Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

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.

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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?

Tori

11 comments:

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

You're right, Earth Day should serve as a reminder and a celebration of reducing our footprint, not just the one day a year we choose to think about it.

Intense Guy said...

I totally agree with you Tori.

Earth Day Every Day.

Donnetta said...

Every little thing helps!! And we certainly have to do it more than one day a year! :)

Call Me Cate said...

Fantastic post, I'm SO glad you participated! I had thought I was doing a lot but reading all of the posts today has shown me that I could be doing so much more. I can't wait to take stock of it all and make more changes!

AliceKay said...

Yep, that's what they say.

Tori_z said...

Glad you all enjoyed the post.

Thanks to those who followed my link here from Kate's blog and are visiting for the first time. :)

ChicagoLady said...

I've slowly been changing my habits to be more environmentally friendly. I bought a reusable bag at the grocery store and one at Target, but I have a hard time remembering to grab them from my car before going inside. Because I'm in an apartment, I need something to put my garbage in, so I use the plastic bags from the stores.

I've also changed several light bulbs in my apt to the CFL bulbs.

And for several years now, I've been limiting the lights that I keep on in my apt. My living room light is rarely on, even when I watch tv. I keep the light on over the stove, and when I'm in the bedroom on the computer, the light is on there, but when I'm not in there, it's off.

I wish I could walk places (if my knee would let me) but it's too far, and boy would I be exhausted having to carry bags back home.

I do try to be efficient when running errands; I stop at Target on the way home, since I drive past it, rather than making a special trip, etc.

As far as using more environmentally friendly cleaners, I'm hesitant to start using them because I'm afraid they won't clean as well as others that I use. When I find something that works, I like to stick with it.

I guess that's about it, lol.

Yaya said...

Great post! You're right-it has to be an everyday consciousness of being environmentally aware!

LadyStyx said...

Great reminder. I find it's a bit more difficult to keep Earth-minded when we're on the nightshift because the lights simply MUST be on and I absolutely NEED to have noise in the house.

I'd love to be able to hang my clothes on a set of lines but the area won't allow it.

HOWEVER, we keep extra trips to a minimum. All errands are now run on a day that we'll already be out on (Friday, shot day). If we get the craving to go out to dinner on a non-errand day, we go to the buffet place which is in easy walking distance (even for me)or to Subway (which is just a couple minutes farther. OMG we forgot something at the Shopper's Warehouse? Then we walk over to the Bottom Dollar instead.

We also do the same as Chicagolady does. We re-use the plastic grocery bags as liners for the trash buckets in the house. I haven't bought liners for those cans in years. When I have an abundance of the bags, we either put them in a recycler box at WalMart OR use them for packing material for gifts being shipped to others.

Magazines get read and then given to the local library, clothes no longer wanted or not fitting go to the second hand store and we're forever eating left-overs (in fact that's what we had tonight) because even after 17 yrs in marriages I STILL cant get the handle on cooking for just 2.

Tori_z said...

Chicago:
I do the same with bags. We do have a whole stack of reusable bags in my Mam's car to use when I go shopping with her, but since it's often only Kelly who goes (without my Mam's car) they don't always get used (of course, forgetting to take them in the shop doesn't help). So the bags get saved and used as bin liners for the little bin in the bathroom.

Yaya:
Thanks for visiting, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Styxie:
Sometimes it is harder. But it's all about doing what you can. And it sounds to me like you're doing your best. :)

I could never be home on my own without a light on and a radio or CD playing, or the TV being on either. And I sytill have the radio on a lot (especially if I'm home alone). There's nothing wrong with it if you're in the room that has the light on, and are actually listening to the radio, CD or TV.

Tori_z said...

That should have read "and I still have the radio on"