Happy Earth Day!
Earth! What a place, eh? I am so fortunate to live in such a beautiful country and to be born and raised in one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world, Cape Breton Island. Although I now live in Alberta, which shares almost an equal amount of beauty in the Rocky Mountains (if such things could be measured) sadly parts of the earth that this province spans has been destroyed do to the extraction of oil in Alberta’s oil sands.
While I have not worked directly in the oil sands I have lived and worked in nearby communities for a few years. I’ve seen firsthand how money generated in such a field can build up a community and create opportunities like no other. I’ve also seen the downfall as a result of such prosperity in the less fortunate members of society particularly the Aboriginal communities. And there is no possible rationalization of what all of this has done to our beautiful earth.
Now you could call me hypocritical and you wouldn’t be wrong; the professions that oil extraction generates puts the roof over my head and the food on my table. I don’t see a need to destroy the earth for such greed yet I am indirectly part of it. I don’t support the destruction but I am grateful for the employment opportunities. More people of my generation have been forced to leave our hometowns on the East Coast than were able to stay because of the lack of employment and many of us ended up here. Yet this arrangement is still hard for me to defend. There has to be another less earth-shattering way, right?
Now, to amplify my hypocrisy I’ve created a list; first, a few things I commit to doing to keep our earth green….and then the things I don’t. We can’t do it all but I do believe that any effort counts and that we can all learn from each other. Happy Earth Day! Go hug a tree…or better yet, plant one.
Things I do devotedly to help the environment and the things I don’t:
I don’t leave my car idling
I avoid drive thru’s for this reason
I refuse to drink coffee made in single cup coffee brewers because of the waste (and not to mention it’s the most horrible tasting coffee)
I recycle all paper
I make a conscious effort to use a travel mug rather than paper coffee cups every day and I feel an immense amount of guilt if I forget it at home.
I don’t turn lights on in the house during the day
I turn lights off when I leave a room
I never litter
I unplug small appliances and gadgets when they are not in use
I pick up other people’s litter
I make choking signs to people in gas guzzling vehicles when driving by (ok this happened once)
I take long showers
I sometimes throw out containers straight from the fridge when cleaning it out
I drive a small SUV
I use central air conditioning in my home in the summer months
I don’t compost
I judge others for not doing what I do to keep green and I’m envious of the ones who do more than me. Good for you!