It’s Earth Day. That one day a year we’re supposed to stop and consider being nicer to this planet we call home. There are all sorts of events scheduled to take part in this time of year where one can learn to conserve, to show your love of mother earth or just plant a tree. Being married to a Riverkeeper, I am often asked what we do to celebrate the day.
Honestly? We don’t do much of anything to celebrate Earth Day in particular. For us, it’s just another day although there is much demand for Pat to show up at various festivals, meaning he tends to work long hours six and seven days a week this time of year. I realize this answer of ‘not much’ is one that generally takes people back a bit – the same ones who upon discovering I drove my car to the nearby mall to return a bathing suit I bought my daughter, tell me I’ve lost all ‘environmental’ cred. I suppose there are better ways to get to the mall, although the safest and most personally efficient (as opposed to taking the bus, transferring several times & wasting the better part of a day) is to hop in my car and drive there. I know, it’s not easy being green. But I never claimed to be a green expert or even an environmentalist.
I am quite careful about how I approach the subject of living ‘green’. I don’t want to appear smug or condescending and there are certainly things we could be doing better. I harbor a secret fantasy of living completely off grid, but it’s not yet completely practical. For starters, we have too many trees around the house for solar panels, so even if we installed them, at best we’d get a few hot showers a week out of them – not at all worth the investment is what I’ve been told by a professional. Like everything in life, there is a balance to be achieved. While cloth dishtowels have a much longer life span than paper towels, there is a place for the disposable ones in my kitchen. So I buy paper towels made of recycled paper, just like I purchase tp made of recycled paper. Considering where the tp ends up, I really don’t see the point in chopping down a tree to make it and I wish it were more readily available outside of Whole Foods. Sigh. Someday, when I run the world….So no, we don’t do much to celebrate Earth Day here. Everyday is Earth Day to us. We recycle, reuse, compost & generally conserve as much as we can as part of our every day life. Pat has pointed out my last few Home & Garden Columns for CharlottesvilleFamily magazine have definitely been green leaning with such topics as natural laundry tricks and river friendly landscaping in recent months. I write about them because they are good house and garden topics that are easy on the pocketbook. And really, that’s what quite a bit of this earth friendly green living that we do comes down to – it’s easy on the pocketbook while making common sense. Many years ago a friend remarked that we didn’t live environmentally as much as we did cheaply. That is certainly true to a certain point, although recycled paper toilet paper is not as cheap as the virgin stuff, that’s for sure (Which makes no sense to me). It just so happens that living modestly, recycling & reusing as much as we can is also just downright ecofriendly. Earth day, it’s not just a day, it’s a lifestyle.
4 thoughts on “Every day a holiday.”
Like you, we do what is most comfortable in our family. We recycle. We reuse. We don’t litter. We don’t drive electric cars nor are we vegetarians. However, we do have meatless meals at times, grow herbs (not enough space for a garden, but we do shop our farmer’s market). We aren’t wasteful. When it’s function-able for the timing I will use cloth napkins or towels for cleanup as opposed to paper towels. I also make lots of cleaning products using natural substances…however, I respect others choices as we’re all on a journey and on different stages of our individual ones. I do what I can, but I don’t beat myself up when I use disposable products.
Exactly. As always, well said Suzi.
Very well put. Like most people, I do better in some areas than others. Having been an enthusiastic part of the environmental movement in the early ’90s, it distresses me a little to compare environmentalism between now and then. Back then, there was a much stronger emphasis on thrift and consuming less. Now (and I’m definitely not referring to your blog here) it’s more about what you can consume–buying expensive “green” products of dubious environmental value, like “green” make up. We’re not going to save the earth by buying more stuff.
I’m pretty sure the only things I’m going to encourage you to run out & buy are canning jars, wine & asshole behaving peaches. Consumerism is one of those things that makes me slightly queasy.