Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. I saw a video that highlighted an Earth Day celebration last year – could have been the previous year. People were partying at a park, listening to music, drinking whatever, eating, having a good time. Then the video showed the overflowing trash containers. When you go to a park, environmentalist or not, apparently you eat and drink in containers and don't recycle them.

So I was wondering how to spend this Earth Day. There is a movie coming out today from Disney called Earth. I don't know if watching the film is Earth friendly.

There is all of this talk about carbon footprints, a term we did not even use a decade ago. I remember hearing an article about an actress who took 3 minute showers and unplugged the power strip to her entertainment center. This was a well-known actress, and I was thinking "You live in a 10,000 square foot house and you talk about unplugging a power strip." It is about perspective, about making choices.

I understand this actress – she probably wants to feel like she is doing something good, so she takes three minute showers and unplugs a power chord.

While I am not going to downsize my house, I do look at ways to recycle. I read something that states that we should recycle about half of our trash. Well, I have been recycling like a mad woman, and my recycling is about at the 50% mark. Maybe a little less, but still more than I was doing 5 years ago.

I have a passion for a specific beverage – San Pellegrino-brand mineral water. This sparkling mineral water is bottled in Italy, so these bottles have to be sent over the Atlantic Ocean, placed on trucks, sent down an interstate, and arrive at the local supermarket. The carbon footprint for my bubble water is probably really large. I never really thought about it, but I was entertaining a friend who suggested that my drinking habit was not consistent with an environmental stance.

I still drink San Pellegrino-brand mineral water, but not daily or weekly. I drink it on occasion, but only on special occasions. I know it is a little thing, but it reduces my carbon footprint a little and it makes me feel better.

When I read about Earth Day, I sometimes think we are just deluding ourselves with some of the things we have been asked to do. Things that make us feel better but don't really change our environment. I helped clean up a patch of highway one time. I wore gloves and had one of this sticky-thingies, but the whole experience was completely gross. People are pigs, and I was cleaning up after the pigs.

I don't have an answer for Earth Day. I guess I should bid you to do a pointless thing today that makes you feel better about helping the environment. After all, isn't that the point of Earth Day? Oh, that, and profiting from the commercialization of environmentalism.


Deb said...

Why didn't they come up with something similar to Earth Hour? Remember a lot of us turned off our lights for one full hour? Why not the same - like maybe even for 2 or 3 hours? I think that's the best way because a lot of people, companies and other places could reduce the demanding electricity usage by a lot! And everyone can do it without the inconvenience of asking permission to plant a tree on someone's property. Recycling is great if you can get enough - or any. But I love the lights out participation and was surprisingly disappointed about the lack of participation on New York City's part. They did shut down some of the lights at Time Square, but NY could have done much better!

Happy Earth Day!

Deb said...

As for your question on Twitter, yes I read your article. I read every single word. I'm sorry my comment didn't suffice. I was just trying to say what NY should have done, but yes, I did read everything.

SSC~ The Domestic Diva said...

I think that is admirable of you to do what you are doing. I think it is about being lazy for me which I need to work on. I through my trash away with out thinking twice.

I think it is funny because I don't think twice about what is going to happen to my children who have to repay our debt, but not the land in which they were given.

Thanks for keeping us accountable. I promise to recycle and make an effort.

Happy Earth Day to you!

Under the Influence said...

Wouldn't it be great if every day were Earth Day and we didn't have to remind people to take care of Her!

Grant said...

I took a test to determine my carbon footprint, and my lifestyle is only slightly more damaging to the environment than that of a filthy hippie. I'll try harder when the rest of you catch up to me.

Tip - when celebrating in the park, eat the wrappers and poop on the ground. The grass could use the fertilizer.

Leesa said...

Deb: I like your Earth hour comment. Oh, and I was just kidding on Twitter.

SSC: Thanks!

Under the Influence: But we do. It is sad.

Grant: You are a riot.

Vincetastic said...

I think it's cynical to think that everyone's efforts don't matter. The collective is what it takes to protect the Earth, and I don't care what means it takes to get there. Earth Day should be everyday, it is good that there is at least one day to spread awareness. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to help the Earth:, you can add your own suggestions.

Malach the Merciless said...

KILL THE EARTH! That would solve all our problems.

btsea said...

The carbon footprint thing seems more like a guilt trip than anything else. Even stewardship can become obsessive-compulsive if taken to extremes. I had a cousin that recycled, composted, or burnt everything. He had absolutely no garbage...but was still required to pay for a garbage can!

Leesa said...

Vincetastic: I am just saying that unplugging a power strip doesn't really matter when you live in a huge house, etc.

Malach: I think we are moving in that direction.

btsea: Well, still paying for a garbage can is a municipal thing.

Jules said...

I read 'The Lorax' with my students. And we wrote letters to Mother Earth about what we'll do to help. I think I did my part. ;)

Leesa said...

Jules: I would agree that you did your part.

Xmichra said...

I missed this post in my small effort to reduce my carbon for the day. I realised a lot this week though, and have sat down with my family to make some changes. If we don't all start small, we won't start at all. And at least the small things we can all do can make a difference if we all do them... I don't feel like being someone who doesn't care anymore (or rather, is obliviously unknowledged). Earth day was a real eye opener for me this year... kinda makes me wonder why it hadn't in the past.