Our Year Of Living (Beautifully) Without WalMart

Thursday, June 19, 2008

earth day

(originally posted april 22, 2008)

so this is earth day and what have we done? so far today (and it is just morning) i have added some "causes" to my friends list and will look for more. and i have meditated for days (years) about earthday and what i can and should and will do to lighten my steps on the earth.
ecology and conservation have always interested me deeply. i was one of the first kids at my school who pushed for "recycling", i wonder if that has happened there yet, as i have been gone for several years. probably though, with the "movement" gaining momentum. when i was a small child there was a group in my hometown called TRASH IS CASH that collected boxes and packaging from products and bought playground and park equipment with it. i am foggy on the details because i was young and they were GROWN UPS (and rather radical ones in my small town, i imagine) so i don't know exactly how it worked. because when i was young there weren't "box tops for education" (that i know of) and i don't even think there were "bar codes".

so, i always profess my love for the earth and nature and all things of that sort and i still don't do near enough. i haven't started recycling at the new house yet. i still buy gasoline, even though it kills me both ethically and financially. i bought 8 reusable bags at target for my shopping and never remember to use them. so what good do i do?
that is what drives me nuts about myself, about ecology, and about the country, in general. what the hell good do we do?! i know there are those who are doing good. i know all sorts of ideas to do better (and sometimes try to implement them into my everyday life) and i know that there are people who are doing them. i probably do more than i think that i do.
i instill in my children a love for the earth and for nature and a mindfulness that i imagine is advanced for their ages.
sebastian said this morning "for earth day i am going to build fairy houses, probably" and i wonder at my lack of consciousness.
here are things i have been guilty of doing in the past for the good of the "environment", for the good of my family, and in my guilty conscience, to improve "things"....

* increased my awareness of the world as a globe. not just my own town or my own country, but gained as much awareness as i can towards the global condition, both socially and politically and spiritually.

* i have been known to revere nature, green things, and a simpler lifestyle. i have had a sticker on my car for years that says SIMPLE LIVING SAVES LIVES ( i am aware of the duplicity of that, don't worry) and i mean it with my whole heart. it is certainly what i aspire to.

*i have constantly bought most all i own second-hand and then turned around and given those things away in a way that will get even more use for them. i should do more of that and have a thousand ideas and goals where RECYCLING of THINGS is concerned and hope to carry out at least 998 of them before i die.

*i have recycled in the past. i have tried to recycle against all odds (pregnancy, a throw-away culture, uncooperative "garbage companies, etc)

* i NEVER litter. i would probably die on the spot if i did it hurts soooo much to even consider. i have seen people do it. i have been with people who have done it and given them quite a hard time and forced them to change their ways (both of my husbands come to mind)

* i have taught sebastian about landfills and what they mean, where they are in accordance to where we live.

* i have read tons of RECYCLING, SIMPLE LIVING, and ECOLOGICAL IDEAS books and resources and have tried to implement as many of their ideas into my daily life as i can and will do more.

*i have fought against my consumerist instinct very very hard and though have failed on countless occasions, have succeeded often.

* i have been known to compost at various times in my life and try to use what i have composted.

* i have donated to ECOLOGICALLY sound charities to the best of my impoverished ability. ( i got a letter from leonardo dicaprio, i am soooo involved haha)

* i spearheaded the yearly "garage sale" day in the last town i lived in as a response to my disgust at the consumerist culture there. the garage sales had very favorable results and on a local scale i have saved thousands of pounds of things from going straight to the landfill.

*i have kept my eyes peeled, my ears open, and my heart as open as i can to the CLIMATE CRISIS and all of its facets that are seeing the LIGHT of day now.

*somehow i want to add that i have had my babies at home as a protest against the medical community as having some significance to ecology. and i know that it does, but that is a whole nother topic that will have its due when there is a MEDICAL DAY to shed light on those atrocities (haha)

here are the ideals. here are the things i want to do in a perfect world where i have the wherewithall:

*get a hybrid car next time i get a car. if i get another car. i hate cars a lot. but i like to get around.

*get a bicycle. i have always wanted to get one. get bicycles for our whole family and use them.

*get solar electricity and heat. i want this BAD. it is on my WISH LIST. my front burner. HATING gas isn't enough. HATING gas and paying the bill is just about enough to kill me and is surely enough to motivate me.

*i already don't use much water. but it would be AWESOME to find ways to use even less. i am pretty darn good on the water conservation thing. if my toilet had less water it wouldn't flush and if i kept it on while i was brushing my teeth i would go automatically INSANE (er). i have done a pretty good job on the water thing.

*Grow as much of my own food as possible. i am gonna do carrots this year just to prove that ican do it. and summers hence will add on and on and on (and learn how to can and preserve) so that the jars on my shelves say STEFF'S VALUE and not GREAT VALUE.

*a BIG HUGE GOAL is to find a way to buy my meat from an organic farmer (and now that i am here amongst the amish that shouldn't be too darn hard) and buy my meat at one time so that i am buying locally, organically, and not putting another cent into THAT slaughter machine.

*I am committed to finding a way to lessen my consumerist actions. To be even more frugal, even more mindful, even more natural, even more safe, even more thrifty than i already am.

*I want to GET MORE INVOLVED with people and causes that i admire. to find the people who are LIVING the difference. who are LIVING their consciences and join them.

* I want to see the world improve. I want to see the oil obsessed evil forces in the world topple (ours included) and a far more earth-based, simple vs consumerist SOCIETY emerge. Not COMMERCIALLY SIMPLE, not CORPORATE ORGANICS but a nice, easy, beautiful simplicity that comes from people turning away from the CONSUMERIST mindset, from the GLUTTONY of possibility fed to them by CORPORATIONS. there's a LOT to do and to think about, so i am gonna stop now and go do 8 things to improve the world.

Wish us luck. and Get to work.
luv steff

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