Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Earth Day (two days late!)

Happy Earth Day!!

I feel like there should be some kind of celebration - perhaps a National Holiday even! Ah well, I may have had to work today, but I still did what I could to acknowledge the spirit of the day. Today, as in all days, I parked and rode transit into work. I was hungry, so later in the morning I bought breakfast - using my stainless steel mug and my wonderful metal hotpot with my own cutlery. I was responsible for one less take out cup and sleeve and one less styrofoam container with plastic cutlery! I did this the other day, too. I went to the food court in a nearby mall and used my hotpot for my takeout. I was amazed that no one seems to mind I bring my own take out container. Such a good thing!

This past weekend we attended our City's Earth Day celebration where we got to plant a bush in the park's garden, release salmon fry into the stream, listen to storytime and music, plant a couple of beans in paper pots to take home with us, and bring home a little leafy seedling to plant. It's in our big pot on our patio and when we move to house, we'll take it with us and plant it in our yard. We also attended EPIC, which was a sustainable living show held in Vancouver. While I appreciated the opportunity to listen to Adria Vasil (Ecoholic) speak, it was a tradeshow and not nearly half as fun as the local Earth Day celebration. But if you were looking for products and ideas, it did have a lot there to offer. Sadly I missed Mike Holmes talk about Green building and renovation but in order to go to the park, significant sacrifices had to be made. ;-)

As we get ready for a garage sale in a few weeks, I find myself thinking about how to share things with others in an environmentally friendly way. I think garage sales are great, they give you a little pocket money and someone else a steal of a deal on something they'd like. I'm a firm believer that garage sales should be about bargains - so pretty much everything I sell is a super great deal. After all, the object is to part with the items, not sell a few at a high price and get stuck with the rest!

But what about those things that don't sell? If you don't have another sale planned for later in the year, then I suggest you consider two things. One would be buy-and-sell papers or online forums. Very good for those big things you'd like to get money for. And usually better than a garage sale for those items with greater value. The other option is to find someone who needs what you have. Look up freecycle or fullcircles groups in your area. I found this neat link on Yahoo! today. You can enter where you live and it pulls up the free-sharing groups in your area. What a great thing! You can both give away and look for things you need on these forums. They promote great stewardship of the 'stuff' that flows through our lives.

I've also discovered something else. If you want to 'go green' and be more aware of what your impact on the environment is - you need to make it fun. Just like exercise (I'm trying out bellydancing starting tonight - totally new for me!) you need to find a way to make it fit into your life in a pleasant way. It's not about sacrifice and letting go - it's about embracing a lifestyle that you enjoy. And isn't Earth Day a perfect time to begin to look at how you do things?
If you've done anything for Earth Day, feel free to share so that others can learn from you, too!

(p.s. this was written on Earth Day, however, life got in the way and somehow I never actually posted it!)


jen x said...

This sounds like a wonderful way to observe Earth Day! The local free paper is sponsoring a Green Day here in town tomorrow. It's mostly speakers and such, but I hope to find an actual activity -- especially since on Earth Day proper I had to teach a night class that involved a car trip and lot of photocopying. Oy!

RJ said...

I hope you are able to 'do' something at the Green Day. That was the best part of our's, especially for the kids - there were so many of them planting a seed, decorating a pot, etc. Makes an impression so much more than just watching.