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What It Means That Earth Day Falls On A New Moon This Year

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."
Earth Day Falls On A New Moon This Year: Here's What It Could Mean

Graphic by mbg creative / istockphoto

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This year's Earth Day on April 22 will be special for a few reasons: It's the 50th anniversary of the holiday, most people will be observing it from home, and the sky will be extra dark that night due to the new moon in Taurus.

For the astrology unacquainted, new moons are a chance to build upon a clean slate. They signal fresh beginnings, charged with possibility, opportunity, and hope. And Taurus energy is all about staying grounded, seeking out beauty, and appreciating all of life's small, sensual pleasures.

It's relatively rare that the holiday falls on this lunar phase; the last (and only other) time it happened was 46 years ago, in 1974. Taken symbolically, the coincidence could mean the end of one environmental cycle and the beginning of the next. Considering the state of the world right now, that doesn't sound so far off.

The coronavirus has forced many of us to stay home, and in our absence, the planet has had a moment to breathe. With cars off the road and certain businesses put on pause, air pollution levels have dipped dramatically around the world. People in India can see the Himalayan mountain range in the distance for the first time in decades, and photos are circulating of previously smoggy skies in Asia, Europe, and beyond looking clean and clear in the absence of cars and industry. And while that viral video of dolphins swimming in Venetian canals was ultimately fake, the low demand for seafood and lack of boating do seem to be contributing to cleaner waterways.

This isn't to say that we should be celebrating the virus or minimizing the devastating toll it's taking. But perhaps some things it has led to—driving less and taking walks outside more, meeting virtually instead of flying to see one another, etc.—could and should become a "new normal" after all.

These glimpses of environmental progress will quickly fade unless we use them as learning opportunities. The coronavirus has reminded us of human ingenuity and what can happen when we all work together toward a common enemy. And while climate change may not always look as glaring as a viral contagion, it is a global catastrophe—just one that exists on a much longer timeline.

But anyways, back to the moon. If you, like me, want to believe that brighter days could be ahead for our planet, take this Earth Day to think about how you'll help contribute to them. Harness the contemplative energy in the sky and question what a more sustainable life could look like for you. Tune into a virtual panel or conference and be inspired by all the ideas that are shared. Make like a Taurus and (safely) head outside to sit in the grass or smell a flower or listen to the leaves on the trees and just marvel for a minute.

Consider what part you could play in what could very well be a new chapter for humanity and the planet, if the stars align.

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