Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day Confessions (Day 112)



It's Earth Day! 

Which means it is time to confess all my sins against the planet!

First of all, I struggle with recycling.  I mean, really, I seem to struggle with everything (Lent, laundry, time management, where my keys are, listening to voicemails). I struggle with recycling, not because I don't think it is important, but because I lack the focus to be compliant with the recycling rules and there is this really aggressive voice in my head that says, "You better be careful, you don't want to mess up the whole recycling batch with your greasy pizza box." and another that says "If they want their recycling rinsed, they should do it themselves."

It's a very contentious place in my head! 

It drives my husband insane! 

Other sins against the planet include: wasting food that could be eaten or composted, driving when I could walk, enjoying styrofoam in moderation, washing two clothing items but filling the entire washing machine, I forget my reusable shopping bags every single time, requesting a straw at Starbucks, demanding new towels every day at hotels, leaving all the lights on for days and days, brushing my teeth with the water running, ordering new clothes endlessly and this is a big one, on rare occasions I don't buy organic food! 

Also, while I do feel inspired by Greta Thunberg, she also is sort of a bummer with her doomsday truth telling and sometimes I just want to have a good time in my brightly lit room with my Starbucks straws and genetically modified snacks, while pretending everything is just fine! 

(That last one is really bad.) 

I am really like a frenemy to the planet-some sort of low level bully who picks and prods, but never has the guts to just dump the toxic waste in the river and be done with it. Instead, I just let the waste slowly trickle in the stream. . .

Anyway, that analogy is very out of control, much like my electricity usage! 

So, today, on April 22, 2021, I am going to start small and make an Earth Day resolution to try to figure out how to recycle properly and stop infuriating my husband. (There is a website that provides some tips and really, I might just delegate my recycling task out to Chloe. She is the one in the family who is capable of everything that no one else can handle.) I am also going to try to less fixated on "just having fun," and maybe listen to the science a little more. And, I am going to pack a couple of my metal straws in my handbag for my venti skim lattes. 

Now that I've shared my ridiculous Earth Day confession, I am going to tell you some great ways to celebrate Earth Day today and everyday. I compiled this list based on my eccentric up-bringing and my eclectic professional resume! As noted above, I am the first one to confess my sins against our planet, but there are some good things I do, which I think are pretty accessible! 

1. Pack in, Pack out. Lots of parks do not have trash cans, so you have to take your trash with you. But, even when parks do have trash cans, I feel like these trash cans become over stuffed and the trash just blows everywhere, including into my beloved Newton Lake. If you are out at a park, take your trash with you and throw out at home, that way you can try to guarantee it ends up in the trash or recycling, versus choking a turtle or something .

2. Take your kids outside in nature! When you expose your kids to the beautiful things on our planet, they will fall in love. And everyone knows, when you are truly in love, you will do anything to protect that which you love! 

3. Grow things! Buy local produce, too! Growing your own food is a great way to be a friend to the planet.   If you do not have a green thumb, buy local produce and meats. By growing your own produce and buying local you reduce the carbon footprint of your food (it takes a lot of energy for that apple to get to the grocery store!). 

4. Just try. Think before you consume energy. Turn off some lights. Turn off the water. Help with park clean-ups. Learn more about ecotourism and choosing environmentally friendly tour operators. Choose products made by companies with environmental commitments (if they are a certified B Corp that is a great start!). Research the environmental laws in your state. No matter what you do or don't do, just try your best--our future and our children's future depends on us doing our best, make good choices and also trying to affect policy change! 

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