Earth Day is like Valentine's Day to me. Do we really need a day to go rah rah and ignore the hearty issues the rest of the year? It's like being treacly sweet and clad in pink lace to woo your man one day of the year and check the hubba hubba off your list. I don't get it.
One day does not a habit make.
Everyday is Earth Day in my house. I need a T-shirt that says so.
Bird and Deal are in on it, and I love when they follow Mac Daddy to the trash and bust him tossing junk mail in there and yelp for him to put it in the recycling bin. Nowadays our trash can is practically empty while our recycling bin overflows. I am a nutso, recycling clothing tags and all bits of cardboard that pass through my fingertips. And yes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls can be recycled too, folks! We also save all sorts of "trash" in the art project box to craft into various nifty creations. Egg cartons are a big hit. Ditto for wrapping paper tubes...except that no matter the project at hand, those turn into swords or light sabers.
I happen to love Earth Day and get jazzed by all the attention it gets. Earth Day totally kicks Arbor Day's ass. It's kinda a shame since Arbor Day is all about the trees and all. Earth Day is the only holiday that espouses Love Your Mother. I happen to dig the double entendre.
Oh Earth, how do we love thee. Let me count the ways...
- Our garden is planted: lettuce, chard, spinach, cucumbers, beets, green beans, tomatoes, all sorts of peppers, mint, basil, sage, lavender, thyme, cilantro.
- We're the last family in North Carolina to turn on our air conditioning and the first to turn it off. Also, it's set at 80. Heat is set at 67 in winter. Mostly we rely on open windows and ceiling fans. And if you visit us in winter, pack extra socks. Pack scantily when traveling here in summer.
- We ditched plastic water bottles. Thermoses are all the rage.
- Mac Daddy packs lunch for the boys in reusable containers. When we do use plastic bags, we wash them and reuse them. Over and over and over.
- When we take walks, we take along garbage bags and pick up trash. And wow is there a heap of junk littering our walkways, waters, and wildlife.
- No dog poop is left behind.
- Most of what we eat is organic (and local!).
- All our appliances are energy efficient. And yes, we explain what that means to our kids.
- Hand-me-downs rule. So do thrift stores and girlfriends' closets.
- All our cleaning products are green. No bleach and icky fumes that make you go ewwwww...
- Even our toothpaste is chemical free.
- Deal collects rainwater in sand buckets to water the garden.
- We embrace our clovered, creeping charlied "lawn." No ChemLawn here. And no, I'm not fooled by the rebranding to TruGreen.
- I don't vacuum often. This saves electricity, right?
- I turn my underwear inside out to double the wear. KIDDING! You know the neatnik in my couldn't stand for such a gross violation of grooming.
- Rain organic vodka is the bomb.
- If I used FourSquare or TriOut or any such location blabbering tool, I'd be the mayor of the public library.
- Our cars, while not hybrids or electric, are not behemoths.
- Front load washing machine. Double the load, half the energy and water.
- We talk to our sons about the environment and our responsibility to it.
My family doesn't take drastic strides to be green. We value our planet more than we value a pristine lawn. That's about values, not sacrifices. Every one of us is a visitor here, and we owe it to our children (and theirs) to leave the earth a better place. Cliches ring true for a reason.
Everyday is Earth Day.
At least it should be.