“Earth Day is a day each year on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.” (thank you Wikipedia)
Believe it or not, when I was a kid, I was a huge environmentalist and feminist. I thought all boys were stupid and inferior and I thought everyone should recycle and stop killing animals just for their fur, tusks and other materials.
At some point in my childhood (I wish I remembered how old I was) there was a big legislation going on about the killing of innocent dolphins due to the nets used by the fisherman catching Tuna. Dolphins were often swept up along with the schools of Tuna and by the time the fisherman loaded the nets onto the boat, the poor dolphins would have already been dead. Back then, there were specific tuna companies that would label their cans saying “Dolphin Friendly” or the like. My mother had told me about these unfortunate dolphins and I remember feeling so angered that for a school writing assignment I wrote a long story about a family of dolphins that lived in the ocean.
Thinking about Earth Day – I realize I’m not much of an environmentalist anymore and hardly much of a feminist either. (I would almost say I’m sexist at this point in my life!) Sure, I read about the tigers that are quickly dwindling away, or the polar bear fiasco in the north, and of course that dreadful oil spill not that long ago. I’m sure we all remember sitting and watching the little meter on TV counting each and every gallon of oil gushing into our waters.
Can I Save a Tiger?
So I sit and I read – and I don’t have that childlike frustration and anger anymore. I notice that I don’t get all up in arms, screaming and yelling passionate for change! No, instead it’s a feeling of helplessness that has turned into numbness. Can I save a tiger? Not exactly. Can I tell poachers to stop killing beautiful elephants just for their tusks? Yeah, I’ll be on a plane to Africa tomorrow. What can I do?
Yes, I’ve heard – that “every voice counts.” Or “Call your congressman!” But I guess it’s a fatal flaw in me, that I really don’t believe my little itty bitty phone call to my congressman will do much to help the animals or the water or whatever cause is going on at this moment.
But frankly, I don’t like this attitude either. It reminds me of the older generation such as our parents (sorry dad!) The people who have become set in their ways and jaded by the negative occurrences in the world. I suppose that after many years it’s natural to become de-sensitized to the issues. Want to find the most passionate excitable people? Go to a nearby college campus and see what they’re protesting (or drinking )
While I guess you can say I’m officially an adult now (the big 3-0 is just a few months away) – I certainly don’t want to settle into one of those adults who are burned out with no more energy claiming “it is what it is,” or “back in the good old days.”
So I gave it some thought. In honor of Earth Day – it’s time for some action!
Yes, I know I probably won’t be able to do much saving the tigers and whatnot, but I can do something.
After a few moments of thinking I came up with 3 (small) things I’d like to do in honor of Earth Day. (no, I haven’t cleared these with the husband yet, so let’s hope he’ll be on board )
1) Enough with the Plastic Bags already!!!!
About 2 years ago we began collecting re-usable shopping bags from various stores (whole foods, trader Joes, etc.) I must tell you it was kind of fun knowing we were doing something good and helpful to the environment. But then we kind of stopped. We left the bags at home, or in the car, or they ended up being used for other purposes.
The studies show that those ‘innocent’ plastic shopping bags can take hundreds of years to break down. As they break down, they release poisonous materials into the water and soil. (nisht gut!)
Long story short, it’s not that hard to do – so let’s get back into it!! And, as an added bonus, it’s TOTALLY like OMG in style to carry chic reusable bags
2) Recycle those damn bottles!!
I love Louisville. I really do. I can write an entire blog about the cool things in this city and why I enjoy living here. One thing that I am disappointed in – is their recycling policy. Back in NJ, if we didn’t recycle we were FINED! Our garbage would NOT be picked up if bottles or papers were found inside. (who exactly would inspect our garbage I’m not quite sure) But we always recycled.
Here in Louisville, if you WANT to recycle – it COSTS YOU EXTRA MONEY. (disclaimer: It only costs extra money in MY specific district). So, let’s think about this, shall we? I can be lazy and save money OR, I can work a little extra and have to pay. Hmmm… I wonder which one I’ll choose? Granted, I told my hubby as soon as we moved in “We are a family that recycles.” And while I still hold to that moral, I’m sad to say we’ve stopped recycling because frankly, it’s difficult to pay for it.
The excellent news is that there is a recycling dumpster right down the block from us where we can bring our recyclables and drumroll…. Its free! Well, isn’t that a win win ?
On a side note, taking a bit of inspiration from my childhood “Save the dolphins” self, I plan to write a letter to our Mayor and district councilman to tell them of my disappointment. Imagine how many MORE people would be inclined to recycle, something that’s SO easy to do, if it didn’t cost extra money. We all know what a big impact recycling has on our environment… and you never know, maybe I can make a difference. (I’ll keep you posted if I make any headway.)
3) Water, Water, Water…..
This, I have to admit is the toughest one. I seem to have a bit of a dependency on plastic bottled water. I have read far too many articles about the wastefulness of all the plastic bottles, and there is an argument that the water in a bottle isn’t that much better! (PS – I loved the scene in the movie The Lorax – where the ‘bad guy’ sells people ‘air in a bottle.’ He brilliantly claims that if you put things in a bottle, people will buy it!) But getting back to the conversation, it is pointless and truly careless to use water bottles at home. Time to invest in a glass or aluminum thermos!
What needs to be decided is what kind of water filtration system to have at home. My naturopath is a big proponent of Distilled Water systems. He feels they are the purest, but of course it comes with a big contraption (small kitchen) and costs a pretty penny (but lasts a lifetime.) So for this one, I’d like to say that by next Earth Day – perhaps we’ll be a Plastic Bottle Free house, and until we figure out the best sort of water filter for us, I believe we have a Brita pitcher floating around somewhere that we can use.
Well my friends, I hope you have a wonderful Earth Day. Maybe you’re not in the mood of planting any trees or joining beach clean ups, but it still would be cool to go outside and hug a tree. I may just do that
Hug a Tree!!!! And Happy Earth Day!