Happy Earth Day!

Hey, wanna join me in my new Earth Day tradition? Let’s commit to giving up something specific for Earth Day. Sort of like Lent, except permanently. Change one habit that’s hurting Mother.

I like to think I’m pretty green. After all, I was born on Earth Day, albeit a few years before the whole thing got started. So for me, it’s not just Earth Day, it’s also Bearthday (thanks to my friend Debbie for that one). Plus I’m half Irish, I have green eyes and green is my favorite color. But the truth is that I, like most people, should be a lot more eco-conscious.

I actually started this tradition last year when I gave up plastic grocery bags. I’d been carrying around the reusable bags in my car for a year or so and using them when I remembered to carry them into the Dixie with me. Occasionally I’d even go back to my car when I forgot them. Or not.

But then I got one of the bags that squeezes up into a teeny little pouch so it fits in my purse, and I started making a diligent effort to always use it. I’m about 90% there.

So here are the rules (it’s my blog so I get to make the rules). Obviously it has to be something that will help save the earth. That gives you a lot to choose from (check the Earth Day 2010 site if you need ideas).

Choose something that will have a real impact and requires you to change a regular habit. I’m not asking you to start walking ten miles to work every day instead of driving but it should demand some degree of sacrifice on your part. It wouldn’t exactly be fair to pat myself on the back for giving up buying small bottled waters (which we did last year as well). That’s a sacrifice for Kevin, not for me.

Part of the point here is to be more conscious of our day-to-day habits and how they affect the beautiful Earth we all call home.

So what am I giving up this year? Styrofoam. More specifically, to-go cups (although I’m going to work on to-go boxes and packing peanuts also). I hate the stuff and feel guilty when I use it but I’m a big iced tea drinker. And I do like my to-go teas.

A year or so ago, I started keeping a refillable cup in my car and using it when I stop at the ‘Roo. But it was a half-hearted effort at best. This became apparent when I cleaned out the car after a recent trip to Atlanta. I forgot to take my go-cup (and Kevin doesn’t have one). A lot of styros gave up their life to keep us in cold drinks on that trip.

Now I’m committed. No more styrofoam cups (or even those plastic Newts cups – anything that’s not biodegradable is out). If you see me walking around with a styrofoam cup, feel free to smack me.

So will you join me? Can you give up just one thing for Mama Earth?

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2 Responses

  1. i gave up paper napkins for cloth….and hang my clothes outside to dry…most of time…and…cut back on wine drinking…so not as many glass bottles to throw away. if u cant quit the wine…at least get the wine n a box….lol

  2. I’m with ya on the styrofoam. I asked for my sandwich to be wrapped instead of placed in a styrofoam box the other day at a cafeteria style cafe. (was the plastic more green?) We could all get together and lobby our city to outlaw styrofoam, as did Portland, OR. ‘Cause if they wouldn’t be able to use it, they would find other ways–whatever they were doing before it took over–and it wouldn’t be so hard on the consumer end. Maybe we should all carry around our own tupperware for when we eat out? My brother’s restaurant (in Portland) would only do to-go if you brought your own container! There’s a woman whose making and selling reusable hot-cup sleeves, so there’s another idea….

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