Earth Day Trash Talk

Let’s see a show of hands: how many remember Earth Day, 1970? I do and I still have the patch to prove it. But the patch is nothing. I don’t know if I would chain myself to a tree to save it from destruction.

In fact I cringed this week to see a guy nailing a birdhouse to a tree in a city park. Something odd about that. Putting holes in the bark to feed the birds. Yet I said nothing. What would you have done? Walk by and say nothing as I did, or stop and talk about the irony?

But I do what I can. By now we are all recycling, using low energy bulbs, turning down the heat, turning up the AC. Sometimes I get down and dirty and pick up trash – usually just the small stuff here and there. Especially if I spot a trashcan or have a plastic bag with me. When I lived in New Mexico and walked my dog in the neighborhood desert, I once carried out the dead carcass of a computer terminal. There were clothes, plastic bags, rope.

Worse is the plastic I see on the Dunes beach – and it’s from us. Ribbons, balloons, the inside of baseball caps, pieces of plates, spoons, Frisbees, toothpaste tubes, you-name-it. Honestly, who do we think we are?

If nothing else, that first Earth Day made me aware. So have “Please Don’t Litter” campaigns, photos of waterfowl with six-pack rings around their necks, birds eating french fries – they’re not good for us, imagine what they do to animals. I thought I was giving my dog a treat this week by giving him some people food and he was sick for two days. Sorry, Aw’gy.

Each of us can do a few extra things to take better care of the only planet we’ll ever know. I like the idea of a “A Billion Acts of Green.” Go to this website and pledge to do one more green thing. I’m going to start riding my bike to the Y. It will be part of my cardio warm-up I need.

Just think if each of us commits to a new “act of green” – what will yours be?


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