Kate is doing an Earth Day challenge thing on her blog. At first I didn't think I could join in, but it looks as though I can now. So, here is my contribution to the Earth Day challenge.
Earth Day is a day set aside for people around the world to make an effort to be environmentally friendly. The purpose is, I believe, to remind people how important it is to take care of the planet. It's a fantastic idea, and I'm glad it happens. However, there appears to be a huge flaw in the plan. Why? Because - though many people make an effort on Earth Day - the rest of the year people don't stop and think about the planet. There are those who are the exception to this rule. But the bulk of the population wouldn't recognise an environmentally friendly alternative if it jumped up and down in front of them, waving it's arms, and shouting, "I'm an environmentally friendly alternative... Use me instead!"
I have to admit, I'm not the most environmentally friendly of people. I try to be... I recycle, I try to reuse stuff, I give away things I no longer want instead of just dumping them, I save left overs for another meal instead of throwing them away, I put on extra clothing before even contemplating using the central heating, and I turn things off when I'm not using them. But there are plenty of people who do more for the planet than I do.
The point of this challenge is to say what you are doing for Earth Day. So, I'll tell you what I'm doing. I wasn't sure how to approach this post at first, but it occurred to me while I was outside just now exactly how I wanted to write this post.
I was in the garden hanging out washing. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and it was obvious that it was Spring. And, as the birds flew above me, or sat on various perches to chirp and sing, I thought what a shame it was that I can't aim the camera, because I could get some fantastic photos for my blog. Thoughts of my blog reminded me of the Earth Day post I wanted to write, and that was when I realised that the reason I couldn't figure out how to write it was... I was trying to approach it from the wrong angle.
I was trying to figure out the right way to make my time spent tending my sunflower seedlings, my walk with Kero, and my use of the washing line instead of the tumble dryer sound exciting. But I now know that the reason that wasn't working was that what I really wanted to say was:
Every day should be Earth Day. You can't spend one day a year being environmentally friendly, then spend the rest of the year doing the opposite, and then feel good about yourself because you came through on Earth Day. One day a year isn't going to make a difference. You need to be as environmentally friendly as you can through the entire year for it to make a real difference.
I'm not saying, "be environmentally friendly all day, every day, or don't bother." I'm saying that you should try your best every day to do the environmentally friendly - and often cheaper - alternatives. Many of the things you can do are simple:
Walk places instead of using a vehicle, if it's possible.
Reuse items that you can, or - if you can't reuse them - pass them on to others who can.
Freeze left overs for another day, or put them in the fridge or something for the following day.
Turn off lights - and other electrical items - when you're not using them.
The list goes on and on...
So, do you know what I'm going to do to celebrate Earth Day this year? Well, I'll tell you.
I'm going to take some time to think about the things I do - and the way I do them - and figure out if there's anything more I can do to reduce my carbon footprint. Even if it's something small that I do (or don't do) on a regular basis, it will help. After all, every little bit helps... Isn't that what they say?