I get that some people can get turned off with the preachy factor that has been ramped up in recent years with the whole "going green" movement but I do not believe loving and caring for the planet we inahbit is or should be a political issue. And I am in no way trying to be preachy. That being said, caring for the beautiful world we live in is something I am pretty passionate about - even as I admit there are a lot of ways I could be better. We are the stewards of a pretty amazing place and thus have a significant responsibility to guard our resources and keep things around for future generations to enjoy.
The "Everything Bagel" Sand on Machete Beach - Coiba Island, Panama
There are a lot of lists of tips and advice on what you can do to reduce your own impact (seriously, every little bit counts!). I made my own list of green tips a couple of years ago. And last year I composed a little Ode to the Earth with photos of some of the beautiful things I love about this world.
This year - in addition to a few more nature type photos - for my Earth Day tribute I want to share a couple of changes I have made in the last year or so and pass along the idea I read about here of treating Earth Day like an Eco New Year, a time to make eco resolutions.
First up, a look back at my more recent changes (which still need improving but I've at least made a start):
- Drink Less Bottled Water - this is ongoing but in the last year I have really stepped away from bottled water to a greater degree and with better success than in the past. My biggest downfall is in the airport - I need to be better at traveling with my own water bottle and filling it up at public drinking fountains once I make it through security.
- No More Paper Napkins at Home - I don't remember when I made this switch exactly but sometime in the last year or so I bought a whole bunch of cheap white cocktail napkins - I felt the large dinner napkin size was too much for my every day use. Now this is pretty habitual. I use paper napkins for larger parties (okay, for the one party I throw a year) and I have a roll of paper towels but I find I use those less and less. And I use the 7th Generation ones made from recycled materials.
- Cooking at Home More Often - Last year I made a huge lifestyle shift and just started cooking more from home - with real ingredients instead of processed, pre-packaged, individualized serving foodstuffs! This shift is not only a greener choice but it has had a major impact on my health. I'm not necessarily eating less, I'm just eating better and my body has responded by trimming down and giving me a better overall attitude. Yes, exercise has played a part as well but I think the fundamental change of eating better food has given me a greater desire to exercise. It is all linked.
- Print Less - I'm a lawyer. This is hard. But I use the double-sided printer that my firm got a year or two ago as much as possible and I think twice before printing. I am also extremely diligent about recycling all that paper I am using at work.
This year's eco-lutions:
- Buy less junk. I just flat out buy too much stuff. More than I need. More than I really want. I just need to be more mindful about what I think I need.
- Buy more organic. This is a complicated issue that is controversial to some and I see both sides of the argument. But for me, this is a choice I've made and I want to be more committed to it because I believe it does make a difference.
I don't know about your motivation for living a greener life, but for me, I want to continue to have access to the awe-inspiring beauty of this Earth and I want to take my children and grandchildren to those places as well. Because to be absolutely honest with you, very few things make me as happy as being outside surrounded by nature and I want to do my small part to keep it that way.