I was a pre-teen (now they coin it 'tween') on the very first Earth Day. We studied it in our sixth grade class and a vote was taken to determine the best things we could do to be personally involved. So, the date and time was set for 60 kids and two teachers to try and make a difference.
On a unseasonably sunny spring day--by the grace of God, it wasn't snowing, this IS northern Michigan we are talking about-- we walked to our destination. Hiring a bus would be totally counterproductive to our efforts. Sporting my best hot pants, (now coined 'Daisy Dukes or booty shorts'), Snoopy t-shirt and Jack Purcell's, (anyone else remember those?) and armed with a bag and a stick with a nail on the end of it, we proceeded to clean up the sides of US23 for a mile, on both sides. It was an unbelievable mess. We then planted flowers in the town hall yard. I know we planted trees, but I do not remember where. We were later treated to a cone at the Dairy Dome--which was a locally owned knock off of the Dairy Queen, but just as yummy. It was fun to be virtuous and sanctimonious as we patted ourselves on the back for helping to save our Earth.
I enjoyed the day off from studies, being outside and getting to wear a totally cute outfit. (Bonus!) I made some effort on later Earth Days, but it was never the same as that first, idealistic, innocent one. We were so sure we could change the world.
At the same time, our local factories that kept our town alive was spewing junk in the air steadily as the paychecks it was handing out. Littering was a ticket able offense, but I've not once heard or or have seen it being enforced. Whole fields were being cleared for those subdivisions where there is not a single living green thing when completed. At one point, we stopped getting money for our cans and bottles and mostly just threw them away. They still do that in Florida!
So now that we have total and breathless media saturation on the subject, I'm not sure what is different . Being a natural cheapskate, I always return my cans and bottles, and hate to waste ANYTHING! I used cloth diapers and breastfed--best for child and cheap to boot! I do drive a gas hog now, but I drove small, economy cars for years--mostly due to my own personal economic situation--re: broke as a joke! I love resale and buying those hunk a junks and turning them into something special. But that's as much of a hobby as a recycle. I always buy my books used and return them for reuse. Again, cheap being the motive as much as saving trees. However, I do confess to a love affair with paper towels--Brawny Pic a Size, to be exact. I reuse as much as possible with things like plastic bags and leftovers, but other than that, I had actually forgot about the actual 'Earth Day', that I now understand is 'Earth Week'.
My friend Kristen and her family cleaned up a large area of litter and for that I am proud. (Urban legend has it that another clean up effort on 94 and 7 mile yielded treasures like bags of dope and a large roll of money--but that is a totally different blog!) Her daughters were refreshingly eager in their efforts. Good job, ladies! Guess I need to take a cue, get off my ass, and do SOMETHING. Any suggestions on how a spoiled, kinda lazy person as myself, can make a real difference? Let me know, okay? P.S. Go Wings--it ain't over till Karen Neumann sings! xoP.P.S.S. Sorry everyone for being so long winded. Sometimes I am full of hot air! xoxo