Your parents may have been hippies – but they made a difference

April 22nd is Earth day and you can thank your family for that the next time you sit down for dinner.  Why, well it wasn’t that long ago America was really sucking on an environmental basis. So a while back a bunch of hippies decided to get together and have a celebration of the place we live, this planet that well call home.  Whippie!!!

But no, really. This is a big deal and those hippies, well they were your parents or grandparents.  Why?  Well what you probably don’t realize is that in America the place was beginning to look like a landfill.  After WWII, the government went through a process to downsize.  One of the bureaucracies that were cut from the picture was a national recycling program.  Many of your grandparents probably still remember what it was like to take newspapers, soda bottles, aluminum and all kinds of items and turn them in, many times for money.  This is how they got to buy dollies and baseball gloves when they were children.  They worked for it because their parents taught them how important it was to tend to the things we had like beautiful land and clean water and healthy food that was grown so locally that much of the time you could walk outside in your bare feet and pick it.

These values are the kind that have (ideally) come down from generation to generation.  Unfortunately, in any society, this is only a representative of a portion of the population.  Corporations were still corporations and without regulatory oversight it doesn’t make sense to be responsible to the planet at the expense of the bottom line.  It’s the kind of attitude that says, if I’m not told something is wrong – it must not be wrong for me to do.  And devastation was laid out on the countryside.   Eventually,  major city beaches were being closed due to pollution, waterways caught fire due to chemical and oil spills and masses of animals were  mutating and dying from unnatural changes to their environment.

So our parents, and grandparents, they did something about it.  Earth day rallies, like those of civil rights and women’s suffrage actually did make an impact.  The disasters that were befalling our country were visible to the naked eye and people cared about it.  They thought about you and me and our children.  They didn’t want to leave a legacy that was shameful, deadly and horrific.  So they took action.  They made cities build waste water treatment facilities, (before it often went from toilet to river to tap in the next town).   They banned chemicals like DDT and They cleaned up most of the messes they made.  They set rules into place that said, what we did was not ok – and nobody should be allowed to do this in the future.

And here we are in 2013.  While human waste is cleaned before entering the waterways, mass quantities of factory farm waste is not regulated.  Instead of filling our waterways with oil and chemicals we are loading them with a different chemical that is producing the same results in killing off biospheres of natural wildlife – plastic.  While air pollution standards have made visible skies in major cities a reality, we are now burning Tar Sands Oil- which is producing double the amount of carbon-dioxide standard crude oil emits.  And instead of boldly declaring the atrocities of big industry, news agencies are now owned, operated and invested in the entities they are supposed to be holding accountable.  This month the FAA declared an American NoFly Zone because an oil company (and the government) doesn’t want bad press to negatively impact infrastructure plans that are bad for our country.

So does Earth Day mean anything to you?  Will the sacrifices and values of those that wanted you to have a clean planet encourage you to make changes in your life, to stand in unison with one another over real issues and to hold big polluters accountable not just with the click of a mouse button but with real action? Please I encourage you to take the time to consider – what kind of life are we leaving behind and begin making simple changes like bringing your own bags to the grocery store, riding public transportation and more importantly write your representatives and hold them accountable to standing strong on issues that matter to you.

Most importantly, if you have children – on April 20th (Saturday) show them what Earth Day is about by spending time outdoors, learning about or doing something special, they will only learn what you pass on.

“Children Are Not Tourist Attractions”

Well then, there are days when the world goes by and life is good.  Then there are days when you find yourself buried in stories about how important our decisions really are.  I personally write about plastics, the earth and other responsibilities.  This is one on Orphanages and why it’s important to be active in awareness when adopting children.

 “Children Are Not Tourist Attractions”.

Just say no – Plastic Warriors Unite

“Plastic, plastic, plastic – Is that all you ever talk about?” a friend recently asked me.  Well no I like to talk about other things, like my love of music, Jesus and volunteering.   However I have to ask, what’s the point of changing topics if you don’t ‘get it’ when it comes to plastics?

I thought I had made a good point, I mean how many crusades can one person take on at one single time?  If you and I went around solely participating in the process of evangelizing on the problems with life and the world around us, how quickly would we burn out.  I think the answer is obvious – it would take some days, others a few weeks, but eventually it would happen!

In today’s world plastic is everywhere.  Go out to eat, plastic.  Eat in, plastic.  Shopping, driving, worship, vacations, airline flights, school lunches, household chores the list goes on.  PLASTIC IS EVERYWHERE. Here’s a video on bottles…

Wow, that’s a bit overwhelming.  So what can you do?  The answer isn’t easy, and quite honestly sometimes it’s difficult and can offend others.  Yesterday, for example.  My brother-in-law stopped at McDonald’s for water.  Choice one – a plastic bottle and plastic lid filled with water, shipped and transported into Colorado.  Option two – paper cup with Plastic lid and plastic straw.  I was thirsty but opted out because option two wasn’t really provided to me, it was here’s a plastic bottle of water.  Not perfect, but there was a delicious cup of water from the tap waiting for me when out got home, only problem… I’m drinking out of a plastic cup.

Today, I will continue to take plastic out of the trash and put it in the recycling containers, speak awareness and live simple changes that will reduce my imprint on our planet.    What steps are you taking to ‘cut the plastic’ from your life?

Ford, others join Coke in plant-based plastic venture – Via Chicago Tribune

 

As an avid Facebook user, I am finding the idea of having my own space where the abundance of exciting information regarding the welfare of our planet can be shared in one location, in a platform where a greater expanse of people will have the ability to find a place to begin making informed and intentional decisions regarding simple ways to change our behavior patterns.

I recently ran across this article from the Chicago Tribune from June, 2012.    Recently a friend of mine posted a picture of a bottle made from PET plastic.  Be sure it was quite a pleasant sign of positive change.  Just another way American responsibility will lead the way toward a remedy for the massive damage fuel based plastics have placed on our planet.  While I’m not exactly ecstatic about the potential for the plantations to be cutting into the Amazon, the idea that big business is investing in the research to increase the change in our consumption patterns by furthering study on PET plastics, made from plant sugars!  Effective use would greatly shrink our dependence on fossil fuels.  Additionally, as this process is refined, maybe they will be able to find a way to use up all that High Fructose Corn Syrup that is placed in so many processed foods at an unhealthy level.

Ford, others join Coke in plant-based plastic venture.

Have you seen PET plastics yet?  If not, will you be looking for them in the future?

Welcome to my blog – Day 2,

As this journey begins, I am sure that there will be many learning experiences along the way.
Today I want to answer some simple questions.

The first is – why blog?

Blogging offers a wide variety of flexibility and an active way to communicate with people without seeing each other face to face.  Blogging about topics that can be searched by others, you who are reading this now allows us to connect to one another in ways we might not imagine previously.   I am starting this process to not only share my passion for protecting the environment through enhancing the way we make daily decisions, but also to connect to those in the community that share similar passions so that I may continue to learn along the way.

My goal is to change the mindset of Earth’s inhabitants and the way we produce, consume and dispose of all the materials in our lives so that we individually and as a collective, consciously enhance our environmentally conscious behaviors.

I hope you will change your habits because of the things you see here.   From spending habits, active recycling and conservation efforts I intend to provide a platform where a slew of earth friendly practices and products will be make known as well as participated in.

In the last thought today, I want to know what you my reader would like to know more about?   Do you know about the different types of plastics and how they are reused?  Do you want to know how your practices can save you money?  Are there issues near and dear that you would like to know more about?  Please ask away, comment often, and help build this community together.