I was so disappointed this year with Earth Day. I had literally been looking forward to Earth Day since last year. For me ED is like a “Green New Years” where you get a fresh start, set aside and make amends to your life for the future, and celebrate God’s amazing creation! I committed to something pretty radical (for me). I decided the night before that on Earth Day I was to do no chores, errands, or anything else that was not “life-giving” or fun; especially for my daughter. Yesterday, Mirabelle woke up much earlier than usual which always throws me for a loop. I forgot I had scheduled a doctors appointment for myself but it would be a quick one. I had planned a breakfast out that ended up being a breakfast in that was very rushed as I ran around trying to put an outfit together and make it to the appointment on time. We ended up 10 minutes late because of parking issues which really frustrated me so we were really off to a bad start for the day. The appointment didn’t got well because my daughter was constantly moving and running her mouth as I tried to answer questions for the doctor and quiet her. Having blood drawn with her squirming on my lap was even MORE interesting but I won’t get into that.
After that she was already showing signs of tiredness so we headed home for a pit-stop where she actually quickly passed out for an early nap! This really threw off my plans for the day so I decided to start cleaning (not reading or doing something earth-friendly like gardening..no, I organized my office and bedroom). Once Mirabelle woke up from her nap we headed out the door with plans of hitting up our favorite park. Suddenly I remembered I needed to make a return to a shop in the same area and figured it would be quick and easy…WRONG! I was there for almost a half an hour, ended up buying something else and Mirabelle of course threw one of her now famous tantrums! Back on the road and we get a call from Daddy to meet him for lunch. This seemed like a wonderful pit-stop and it was. We enjoyed a surprise family lunch together at one of our favorite Tex-Mex spots. By the time we were leaving though it was the hottest time of day (90 deg.) and we were just about out of water in M’s water cup.
I entered the freeway and sure enough the traffic was awful for the route towards our favorite park, so we headed towards home and I decided we would play at a park closer to home. When we got there I remembered why we never go there. The equipment is just too big for a 21 month old and it was terribly hot and not well shaded! After 10 minutes Mirabelle was done. I had grand ideas for doing an art project later in the day and gardening when the temperature dropped but we did neither. We didn’t participate in any of the community happenings or make any grand plans for changes for the coming year.
As compared to last year, this Earth Day was definitely blah! I am hoping to put more of an emphasis next year on the day.
I know the whole “New Year’s Resolutions” thing is very cliche and most say its an unhealthy practice since they are often comprised of unattainable goals that are usually tossed aside come February. But, this year..I am making a To Do list which I like to think is different from resolutions. The difference is that I have a full year to put them into full working order. Some will need immediate action while others I am giving myself a December 31st, 2009 deadline for. So here is my current list…I will add to this list as the week goes I imagine. It is a work in progress:
1. Lose weight
- follow the Weight Watchers plan (which I am currently on) or begin meeting with a nutritionist and follow a personalized plan
- no more sodas (including diet)
- exercise- use gym membership, run every day, meet with a trainer for 10 sessions to jump start wellness plan
- train for my first mini-marathon (to be accomplished first of 2010)
- eat out only 2 meals a week and cook only fresh, unprocessed foods
2. Switch to safe, organic household cleaners (all toxic cleaners will be thrown out on New Years day)
3. Create a flexible daily routine for me and my daughter so that I am maximizing on time spent with her while also getting household chores done.
4. Finish Wedding Scrapbook
5. Start my Etsy shop
6. Learn to knit
7. Get pregnant with baby #2
8. Take a digital photography course (refresher and so I can better use my Nikon)
and…more to come!
Filed under crafting, environment, food, health, home, life, life as a parent, living green, photography, pregnancy, random
I pride myself on being an eco-gal, a green living individual, a sage momma, call me what you will… I like to make it known (without boasting) that I was on board with sustainable, simple living before the fad broke out in recent years. Suddenly “being green” is COOL! While I am encouraged by many local and national missions to point our country as a whole towards more positive, earth-friendly living, I fear the fad outweighs the true change in lifestyle that it will take.
It’s not hard to find a “be green” or “recycle” or “love your mother” t-shirt these days. All the kids are wearing them. I felt compelled recently to ask a stranger wearing one (somewhere ranging in the 15-17 age range) what her shirt meant and she said she didn’t really care..she just liked the bird on the shirt and the font! For some, living green is nothing more (I fear) than a clothing fad, a way to relate to your “hippie” friends, a name brand to carry, a falsified lifestyle created to make you look set apart and different.
