Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Love Your Mother - Earth that is!

Happy Earth Day 2009.

Twenty nine years ago, in 1970 amidst the Vietnam War and the last of the real hippies, the first Earth Day was celebrated. I don’t think I took much notice back then and for the next two decades. I was too caught up in my own world of abundance and working for a large corporation where the money seemed endless. As long as my own little world wasn’t affected it was hard for me to feel that anything was going wrong. Sure there were movies that brought things to light, like Erin Brocovich and Three Mile Island, but again those things happened to other people, not me, so I never felt the impact.

So what changed it all for me? If you have read my blog posts or newsletters you know I focus on educating people about ways they can lighten their impact on the environment and how to ‘green’ their lives. It began with observing my own life style and habits especially with regard to my trash. It all has to go somewhere. Sure the big truck takes it away from my house once a week, but when I thought about where it went – along with all my neighbors and the city’s trash, it became overwhelming.

When I began composting several years ago, I started noticing how much less garbage I threw out. When I got serious abut recycling, I started noticing how much less trash I took to the curb each week. When I started looking at what WAS in my trash bag before I took it out of the house, I noticed it was filled with the packaging of the food or snacks I brought into the house. This is stuff you can’t compost or recycle, stuff that still ends up in the landfill or has to be manufactured. Then I started shopping at the local Farmers Market and refusing their bags and putting it all into my own canvas bags. Pretty soon I wasn’t shopping at a traditional store more than once a month. My trash bag is now one small plastic bag you get at the grocery store – and I want to reduce that!

The same kinds of practices spilled over into the other areas of my life like clothes shopping, ‘stuff’ buying, and gardening. All I had to do was look at all the ‘stuff’ I had already when I brought something new home to see that I had enough. Soon I was very conscious of what I bought and why. And what happened to stuff when it’s usefulness was done. Throwing these things into the trash doesn’t fit in with my goals!

So on this 29th anniversary of Earth Day, I am making a 30 day commitment to not purchase anything besides food or something that will support the growth of food (like plants and seeds). If I need something I do not have I will borrow it or do with out. I will also lessen the amount of stuff I recycle buy either not buying foods and beverages in packaging – period – or finding another use for the item before throwing it in the recycle bin.

This will really be interesting as I have a brunch in a few weeks. I’ll report back on how to throw a party and reduce your trash!

Will you join me and make your own 30 day commitment? What can you do that will show Mother Earth how much you care about her – and help make it a better place to live?



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