Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thanks Earth

Daisies WIP on Colourfix, 5x7
Part of my Van Gogh project
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Happy Earth Day, dear reader!!

Being a tree-hugging, berry-picking, hippie Liberal this day is very important to me. Our planet is very special, we require it to sustain our lives after all. I was going to do a big post extolling the virtues of our planet and a whole host of other things (mostly having to do with art, gardening and appreciating nature in general) and then I realized that I have to get two pictures ready for jurying on Saturday and I haven't even picked out frames for them yet.

I need to get me a day-timer.

That said, because this day is important to me I'm still going to do part of my original post which was to include some things we can all do to help good ol' Earth:

1- It's been pointed out many times before but let me beat you over the head with it again: walk, don't drive, whenever possible. I know it seems obvious but it kills me when I see people driving from one end of a parking lot to another just because they're too lazy to walk. It makes me want to invest in spike strips that I can carry with me wherever I go.

2- Turn out the lights (the party's over...) Awhile back many of us took part in an "Earth Hour" in which all we simply did was turn off the lights for 1 hour. The amount of energy that was saved was phenomenal. One hour folks, that's all it takes and think of what could be saved in 3, 4 or 5 hours!

3- Repair it, don't throw it away. Many folks adhere to the logic that if it costs more to fix something than to buy it brand new then do so. This is fine for things such as older appliances or vehicles, for instance, that probably aren't very energy efficient anyway. However, when you purchase an item and after a few months it's not performing as well as it used to or has clunked out altogether invest the dollars in getting it fixed or repaired instead of filling up landfills with "like new" throw-aways.

4- Make one or two trips, not eleven or twenty-two. For folks in the city this one isn't such a big deal because most amenities are within walking distance but for those of us that live in the country or in developing suburbs making a trip into town is making a trip into town. Make a list, check it twice and then check it again to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. Making multiple trips into town (assuming you're not Amish and travelling by horse and buggy in which case you're probably not reading this blog either) causes more pollution that we would care to take responsibility for. On the same token, make sure your vehicle is in good working order by checking tire pressure, getting regular oil changes, etc.

Lastly (and obviously)

5- Reduce, re-use and recycle. Consuming more that we really need is something the majority of North American society is guilty of. A way to change this is to figure out uses for things that you would normally toss in the garbage or recycling. Margarine and peanut butter container? Use them for storing other items such as screws, nails, elastic bands, twist ties, etc. Water bottles? If I do wind up buying bottled water (and it's not often since I have yet to grow a third eye or extra limb from tap water) I use them over and over again for carrying juice or more water, and why the heck not? Check yourself when you go shopping and ask yourself if what you were planning on buying is something you really can't live without and if it is something you need what type of packaging the items come in. Do you need to buy something that's been hermetically sealed then packaged in a 1/2" thick box with styrofoam peanuts? I think not, unless it's a vital organ.

So go forth, dear reader, and hug a tree and thank the Earth for letting us live here. Me, I'm going to go do some outdoor sketching and play in the dirt. Back later in the week with more art and until then have a Happy Earth Day!


Drowsey Monkey said...

What a great way to celebrate earth day! :)

Lisa B. said...

Another tip: hang laundry on a clothes line when the weather permits. Your sheets will smell soooo much better!

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks for the reminders! The waste we generate is phenomenal, and saving energy really isn't difficult. People often don't "save" because it's inconvenient. :/

Rita said...

Brenda- I like to think every day is "Earth Day" ;)!

Lisa- Soooo true. This winter I really missed hang drying my towels and the "fresh" smell they had from bringing them in and hanging them up.

Meg- It's true that it really is a matter of convenience for most folks. Then again, I think we're all excessively busy anyway... so maybe slowing down isn't such a bad thing after all.