Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Earth Day

By coincidence, today is both Pay Equity Day and Earth Day. Can't really do them both justice in one post so let's talk Earth Day today and Pay Equity Day tomorrow.

I'm always inspired by people who are willing to try to change themselves to make the world a better place. Reading about No Impact Man Colin Beavan in the Sunday NY times put a smile on my face.

In honor of Earth Day, I decided to notice more than usual today how my daily habits balloon or shrink my carbon footprint.

This was my Earth Day:

  • Woke up in Florida where Joe & I were visiting my dad.
  • Breakfast was yogurt, a pear, oatmeal & dried fruit - probably none locally produced.
  • Checked email, then hibernated laptop.
  • Rode to the Melbourne, FL airport in dad's Jeep.
  • Started this blog post on laptop while waiting to board plane.
  • Flight to Atlanta (no direct flights from Melbourne to Minneapolis).
  • Ate store-bought salad on plane - threw away (no recycling on flight) empty plastic container.
  • Drank water in my own stainless steel bottle.
  • Had an iced decaf mocha from Starbucks in my stainless bottle (but the barista made it in a disposable cup anyway and then poured it into my bottle, saying it was "policy").
  • Ate the whipped cream topping with my sturdy new camping spork that I hope will save me from plastic spoons, forks & knives for years to come.
  • Used a straw I carry with me and re-use until it leaks.
  • Rode light rail from airport to bus and bused to our condo (all for only $1.50!).
  • Recycled the mail we didn't need and read the latest New Yorker by the light from floor to ceiling south-facing window.
  • Snacked on air-popped bulk popcorn from food co-op, with olive oil & sea salt. Wiped fingers on cloth napkin.
  • Joe did one load laundry (mixed colors & whites) in cold water with 1/8 c. Restore laundry soap in refillable jug & hung it to dry on hangers and drying rack.
  • Joe walked to co-op to get a few things we needed.
  • Went through emails from past several days.
  • Watched the Pennsylvania primary results while knitting a small afghan.
  • Flushed toilet after one poop or several pees.
  • Turned off power strip with TV & all other electronics attached.
  • Finished blogging and turned off power strip with computer, monitor & cell phone charger.
  • Went to sleep.
My day obviously had some proud moments as well as its less-prous (2 flights in one day). And as I lived these hours conscious of my effect on our earth, I thought of my daughters many, many times.

The disconnect between pervasive media and retailer tie-ins to Earth Day and the ways we actually live our daily lives is jarring. When will we change and will it be soon enough? Will our daughters and sons and their children have to pay the price for our disconnect and denial - it certainly looks that way.

When will we understand how much our personal choices matter in the earth our kids will inherit? Do the small things we do as individuals really matter? Michael Pollan argued in Sunday's NY Times magazine that our individual actions do matter and I agree.

What are the "small things" you do that help? I'm always looking for new ideas I can adopt. Share them by commenting.

Tomorrow, Pay Equity Day and how we can make change there, too.

1 comment:

doogie said...

"Poop" isn't a nice thing to blog about. Yuk!