Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stop to Smell the Roses...

Once again, it's time to celebrate Earth Day: a day of environmental awareness around the globe. Though it may have come under fire in recent years, its message is poignant. With the current debate on global warming, this is a good time to contemplate the state of out environment and the impact we have upon it.

No, I'm not some insane, radical "tree hugger" who is hellbent on bringing down the corporations and creating hippie communes around the world. Yet I do see carelessness constantly and an very mindful of out effects on the planet. Pollution is still a critical problem and our dependence on fossil fuels is a major issue. We all need to seriously take a look at our lives, and try to do something, however small, to avoid turning the world into our own private toxic waste dump.

We are very much a throw-away society. Everything ends up in landfills. We burn coal, oil, gas, and petrol to an insane degree, forgetting that it isn't replaced overnight. Even if we don't care about the pollutants thrown into the atmosphere and water supply, we'll soon run out of the fuels we use. By the time we wake up to that fact, it will be a desperate scramble to find alternative means of energy.

Of course, there are efforts around us to change. Australia is experimenting with solar power in the Outback, using the heat of the sun to power a wind turbine that could eventually power thousands of homes. On the east coast of the United States, people are using the tidal currents to power turbines to supply power to businesses. Modern windmills are sprouting up all across the globe to harness power for communities. Electric and hydrogen-powered cars are becoming a reality.

If you want to do your part without taking much effort, start small. Instead of driving two blocks away to visit friends or go to a small store, take a walk instead. When going to the grocery store, avoid plastic bags... purchase an inexpensive, reusable canvas grocery bag instead. Replace a few incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones. When you're not home, unplug your televisions and electronic devices to save on wasted standby power. Plant a tree.

Take a moment from your day to see the world around you in a different light. Doing little things now just might save you from severe alterations in your lifestyle in the future...

1 comment:

Buck said...

Small things make a difference. When we lived in South Carolina there was very little recycling. Because you had to drive miles and miles to recycle we didn't do it nor did anyone we knew. Here we recycle everything. I haven't thrown a plastic bottle, can, or newspaper away since we arrived.

Another big difference has been that in SC none of the grocery chains promoted reusable bags. Wal-Mart was trying to make a go but there clientele just wasn't interested in "hippie" stuff like that.

Here, we never use a plastic bag. We used to throw out entire garbage bags full of plastic grocery bags, here we hardly ever have one in the house. It's a MAJOR change and I can only think of the millions of pounds of plastic that could be eliminated if everyone did that.