Now, I know there are PLENTY of people out there willing to both talk about and live out the values of a simple lifestyle. I know there are people that are taking the necessary steps towards sustainable living and doing it well and with conviction. But, I fear most are approaching it much like a religion of “give me some strict legalistic rules to follow and I will do them as best as I can and maybe I will create a few of my own along the way as well to make others feel guilty!”.
The way I see it, we need to instead approach this revolution from a faith-based motivation…we need to place faith in the facts given and hold ourselves accountable to the mistakes of our past by working towards change in the future. Just following rules (i.e. I will curbside recycle, I will change to florescent bulbs, I will unplug unused appliances, I will stop using pesticides on my lawn, I will cloth diaper my child, etc…) We need to have a good grip on the “big picture”.
I think it can best be broken down this way: CAUSE – EFFECT – CHANGE. Here is my example: CAUSE= plastic water bottles, EFFECT=become landfill that is causing space shortages, they take over 1000 years to decompose, not to mention the chemicals used to create the bottle leech off into the water/beverage I am drinking, CHANGE= start using a reusable alumnium water bottle and refuse to purchase beverages sold in plastic containers. When we know the cause and effect behind why we choose to make a change then we have something to be held accountable to rather than an abstract action to check off on a list with no purpose that is driven by no conviction. Wouldn’t it be nice, the next time someone asks you why you carry re-usable grocery bags you had an answer better than “they were cute!’?
This afternoon I FINALLY took my car in for a much needed oil change. I took my daughter to her grandmother’s house for some playtime which allowed me to take care of this tedious errand without worrying how I would entertain her in the most kid-unfriendly environment ever!
I brought along a book I have been working on reading, per my husbands suggestion. I ended up taking my car to this little service station up the street from our house that had a shorter wait than the large chain store in the heart of the city…the one with the comfy leather couches and free coffee. So there I was in a metal folding chair with my diaper bag (because who carries a purse anymore!) and my book waiting amongst the sodas, beer, and Rolos. Now, my precious little black VW Golf has been nicknamed by my mom “the hippie mobile” and perhaps it just might be. I have a few (3) bumper stickers on the back and in my opinion there are NOT enough. After my car was appointed its name it received a little added flair to confirm its origin and so I proudly display a peace sign necklace which dangles from the rear-view mirror. Anyway, my 3 bumper stickers read as this “Live simply so that others may simply live.”, “Give birth a chance, use a midwife.”, and “Be Green.”.
Now of the three I was suprised by which one received the most attention at the service station today. While waiting for my car I became deeply enthrawled in my book. I usually read in such small spurts because caring for a toddler doesn’t lend itself to concentrated times spent on ANY ONE thing. Out of the blue I heard a voice say “BE GREEN!” I looked around and it took me a second to realize the shop owner was not only talking to me but referencing one of my bumper stickers. “I’m sorry?” I said…more so for clarity as to why he felt the need to announce it to me. “Be Green. I like that!”. “Oh, you like my sticker!”, I said. “Yeah, but I really don’t think that whole thing is really gonna amount to much for atleast 5 years or something like that.” he theorized.
I could have easily just nodded and went on reading my book like I really wanted to but lately I have found myself missing opportunity after opportunity to say what I want to say and mean what I mean! So, instead I put my book down and went on to add “Well, the truth is that the research and information that is becoming more and more mainstream today has been out there for years and years. People like me have been living green for decades. What I am afraid of is that right now, its just a fad…its something to wear, its something to claim, its even something to stick on your car…but to actually live it out…you might be right, it might take years to see an impact and see it really being lived out in large ways.” He just shrugged and walked out. I wonder if he assumed I was another airhead cult follower like so many today. It is something that has truly frustrated me to no end. I have considered stopping people I see on the street wearing their “Green is the new black” shirts or other “green living” attire and ask them “How are you living green? What are you doing to positively impact the planet? Do you know what a carbon footprint is?” I am pretty sure I would be pretty unamused while not suprised by the results. The “green” fad has actually made me consider removing my “Go Green” bumper sticker because I don’t want to be mistaken as being yet another poser.