"A Valentine's Day Reflection"

Valentine's Day is Coming and it's Time to Spread Love

Allies and Partners
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Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of educational columns about fostering environmental
stewardship and leadership coordinated by ACES — The Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards.

In the heart of the greater Newburyport area, a poignant analogy unfolds this Valentine's Day, prompting us to contemplate the condition of the Earth we're leaving for the generations yet to come. Imagine, if you will, inheriting not just any house, but your dream home—the embodiment of your deepest desires. The moment the deed and keys are in your possession, a rush of emotions floods over you. However, as you arrive at your dream home, the reality is starkly different; it's dilapidated, falling apart, and the yard is in shambles. Is this truly a gift or an unexpected curse? Did the previous owner genuinely care about your happiness? Now, reverse the scenario in your mind's eye. Envision arriving at your dream home, and to your delight, it's exactly as you envisioned—pristine, meticulously maintained, and a true reflection of your desires.

The stark contrast in these scenarios serves as a metaphor for the Earth we are bequeathing to the next generations.

This Valentine’s Day let's extend our thoughts beyond the traditional expressions of love. Instead, let's consider the planet we call home. Are we, as custodians of this Earth, maintaining it with the same care we would bestow upon our dream home? Are we doing everything within our power to ensure that when the next generation receives the metaphorical keys to our planet, it's a beautiful, manicured, and well-cared-for environment? Chocolates and roses may be delightful for a day, but the Earth is here to stay. The gift weprovide to future generations is not merely a tangible possession but the very environment that sustains life. Just as a neglected house may evoke feelings of disappointment and neglect, an Earth left in disarray could leave an indelible mark on the well-being of those who inherit it. It's crucial to recognize that the actions we take today reverberate into the future, our children’s future. Our ecological footprint, the choices we make in resource consumption, and the policies for which we advocate, all play a role in shaping the Earth that our children and grandchildren will inherit. This Valentine's Day, let's pledge to be better stewards of our planet, showing it the love and care it deserves.

The greater Newburyport area, with its natural beauty and coastal charm, serves as a microcosm of the larger global community facing environmental challenges. Local initiatives promoting sustainability, conservation, and eco-friendly practices are essential steps toward ensuring that our region remains a beacon of responsible living for generations to come.

As we exchange tokens of affection on this Valentine's Day, let's also reflect on the gift we are leaving for our descendants. The Earth is the ultimate inheritance, and our actions today determine whether it becomes a cherished legacy or a burdensome challenge. Beyond the transient pleasures of chocolates, let our love extend to the very ground we walk on, ensuring that it remains a sanctuary for all who call it home.

This insight on “The Gift of Earth for Future Generations” was written by ACES BOD Member and vice president Ian Hickock. He can be reached at Our Youth Corps members hope that you will share any ideas about how we can help more people demonstrate their love for the earth and fight for a better environment at You can learn more about our work to this end by visiting our website

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Ian Hickok

Ian Hickok believes we are in an era where environmental consciousness and community engagement are pivotal to the wellbeing of future generations. He is the driving force behind East Coast Energy Solutions, a Solar Energy company that prioritizes environmental passion and communal well-being over mere profits.  With a diverse background and a profound dedication to sustainability and civic service, he has become a distinguished personality in the realms of renewable energy and community involvement. As a member of the ACES board and its Vice-President, he looks forward to the opportunities that true collaboration can deliver to the world of energy-related stewardship and making a better future for future generations.

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