Friday, April 23, 2010

Did you celebrate Earth Day?

Food in grocery bag

I got up on April 22, the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and began my normal routine. I used the bathroom, practicing "if it is yellow, let it mellow" philosophy and using cloth wipes. I checked some of my favorite internet sites (e.g., my Google account), had some breakfast and took my shower, shutting off the water in between rinsing. I used some of my remaining rain water from Autumn 2009 to water my vegetable seedlings in their repurposed containers, and placed the seedlings in my greenhouse purchased used from craigslist. I brought my lunch with me (leftover dinner from two nights ago) and a treat for my work colleagues (organic corn tortilla chips with homemade taco dip; components were in reused plastic containers).

While I did not explicitly celebrate Earth Day, I continued to practice what aligns with my personal values: reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle. Yes, I still use cloth handkerchiefs, collect items on a neighbor's curb, get composted horse manure for free from a nearby farm and take care of my car so it runs as long as possible before I need to replace it. All these things I happened to do on Earth Day. The composted horse manure enables me to increase the tilth of my soil so I am better able to grow food on my suburban property. The items I recruited from the curb will go for other household projects including storing chopped leaves in the fall. I took my car in for its semiannual checkup and found there was something to be concerned about but will not immediately affect the use of my car. This enables me to save longer for my next vehicle and broaden my choices when I did need to buy a newer car. All these things I would have done normally but happened to take place on Earth Day.

Everyone has a list of several ways to celebrate Earth Day. I just look at the individual choices I make every day and what more sustainable activities I have incorporated into my life. Green living is more than a day-long event. It is a lifestyle, considered choices in what is purchased, how it is made and what is really needed. If we made just two thoughtful choices a day (no, I don't need a bag; I brought my own and hey, do I really need that overpackaged, processed food?), this would build a foundation to greener and more considerate living for all of us.

What did you do differently on Earth Day?

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