Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012...

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature, and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."
~ E.B. White

The Earth.  A large orb surrounded by a layer of gases held in place by gravity. Gases that help sustain life.  Comprised of four layers and the 'inner core', the outermost crust is what we call home.  There are many different names for the Earth.  Tara. Gaia.  Norse mythology calls it Midgard.  In Esperanto it's Tero.

It is the eve of Earth Day 2012, when the peoples of the Earth are urged to show our planet some love.  "Go Green" is the message.  Do what you can as an individual to help "save the planet".  Save the planet?  Man is causing the current Earth damage, which effects the Earth we humans count on to live.  Is Earth headed for complete destruction because man is heaping trash into land fills?  No.  With or without us, the Earth will continue to spin on its axis.  The fact is this planet has been through a lot.  Giant meteors.  An Ice Age.  Life has experienced extinction, and we continue to unearth bones proving it.  Each human inhabitant of Earth doing their part to help the environment is about humans saving humans.  It's not so much us saving the planet in the literal sense, it's us trying to correct/prevent damages we have/are inflicting on her. The Earth will keep on keeping on long after we are gone.  Doing your part to keep things "green" is about the human race saving the human race.

("Redwoods in Fog"
Photo:  Keric Kouklis)
We are an apathy filled society on so many levels.  So many people don't bother to recycle.  Anything. "What difference does it make, one way or the other?"  "I'm just one person, so why bother?"  "It's just too much of a hassle.  I don't have the time."  All things I have heard some of my friends say over the years.  'Apathetic and lazy, party of one...your table's ready.'

The truth is, even making a little effort to recycle makes a difference.  In my corner of the world, I do my part.  What I do is simple and not time consuming at all.  It just takes a little motivational energy.  It takes the same amount of effort to toss a can into a bin for recycling that it does to toss it in a garbage can.  When things are full, I drive my collections to the local dump to put them in the appropriate recycling bins.  There are two of us here at "the hovel", so some people might not think the recyclable items we produce would amount to much in the grand scheme.  Well, individually, probably not.  But if there are 100 people with my amount of recyclables who aren't recycling, or 1,000 can add up quickly.  So you don't want to be Ed Begley, jr. about it (he is a bit of a nut).  Me neither...but there are plenty of every day 'trash' items that most everyone produces.  These items are recycled quite easily.

The items I regularly recycle are pictured above.  Beverage cans; plastic bottles (everything from water bottles to plastic milk containers); newspapers; and boxes (cardboard packing boxes to cereal boxes).
Most households produce all of them.  Not sure what is/isn't, recyclable?  Look for the arrow triangle usually on the bottom of containers.  If it's there, it's recyclable.

Another way you can help, is getting reusable shopping bags.  Most of the bags you can buy at most stores cost a measly $1.00 to $2.00.  My assortment of bags are pictured above.  Most bags are made of recycled materials, and some send the proceeds for the bags' sale to a charity (the couple of bucks I spent on the pink bags I have went to breast cancer charities).

The list of things you can recycle is a long one.  Batteries, wire hangers, even old sneakers are recyclable if they are beyond the shape for Goodwill.  (Nike has been using the soles of old tennis shoes to resurface tennis courts and a bunch of other things for years.  If you want to learn more about "Nike Grind" and how to donate, click here.)  There are also things you can do in the conservation of electricity, water, and wood/paper products.  You can find 50 helpful tips at "50 Ways to Help the Planet", by clicking here.

If we all make even the smallest effort to help preserve our way of life on Earth, it will make a difference.  Start small, and I bet once you get "programmed" you will start to add things on to your 'help the Earth' list.  In preparing this post, I have learned a few more things I can do in addition to what I have been doing. So many of the things that people should program themselves to do are really common sense based.

"Till now man has been up against nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature."
~ Dennis Gabor

One thing that none of us can do is take nature for granted.  Just in my lifetime a lot of deforestation and polar ice cap melting has been happening.  What sort of environmental legacy are we leaving future generations? "Progress" is inevitable as mankind evolves, but some avenues of progress are proving dangerous.  Air, water, and ground pollution have been on-going issues over the years, and as with most things, over time they progressively get worse and worse.  Can some of the forces of global harm be reversed?  Can damage be reversed?  I am not an environmentalist, nor a scientist, so I don't know the answers to those questions.  I hope that some of them can be.  The main fact is, we all need to pull together to affect change.  

"Oh beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain,
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea."
~ George Carlin

(Looking out over the marsh grasses that edge Savannah's Bull River
Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
(North Tybee Island Beach at sunrise
Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
'Earth Day 2012', in my neck of the woods, is supposed to be a rainy one. That's fine by me.  Anyone who has read some of my posts (most dealing with rain) know of my love of rain.  Rain or not, I plan on getting out to commune with the nature around me here in Savannah.  Trees/forests are among my favorite things.  Maybe I'll just hug one of the trees that line the marsh.  I take every opportunity I can to enjoy the natural beauty of the world here on the Georgia coast.

Wherever you are for 'Earth Day', I hope you do some 'communing' of your own.

"There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet."
~ Brooke Medicine Eagle

1 comment:

  1. As you say here - highly paraphrased but this is what it boils down to - all we have do is open our eyes and use common sense! Strange how that seems so hard for some.