While I rarely find an appropriate time to wear it, the tie-dye T-shirt I have stashed away in the back of my closet represents every facet of my ever-fascinated, ever-stoned outlook on the wonders of college life. I don’t ever intend to neglect such a colorful and historic fashion piece, but it seems that these days, tie-dye clothing has lost its trendy appeal to borderline hippies as well as those lost in the far-out realms of the psychedelic. What once stood as a symbol of the freedoms of artistic expression and the peace lovers of the 1960s is now relegated to spotting stereotypical potheads and peace freaks toting the worn-out fabrics of our parents.

So, waking up last Saturday, my lungs feeling the effects of the gigantic rips I took off Abel the hazy night before, I stumbled into my closet in search of my most prized article in my clothing arsenal. Its purpose: To display my feelings as blatantly as possible at Anisq’ Oyo’ Park amid what I hoped to be the largest gathering of hippies since my last blazed visit to Golden Gate Park and the streets of Haight and Ashbury over Spring Break.

After squeezing into my spiral of color, grabbing the necessary equipment for a day-tripper’s adventure in the park, and finding a lighter to set my mind in the right direction, I couldn’t help but postpone my hurried preparation to listen to my roommate’s bantering through the caverns of my inner ear.

“Hey, Tim, I’m going to that Earth Day thing in I.V. if you want to go,” I mumbled.

“Only hippies go to that, you fucking hippie,” he smiled before quickly returning his attention to the television screen and continuing the hundredth Madden NFL ’06 draft I’d seen him participate in over the last week.

Typical, I figured, but at least this hippie was the one getting a chance to catch the elusive April sun recently awoken from its month-long hibernation behind the clouds – and April is one damn fine month to be smoking outdoors.

After rounding up my fellow connoisseurs from down the street, we crept our way to the park that I’ve come to associate specifically with peace and herb. Upon arriving, we laid claim to a patch of grass and prepared for the so-called “Revolution” to take hold.

Girls brushed by me with flowers in their hair, clad in dresses directly out of the summer of love. Guys wandered about, sporting Aviators that only accentuated their fondness for our drug of choice. And once the tortillas started flying, everyone was grooving to the sounds of Rebelution and the Boombox Orchestra’s appreciation for herbal fixation.

It wasn’t Friday, but I was in love. It wasn’t cloudy, but I found myself in my own personal heaven. It wasn’t the ’60s, but I found myself feeling far beyond groovy, baby. Later, however, my tie-dye T-shirt spiraled into a maze of reflection.

From under my sunglasses, I looked around at the herds of people. I saw beer being consumed at unprecedented rates, cigarettes burning down like they were the first in a chain smoker’s favorite pack. Cool, I thought, everyone is having one hell of a time. Then I looked on the ground.

Bottles of booze, butts of cigarettes and an assortment of other despicable trash lay piled in random heaps spread across the park’s amphitheatre. Earth Day wasn’t for another two weeks, but it didn’t seem like many people were following the “save the environment” theme like the organizers of the event were shooting for. Instead, they got hammered to free music and freedom of speech.

I had a blast, don’t get me wrong – my tie-dye T-shirt still has grass stains – I just think that in honor of our Earth, you should keep your filth to yourself. Trash your lungs. Trash your liver. Trash your mind. Just don’t trash our planet. Earth Day should be every day.

Daily Nexus Opinion Editor Jeff Gibson would only pick up someone else’s trash if you told him that there was a magical brownie hidden somewhere inside.