As I write this column, it is Earth Day.
This day of observation to rally against environmental harms and to engage in a much more mindful approach to everyday living has been around for more than 40 years.
I haven’t known about Earth Day all that long, a few years maybe. But I love the idea.
I am a tree hugger. No matter the stigma that is attached upon making the claim, I make the claim nonetheless.
No matter that the label is meant to be derogatory, I wear it proudly.
And through the years, I have paid more and more attention to what the consequences of my actions leave behind.
My husband thinks I am a lunatic and when I am not looking, does what he wants, I think.
The kids need constant prodding, too, but they are getting it.
For years, I have tried to be more and more responsible for my energy and resource consumption. I recycle everything that I can, I turn things off when not in use, etc.
What has occurred over these years is a growth of knowledge. Where I once did not consider certain things before buying something, I now think of the many implications, like packaging and where a thing has come from.
I have received a lot of flack for this at times and even my stepson and husband roll their eyes at me, no doubt dreading the latest lecture I have at the ready should it be needed. One of the common comments in regard to my view about more responsible energy consumption is that it’s not a big deal, that the whole thing is a money-maker for someone somewhere and that we are just fine the way things are.
That is hogwash, hokum and horsefeathers.
Balderdash, baloney and plain old bull, too.
Even if our planet were not facing certain troublesome issues, I say, what is wrong with being more responsible about how we buy things and how we consume energy? In what universe would being responsible and thoughtful about this be a bad thing?
To consider otherwise is ludicrous.
Now it is difficult for me to see a recyclable item get tossed into a trashcan. I cringe really, and see the landfill that item will become a part of forever.
I am the one who picks up trash and puts it in the nearest bin as I am walking my child into school.
I am also the dork that rinses off the paper plates so they can be recycled. But, I am happy to do things like that, too, if it helps relieve the burden of garbage dump filler just a little.
As the years have passed and I have become more conscience of how abusive humanity has become to our environment, the more mindful I have become about the footprint I leave behind.
This knowledge, this way of thinking and seeing, is constantly growing. Responsibility and awareness have become big-ticket items to me. And, once you know something, well, you can’t un-know it. Right?
What if we all chose paper instead of plastic, or no bag at all, at the grocery store?
What if we all stopped buying bottled water and instead refilled a washable container?
What if we all said “no” to the plethora of disposable items available to us at the market and the drug store?
We have come to live in a disposable society, really, and it is sickening.
Just think about what you throw away in a day’s time.
But what if we all did that? What if we all really thought about it and changed our habits just a smidge in relation to what we have come to know?
It could be some kind of revolution.
Angela Shepherd can be reached at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @ashepherdHTG.