Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

As I am in the throes of studying, with an exam looming in just over a week, I have not given this day a lot of specific thought. But given that the environment is a particular passion of mine, I generally try to follow the maxim that "Everyday is Earth Day!"

In some ways, the last year has been quite momentous in terms of environmental issues. This is the year that scientists made their strongest statement yet that humans are causing climate change, the year that it became evident that more damage has been done more quickly than earlier estimates predicted, the year that there has been more mainstream coverage of the likely widespread famines and droughts that will result from global shifts of weather patterns.

This is why I get panicky when I think about it from that perspective. So sometimes I have to back off and come at it from another angle.

  • I went around and counted the incandescent light bulbs left in our house. More than I had expected, though most of them are in fixtures we rarely use, leftovers from the previous owners.
  • I brought travel mugs when Trillian and I went to the coffee shop (sometimes I have to have a change of scenery to get a burst of productivity). Heck, they even donated some money to a conservation group since we made a purchase on Earth Day.
  • I continue to gather food scraps for our compost pile and separate out all recyclables, which is fewer here than in Toronto, much to my chagrin.
  • Trillian and I discussed grander changes for the house, such as solar panels, and simpler ones too, such as adding opaque curtains in the sun room so that we can better regulate how much it heats up in the summer.
  • I worked on my application for a teacher education program; if I could get the teaching job in Springfield, instead of in Capital City, I could easily take the bus to school, even ride my bike in nicer weather. That alone has increased my interest in getting certified.

I'm not where I want to be in all of this, but it's an ongoing process.

So here's to Earth Day! May the next one find us greener than the last.

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