April 20, 2009

Will you do anything?

Image borrowed from this site.

Earth day always brings back fond memories of walking around Balboa Park in San Diego with my dad. At the time I didn't really understand Earth Day; I thought it was just a fun time to get out of the house with my dad, eat some good food, watch people with wild hair roam around, listen to splashy music, and collect posters and stickers with pandas or trees. I loved going to Earth Day with my papa. It wasn't really until we moved to Washington and for some reason stopped going to the event (Why dad, why?) that I realized what it was all about. Eco-awareness.

We also used to go to the local grocery store with the cans (recycling bottles for money wasn't happening yet) that we had saved and put them in the recycling machine and got our nickles. Again we stopped doing that when we moved to Washington due to the fact that Washington State didn't (maybe still doesn't?) give back money for recycling. Instead you get some fun plastic blue bins to place your newspapers, aluminum, glass, and plastics then throw them out on Recycling Day each week...and pay for this pick up service. For cardboard boxes, which we had heaps of from when we moved, we went to the local recylcing place and threw them in a big cardboard dumpster.

It was also important for us to turn off any unused lights or any type of electricity so that we could conserve energy and of course keep the utilities bills lower. Oh and turn off the water if you weren't using it. My parents were awesome at taking 5 minute showers but I loved the feeling of the water pattering on my body so my showers tended to a tiny bit longer.

All in all I'm proud to say that I come from a very eco-friendly household. But that's not all.

The best year of my life to date was while I was living in Norway working as an au pair. Now if you're from the Northwest or if you've been there or know anyone from there you'll know that we're pretty zealous about being not just eco-friendly but eco-conscious and eco-advocates; we've got loads of
organizations and newspapers promoting eco-consciousness. The beautiful NW is nothing compared to Scandinavia. In Norway they have a commercial about a man who wakes up in the middle of night, grabs a carton of milk, drinks the rest of the milk, and then just throws it in the regular trash bin. Right when this happens all of his family members wake up and run down to the kitchen screamin, "What have you done?!!??" in Norwegian of course. Here's an example of what they're commercials are like, this one is way tamer than the one's I've watched in Norway. To view more of their commercials click here but they're all in Norwegian, so if you don't know the language then you won't be able to understand but some of them are so cute and funny anyway that it just might be a nice break from your daily routine. Anyway, they were so great about recycling, everything was separated but instead of using a plastic bin they had these large kind of mesh bags to put them in so that they were biodegradable. Innovative people these scandinavians. There were hardly any trucks or SUVs and if there were they were just for utility purposes. They have an amazing public transportation system, so if you don't own a car you can still get home....even at 3:00 am from the city on a Friday or Saturday night. And they've got the cleanest air....which was very apparent when I went to London. My lungs were so used to clean air that when I went to the Big Smoke I came back to Oslo with bronchitis.

Now I'm here in Hawai'i where
Malama Honua (Care for the Earth) is very important, so important that there is a crew preparing for a worldwide sailing voyage to learn and teach about how to care for our Earth with all of the different cultures. For Hawaiians, the land/Earth is a very sacred place that should be honored.

So what do I do to honor this Earth? Anything I can because I don't want my son to have to grow up and live in a place that is of less quality than we have right now on this planet. In fact it would be great if he could end up living in better quality. So I recycle, do my laundry at night, read about how to have a greener lifestyle, send shout out e-mails to people about how awesome participating in a
CSA is, tell and ask other people about the importance of being green. In fact, I was probably the most annoying person when it came to the importance of taking care of this Earth when I was at work ; taking people's bottles and putting them in a plastic bag to throw in the street during Friday recycling pick ups or complaining about not recycling the insane amounts of papers used, and I even jumped into the disgusting Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, WA when I saw a piece of paper flying and dropping into the water....during a date.. I also plan on teaching and showing my son the importance of caring for this Earth. There's so much more that I can do and I will do my best at doing so.

What are you doing? What will you do? Will you do anything?

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails