Earth Day 2009

According to a Gallup report yesterday (LINK), 41 percent of Americans say the environment is getting better, up from 26 percent last year. “Americans still on balance believe the quality of the environment in the U.S. is getting worse rather than better.” A slight majority – 51 percent - still say environmental quality is getting worse.


It seems infinitesimal to place the burden of saving Earth and its inhabitants from extinction on the shoulders of an individual. But, that’s where the solution rests.

William Faulkner, in his 1950 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature, says it so much better than I:

“I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny, inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”

Then, it’s up to me.


A few things I do for Earth:

* In my all-electric apartment with central heat and air conditioning, my electricity bill for every month in 2008 never got out of the $40 range.
* I use my oven more in winter when it helps to heat my home.
* I purchased a portable ceramic heater with thermostat online ($44 on sale) for my living room where I spend the most time.
* I got the maintenance man to lower the thermostat on my water heater by a few degrees, knocking about $20 per month off my electric bill.
* I replaced all my light bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. (Another $20 per month saved, and I never have to change a light bulb!)
* I keep a vaporizer going in winter as moisture in the air makes it easier to heat – and it’s good for lungs and furniture!
* My townhouse is flanked by apartments, so I get the benefit of their heat.
* I grab a sweater instead of turning up the heat.


* I plan my grocery shopping, buying groceries once a month.
* My water/sewer bill never goes over the basic rate.
* I don’t use my TV for “white noise.” I turn it off and listen to birds sing or rainfall.
* I actively encourage my U.S. senators and representative to support environmental legislation.

I regret:

* I am no longer able to recycle as I once did, when I could still drive to recycle centers. I do return kraft paper bags to the grocery for recycling.


Join Live Earth!


Tell us what you do for Earth!

PHOTO: NASA’s “Blue Marble Earth with Moon.”


Frodo, an inconvenient path in a yellow wood said...

The Gardens of the Shire are for real. Frodo removed all of the grass in his backyard, converting to native plants and flowers amid paths and bird feeders. The remaining grass in his frontyard is compact enough that he could dispose of his gasoline lawn mower and utilize a push mower.
The only thing missing is Bambi.

B.J. said...

More from Gallup today:

Americans have much higher expectations for President Barack Obama on the environment than was the case for George W. Bush eight years ago. Seventy-nine percent of Americans say Obama will do a good job of protecting the environment, compared to just 51% who said this about Bush in March 2001.