Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day! Got ice?

So there I was in the grocery store check-out line this morning, gathering up my two reusable bags (which I had, on my way in, forgotten, as I often do, and returned to the truck for, because that's just extra steps on my journey to be fitter and healthier, right?), and as I stepped away I heard the checker's helper ask the lady behind me, "Plastic ok?" Her response: "Can I have extra plastic bags, please? Like, a lot? We're running low on plastic bags at home."

Seriously?!? On Earth Day?!?



Which reminded me that I just wanted to mention a couple of things today:

1.  Here in Southern California, where water is scarce, the spring weather has been quite lovely (and mostly without precipitation). Folks can be seen everywhere carrying iced drinks—tea, soda, fancy coffee, fancy water. But ask yourself: Where do all those ice cubes go? I mean, if you think of ice as the water it is, and you imagine how many times a day someone throws a take-out cup in the trash with ice in it, that's a significant amount of water.

I keep an old pitcher out on the back patio that I use to water the potted plants. Now every morning when I give Sgt. Thomas Tibbs fresh water, I dump his day-old water into the pitcher. If I make iced tea (or happen to pick up a lovely tall unsweetened black tea from that one popular place because yet another student has given me yet another gift card), I dump the ice in there as well. And if it is a take-out cup, I rinse out the paper cup and the plastic lid (plastic straw still attached) and toss them in the recycle bin. Yes, I love Mother Earth that much.

2.  For those of you who love public radio as much as I do, you still have time to plant a tree today (because you're a good person and you love Mother Earth, too, and you really wanted to do something for Earth Day but you had to go to work) by donating to KPCC in Southern California. Click here, follow the clicky buttons, and when you donate—whatever you can afford—a tree will be planted. (Well, I mean, probably not at the precise moment you enter your card info. I mean, it's not instantaneous—but wouldn't that be cool?!?)

3.  Come on. Don't be like Extra-Plastic-Bags-Please lady. Break down and buy yourself a couple of reusable bags. Put them in the trunk of your car. Yes, you will forget them every single time for the first—How many repetitions does it take to "make something a habit"?—30 times or so. Make yourself walk back and get them, and you'll not only start to remember, you'll be able to shave a minute off your boring treadmill time. Over the course of a year, you'll keep hundreds of plastic bags from going into a landfill where they don't break down, they just float around. And if you guilt one other guy into doing the same, and he guilts one other guy, and so on, we could actually begin a true revolution. You know, like we used to talk about back in 1969 when the idea for Earth Day got started.

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