“What if Democrats and Republicans, religious people and atheists keep arguing, but it doesn’t matter? What if God is mad that we’re ruining the world and she’s sending messages just like in those Bible stories?”
- Eve to her brothers in The Disappearances
I’m a skeptic.
Last year when I heard that www.freerice.com would donate a cup of rice for every 100 vocabulary words I got correct, I told the fifth-grade students to do it too. After all, learning new words and feeding the poor is a win-win. But I was skeptical. When I’d answer questions on the site, my husband would say, “Better get 100 points or some poor child isn’t getting lunch today.” Okay, maybe he’s the skeptical one.
In that same classroom, I had the students make suggestions for what we could do at home and in our neighborhoods to reduce global warming. It generated a fruitful discussion. I had planned to enact some of the suggestions at the school (picking up trash in the neighborhood was the biggest one), but then I left my assistant position to become a substitute teacher and many of our ideas fell by the wayside.
About a week ago, I came across the first post about making my blog carbon neutral. By Earth Day on 04/22, the blogosphere was full of claims that I could make my blog carbon neutral. While I figured it couldn’t hurt I:
1) didn’t quite believe it
2) hate jumping on bandwagons
If you want proof about the second assertion, I still haven’t seen the film “Titanic”, I waited until my son forced me to read the Harry Potter books aloud when he was in first grade (then I got hooked), I don’t watch “Lost” or "Glee" even though everyone tells me I must, and I haven’t seen the movie “Avatar”. (I don’t know what’s wrong with me.)
It probably couldn’t hurt to stick a little leaf on my sidebar and write a post about Arbor Day Foundation’s promise to plant a tree. (Unless they sell my e-mail address to a mailing list or start inundating my comments section with spam.)
Truthfully, I feel Irish, Italian, and Jewish guilt every time I think that I’m harming the environment. I drive a small car, use cloth napkins, hang most of my wet clothes, walk or ride my bike when I can, rarely use the air conditioner, turn off lights when I leave the room, but it never feels like enough. Even when I’m sitting, using nothing, I’m breathing out that darned CO2. Exhale - guilt.
When I realized that my kids’ school used foam trays in the cafeteria, I was flummoxed. What did they do with all of the plastic ones, stick them in a landfill? (And what about all of those desks in the classrooms when they switched to tables?) Based on my concern along with some other parents, they give the students an option for the tray to be cleaned and reused. Not ideal, but better than before.
My manuscript, The Disappearances has a pro-environment message. I didn’t start off planning it that way. As I explained in an earlier post*, “Walmart was the first to disappear,” popped in my head as I spied some mist on the side of the highway. The seeds were planted, and I began to write. I had to wait with Eve to find out why the fog obliterated Walmart. Along with Eve figuring out what she wants and who she is, and being in danger of losing her best friend, the story went in an environmental direction.
Here are the first couple of the environment posts I came across:
It started with Sarahjayne’s post, a couple of days before Earth Day:
Then I read what Richard Halpern did in his classroom for Earth Day:
After that, more Earth Day posts popped up:
Jackee’s post is awesome, with a diagram and a list of tips: (Can you tell that she’s a former scientist?)
Here’s a step-by-step explanation about how to participate along with the letter Susan received from the Arbor Day Foundation:
Nicole also made her blog carbon neutral:
Lora didn’t participate but she provides some green tips:
Paul also didn’t participate, but this post is about damage we’re doing by using toilet paper: (Read his previous post too.)
So, now you have my post for Earth Day. I know it’s late, but I don’t like to jump on bandwagons.
*Update 04/28. A tree has been planted. Woo hoo!
* This is the post that gives more details about my manuscript: