus on the environment, with social distancing still in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital.

More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the world’s largest civic observance. I recently saw a study from the National Institutes of Health that found the shutdowns of travel — local, as in cars, and global, as in planes and boats — has improved air quality in different cities across the world. Greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution have been reduced, too.

Alas, rather than worry myself with this type of analysis, I find it’s better to focus on my own behavior and that of my business and its footprint on the earth.  I am continually making sure that I am doing my part.  Among other things, at home and at work, I make sure to consume the least amount of water and energy as possible to reduce and reuse consciously and use earth-friendly products whenever feasible.

So, while I am comfortable with my efforts to mitigate my carbon footprint, I’ve been thinking about my literal footprint and the wonders of grounding. Yes, grounding, also called earthing, is a wellness technique that involves activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth.

Again, from the NIH: “…Emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth.”

In other words, getting closer to the earth can provide mental and physical benefits to us that can help us live a calmer and more balanced life.

The NIH study goes on to explain how our current lifestyles separate us from this contact possibly contributing to “physiological dysfunction and unwellness.”

I think we all know how reassuring and relaxing it feels to walk barefoot on a beach or lie close to the grass in a park.  This type of connection with the earth’s electrons has been found to promote physiological changes and benefits such as better sleep and reduced pain.

Anything we can do to improve our wellness is a plus in my book. And knowing that feeling better can simply mean taking a walk, making a sandcastle or napping outside encourages a low-impact love and connection with Mother Earth.

I am sharing the ideas with my team, my family and friends. I encourage employees to take their breaks outside, breathing fresh air and feeling the sun on their skin. It’s a new focus for me this year. When Earth Day rolls around, I hope you’ll take some time to reconnect with her.

Vahid David Delrahim is the President and CEO of Bliss Car Wash