Earth Day 2011

Earth Day is every day in my world, but this week and especially tomorrow April 22nd is the 'official' Earth Day, now 41 years in existence.  I remember the first one back in the 1970's and thank my Mom for opening my eyes to being more mindful and earth friendly. 

Japan's tragic earthquake and tsunami have had horrific and catastrophic repercussions on shortsighted human made environments i.e building nuclear power plants on earthquake fault lines, and ignoring tsunami calculations.  It's one year since the BP's Deep Water Horizons off-shore drilling disaster. Drilling is not the answer.  Finding new technologies away from our deep addiction to oil, is.  Hey we moved on from the horse when there was great resistance to automobiles.  I've just returned from a trip to France, gas there is  $8+ per gallon.  I took a high speed train from the south of the country to Paris, it was efficient, comfortable and cheap.

wind farm France TGV.jpg

Along the way I passed a field of wind turbines.  They might not be pretty to some people, and there is that whole NIMBY (not in my back yard) rage, but we have to do something to counterattack oil consumption.  And let me add this thought, if a wind farm was hit by an earthquake and tsunami, no one would be evacuating for miles or stopping to eat livestock or agricultural harvests for seasons/generations to come.  

Why bother with Earth Day? Living a life with consideration for our planet's sustainability takes time, takes conscious effort and intent.  My take is the effort is well worth the time well spent, it’s good to feel good about caring about our world!!

In time, even one thing done to help make a difference, does make a difference.

One thing is certain: the world of today will be different tomorrow - and the day after that, and on and on ad infinitum. The question is not whether we must learn to live sustainably, but how fast we can do so. from University of North Dakota website

My Earth Day 2011 thoughts to consider, it's not if but when you...

1) ...will decide it's too expensive to drive alone for one trip you could easily consolidate with other trips.  Rethink your relationship with your car and consider some kind of commuter transportation.

2) ...unplug all the electronics in your home when not in use, and do anything you can to truly understand your energy consumption.  Then make adjustments.

3) ...reduce, reuse and recycle.  How many bags do you throw away,  how many items could you reuse but find too time consuming to do anything about.  What do you do with all your now obsolete gadgets?  Find an e-waste depot near you.  

4) ...ask local and national government to consider next generations, not next election cycles. If you find resistance, vote for change.

5) ...switch to homemade or non-petroleum based cleaning products (yes most household products from dish detergent to shampoo use petroleum).  And no fooling, switching is much healthier for your home environment.

6) your local economy.  There is a reason you can get cheap goods at big box stores-off shore corporations pay labor cents per hour and get huge tax breaks to do so.  

7) out less and use what you have in your cupboard more.

8) ...update appliances and recycle the old (do not reuse those energy guzzlers). 

9) ...take advantage of state and national tax credits for updating your energy systems and home weatherizing.

10) ...teach a child to care about the environment and they will carry it with them throughout their lives.  It's their future.

Regarding my 10 actions to consider: Call it sacrifice, learn to embrace it, or better yet, find a solution. But,

Doing nothing is the wrong option.

2010 thoughts for Earth Day