Because we do not think of the next generation, they will never forget us. - Henrik Tikkanen
What did you do on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22? I drove - alone - on several errands. After my car was totaled when I was crashed into recently, though, I now drive a vehicle that uses a bit more gas. So for both environmental and economic reasons, I'm even more cognizant about combining trips.
I also did some spring cleaning and some laundry, although with only some bio-friendly detergents. I mean, after all, biodegradable cleansers can be more expensive and less effective ... right?
I took a chance and planted my patio pots before Mother's Day, and, on the advice of the garden center guy, I purchased bags of soil with only organic compounds because I grow an herb garden as well as flowers.
I prepared a meal of bison filet not just because it's lean and healthy meat, but also because bison are humanely and sustainably raised on ranches, where their hooves actual help reseed and restore the ecosystem.
All day on the radio I heard public service announcements reminding us, for example, to choose reusable water bottles (I do) and shopping bags (mostly I don't). And as I listened to these earth-saving pleas, I couldn't help but be struck by the dichotomy consistently playing out in our country.
Even as more and more of us take personal responsibility for preserving the planet, the current administration systematically dismantles effective safeguards in ineffective attempts to restore jobs and hide cronyism.
Scott Pruitt, the man somehow selected to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is hardly a protector himself. He spent much of previous political life challenging, suing and even decrying the need for the very agency he now heads.
I awake each morning to the frustrating reality that there's not much you or I or anyone else inclined to conserve, protect, and sustain our environment can do at this highest level. But I do pick up my pen to converse with you here, and I call and write emails to members of Congress. I've now gathered a supply of cloth shopping bags and stowed them in the front of my car so I will remember to use them. My condo community doesn't do recycling, but I've started to collect my paper and my cans and my glass to carry to a friend's place that does. I've decided to buy brown coffee filters next time, not the ones that have been chemically treated to turn them white, and to commit the biodegradable cleaning ingredients.
I can remind all of us here to turn off the tap while brushing our teeth or shaving, to choose reusable water bottles, and to find a way to recycle no matter what. The statistics about the amount of plastic - which never goes away - are absolutely staggering. For example, every piece of plastic ever made still exists today, and we use enough plastic each year to circle the earth four times. And, sadly, more than one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Perhaps most importantly, I can urge us all to make our voices heard - often - about preserving and protecting our most valuable resource, Mother Earth.
Andrea Doray is a writer who also urges us to consider the dire situations so much of the rest of the world endures with respect to water, pollution, and unbearable living conditions. Let's remember our own future generations. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.