Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My attempts at Envrionmentalism

Okay - so got a wall post from someone on Facebook today.  It read like this:

So I am confused here! You walk to Cranbrook, live off the grid and have bought nothing plastic or throwaway in the last year, or what? I love you but as Marshall McLuhan said "The message IS the massage."

Truthfully, it got my back up.  And because I had such an emotional response to it, I had to think about it.  Why did this make me defensive?  Probably because although I do quite a few things to reduce my impact upon this Earth, I still don't feel like I do enough - and probably never will until this carbon-based shell I wear is fertilizing a small plot of land somewhere.

And I feel that if I'm not doing enough, then about 80% of the people that I come in contact certainly aren't doing enough.  But is that true?  Is my perception of the state of the world and the people in it and what they are or are not doing for the environment ... is it accurate? 

Honestly, the answer to that question is "I don't know" and it really doesn't matter.  I have no idea if my perception of the world and the lack of environmental action that is happening is true or false - it might be better, it might be worse than I think.  But it can't hurt to share information and get people thinking about what they can do to help out the only planet we have.  Awareness is really my goal.  I want people to be aware of the problems, to educate themselves, and to take action on a personal level.  And if action simply means not using single-use plastic bags ... then good on you.  If you become more concerned and stop drinking from plastic bottles and using plastic utensils ... then good on you.  And if you go even further and reduce your consumption and recycle everything like this family ... then good on you. 

What I want from myself, my family, my friends and my readers is an acknowledgment that things aren't great.  That there ARE whales dying because they ate too many plastic bags.  That our food chain is becoming impregnated with plastics and we really don't know the repercussions of that.  That there ARE few beaches anywhere in the world that are not littered with plastic (and other) trash.  That human activity HAS impacted this planet, continues to impact this planet AND THAT WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE.  This is not someone else's fault - we are all participating in this together.  So let's participate KNOWINGLY.

Let me make this perfectly clear - I am not perfect.  I am not the standard by which anyone should measure him/herself.  I try, but I have my less-than-stellar moments.  

But .. I try.  

Shouldn't we all try?  Shouldn't we want our world to be a better place than it is now?  And shouldn't we give up a few "conveniences" to help other inhabitants of this planet? 

I think we should.  How 'bout you? 

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