People often say about me, "she's THE mom type"... which I assume means that I take care of people, I take care of animals... I take care. Other people say, "she's the earth mother type" which I assume means the same thing. I may wave it off, but deep down, I really like it. I like taking care of people, animals, nature. I may suck at outdoor gardens, but my office is a green house of indoor plants.
Because one thing I am passionate about is nature. Could you tell by any of my posts? Today is Earth Day. It is a holiday for me. Sadly, I practice this holiday as I honor most others... with a few thoughts, a few memories and a few wishes. I have never really taken an active part in "Earth Day" other than the first time I had ever heard of it, when I was a freshman in college, 1989.
That was when I was 19 and started to take an interest in recycling and the three "R"s - Reduce - Reuse - Recycle. I began cutting up the plastic holders that 6-packs of pop or beer came in (because I didn't want the fish or birds to get caught in them when they ended up in the ocean). I bought dolphin safe tuna (or so I hoped). I looked for ways to recycle bottles (usually into candle holders). I participated in my dorm's recycling program. I was thrilled when my home town began to recycle (begrudgingly but they did!). It was important to me to know that the things I was using were not ending up in a landfill somewhere. I began to take an interest in "biodegradable" and the different types of plastic and glass.
Once I moved to Ohio, I was thrilled to find that they recycled as second nature... they had garbage pick-up and recycling pick-up. I was on board! I taught those who came around my living space that it was important to me to not throw things away that could be recycled. I picked their pop cans and bottles out of my garbage, while they watched, and said, "No, these are recyclable." One of my friends even commented, "you're one of those people who wash your garbage before you throw it away" when I had a peanut butter jar soaking in my sink. Patiently, I explained that it wasn't garbage, it was recyclable. He looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language. To this day, even my own family doesn't "support" my efforts 100%. Oh, they'll toss their pop cans and iced coffee cups into the recycle bin, and the newspapers. But they just as easily toss an empty bottle of shampoo, an empty container of hand soap or an empty bottle of allergy medicine in the garbage. I pick out every single one and place it in the recycle bin. It's really that important to me.
It upsets me to see people still not recycling. It truly hurts my heart! It's such a small, easy step to reduce the waste in our world, our Earth. It hurts that the environmental awareness still has not yet passed on to our children. The Girl very recently said to me, "you're the only one who does this!" referencing me pulling something she had thrown away that could be recycled. I was floored! It just shows me that her biological mother and the people in the community where she lives most of her life do not take the few seconds to throw their recyclables into a different bin other than the garbage can. This young woman, who will be sixteen in a few short months, is not aware of the affect this will have on the Earth.
And this makes me very sad, and very scared.
My wish for her is a quick awareness of how Earth is affected by this lack of awarness and caring.
If you don't already, please, please start recycling. If your community doesn't make it an automatic weekly pick-up, please find out about your options and take the few extra steps to help conserve our resources and our nature's beauty and function. It's only a single teeny, tiny step in all you could do to reduce your "footprint", but if every single person on Earth took that teeny, tiny step, it would certainly pack a huge wallop!
Yes, Today is Earth Day. Start your awareness today and carry it through the year to next Earth Day. It really is important, not just to me, but to future generations.
Happy Earth Day!