Friday, April 10, 2009

Thinking ahead to Earth Day on Good Friday

In my family, Good Friday has always been a day of deep introspection.  Not only to remember the passing of Jesus, but an opportunity to look deep into one's self and think about what is important in life.  Today, my heart is with the earth.  Because without it we would not have life.  I am not a "granola girl" by any stretch of the imagination, but I try very hard to do what is right.  And at this moment, the correct thing to do is protect the future for my children.  As humans our excesses have gotten the better of us.  I embrace technology but feel like we are killing ourselves with excessive packaging and chemicals.  Right now I am in Florida, which is not as progressive as my home state of California in terms of recycling.  Since I have been here I have seen very little in the way of an active recycling program (but should give kudos to the Lowry Park Zoo, YAY!  Recycling bins!)  I am so programed to recycle that throwing a plastic bottle in the trash, is almost like having to learn another language.  With all of the information that we have about what plastics do to the environment, I have a very hard time understanding why a major metropolitan area would not have a strong recycling program in place.  This is as basic as it gets.  We are staying at a hotel that does not recycle and if I were in California, I would collect all of our refuse and take it to a recycling facility.  But since we are at the mercy of their system, I cower.  And it is as bad for my soul as it is for the earth.

There is so much unnecessary packaging out there and why?  After buying a hermetically sealed package of dental floss, wrapped in cardboard, then in plastic and then in more plastic, I literally had a stomach ache.  Take a trip to your local big buy store and you will see what I am talking about.   Do we really need all of these plastic bags?  I remember my Grandma, washing her used foil and plastic bags and saving them to be reused again and again.  She may have been from the Depression Era but she was progressive!  

As Earth Day approaches, on April 22,  I want to focus a little on things that we can all do to improve the environment around us.  Whether that be locally or globally.  Because in all honesty, I feel that maybe all of this sickness is the root of food allergies.  I am not a scientist, but something is wrong.  And since we are living in a connected, global community there is no excuse for the excesses to continue.

What can you do?  If you aren't doing anything start with recycling.  And then get yourself some reusable bags and take them with you to the store.  Every store.  The other thing that we can all do is conserve energy whenever we can.  Think of it as a way to save money.  Turn off lights when you do not need them.  If the weather is nice outside, open up the windows.  Why use the AC when you do not need it?  These are basics that EVERY single person should be doing.  I love stores like IKEA who charge customers to use a bag.  Every single store should do this.   Maybe we can improve the economy as we help the earth?  If you want to read something freaky, do a little research about all of the floating garbage that forms "garbage continents" in our oceans.  If that doesn't affect you I am not sure what will.

I do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but my head is heavy and I think that we all need to our part.  Just consider what you use in the way of plastics and think about what you can do, even if it is just a little, to change your ways.   We truly can affect change and now is the time to start!  Happy Easter everyone!

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