Who doesn’t love a good “be authentic” talk with a dash of eye-roll to “branding,” but those climate scientists have to be kicking themselves for not hiring a marketing team back in the 80s. I can distinctly remember sitting on the bus we had a huge snowstorm after an unseasonably warm winter in Connecticut and a friend, who was maybe 10 years old, said: SEE? Global warming doesn’t exist?
D’OH! Those scientists are all: Why didn’t we call it climate change from the beginning? Unpredictable weather patterns caused by global warming not a literal fahrenheit 451 in everyone’s backyard.
At least the majority of Americans today believe in CLIMATE CHANGE since we’ve changed the name and had flooding of major cities, creepy windstorms called derecho and snow in Spring in the south. Yay?
As I’ve said before, Earth Day is not liberal or conservative, hippie or showered, taking care of the Earth is like cleaning our home — we just do it — except I’m so much better at taking care of the planet. WHY IS THAT?
Here are my favorite ways I’m doing or should be doing:
1) Recycle: We used to have super mean trash collectors who wouldn’t take the trash if there was recycling in it so by “super mean” I mean SUPER GREEN. (I’ve been waiting all my life for that joke.) We set aside a cabinet for recycling and line it with paper bags to make the process as easy as possible. We also bought a giant recycling container because recycling is only picked up every other week and the overflow was discouraging to everyone but the ants.
2) BYOB: Bring your own bags. Let’s party like the world isn’t going to end. WOOT WOOT. (This is why I need a PR firm, too.) My husband is awesome at remembering our stash of reusable bags for grocery shopping, but when I’m out running errands, my hands are full of kids and phones and coffee, and I just don’t think of it. So I carry giant purses and I shove things into it until I look suspicious and then we leave. I also get my kids to carry their stuff because they have hands! Because even if the store offers me a reusable bag, the bag didn’t grow on a tree in the store’s backyard. Plus, I don’t need another reusable guilt bag to forget at home anyway.
3) Organic versus Local versus Bulk: We have to find a balance between these three thing or create a comic where they duel to the death. Local is awesome, but if I have to go back to the store every 3 days because it is something my family eats a lot and it comes in a plastic package, maybe buying a national version in bulk is better for the environment. Organic is great but if it’s imported from 6000 miles away, maybe the local option from the farm I know well-enough to not need it to be certified organic is a better option. My husband refers to this as Alex thinks a lot.
4) Composting and taking breaks: We compost, but we needed a break a few months ago. Don’t get me wrong, we love our compost bin (between kids and cats and a dog, we needed the bin) and the juice helped our garden tremendously last year. We just got so busy and falling behind on bringing the compost out to the bin is gross because we now had a mini-compost bin on our kitchen counter. Yum. We will pick it up again this summer when our schedules are less intense and I’m feeling better. So compost without worrying about being perfect. Or be better than us and never stop ever. That’s awesome, too.
5) Thrifting: I want to get back into thrift-store shopping. I used to love it, but with little kids in tow, it felt impossible even though little kids clothing is probably the best things to buy used and a commenter once wrote that cotton was the best thing to reuse. We do donate all ours and our kids’ clothing rather than throw them away, but I think we could consume less as a family or making better choices where and what we buy. It has become harder to find people to fix things such as shoes or clothing, but I could do a better job looking as well. I remember sewing up my favorite jeans with patches, but maybe that was just the fashion in the mid 90s? I also am lucky to have a husband who is interested in woodwork and taking things apart and (eventually) putting them back together fixed.
An aside: I am also proud that we spent extra money to replace our heating and air-conditioning units with the best available for the environment as well as installing specialized roof shingles and insulation to improve our home’s energy efficiency, but I know that this is a luxury, which I find frustrating because it should be more available as it is an important part of caring for our planet.
Anyway, happy taking care of our home and Happy Earth Day.