Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!!! For more info, try

I do try to be mindful of this wonderful planet we live on every day. As usual, there are the ideals I strive for and the things I actually accomplish.

I see petroleum products as harmful in so many ways and yet I am very dependent on their use. When I learned of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (, I decided this was one of the things I could do something about. I switched to using reusable grocery bags and no longer bought anymore butane lighters since these items made up a large portion of this mass.

I even switched from a gas-guzzling sports car to a more economical car (from 17/24 MPG to 24/32) and began driving less aggressively. I do miss my Mustang but for now, I feel it was a good move.

I am still participating in a garbage recycling trial in my town though no one in office really seems interested with moving forward with the project. Their main concern is if it will save money and we all know that shouldn't be the focus of such a project.

I have lots of plants outside and even some inside to help with air quality. I haven't yet gotten to growing much to eat but I am working to expand that effort this year. First to a few more herbs and then maybe next year with more staple plants.

According to the site, Climate Change is the focus this year. With such a short amount of climate data, I feel the causes and trends are still vague. Still, I do see the changes. From immense glacial sheering, the effects of sea temperature on marine life including the beautiful coral reefs, unusual storms (frequency, strength, time and place), droughts, sea levels rising, and the effects on the various ecosystems, something is definitely happening whatever factors are contributing to it.

Perhaps I've watched too many disaster movies but I worry that things will swing severely out of control in such a way that it devastates life on earth. According to evidence, the human race may have reached a low of only 15,000 individuals due to the Toba volcanic eruption at one time. We don't know what something like that might due to our modern world.

That's why I feel that being conservative in our population growth is also a good "earth friendly" practice until the other issues mentioned are managed much better. We can then slow the need to destroy forests to maintain our growing population and start becoming more aware of the things we do and the reason for doing them before we take a step in the wrong direction.

As we destroy natural habitats, much of it will be lost forever. So the first step is to just think about the simple wasteful things we do. Wasting food. Hoarding. Leaving electrical devices on (lights and other devices we aren't even using). Researching and even trying new forms of energy. And gently encouraging others with things we see they could easily incorporate into their routines. When someone comments on you using reusable shopping bags, buy one for them to try out.

Give living plants as gifts and suggest doing things with friends and family that expose them to the outdoors. A plant sale or a walk in the park. The benefits can be more than you realize. And we just may wind up leaving a little something worth having when we are done borrowing the Earth from those that will need it after us.

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