Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Special Package

The idea for this post comes mostly from my passion about saving this planet. It is scary to me that there are so many people that don't believe that climate change is man-made or that it doesn't even exist. The scariest thing is that the numbers of those people are growing. I am not here to debate about that.  I feel that regardless of which side of the debate you sit on you can do something to treat the planet better. We are growing in numbers in a way that cannot be sustained by this planet and the resources on it. Using and wasting less can only help the planet. 

The inspirational push I received to finally start posting to this blog, which is something I have been wanted to do for awhile came from an unexpected source. It was shortly after my daughter was born and the gifts we were receiving were flowing in at a steady rate. I pick one up from the mailroom curious about it's plain brown wrapper and looked at the return address. It was from my grandmother.

This package was special.

While I was unwrapping it I couldn't help but notice that the outer wrapping, the envelope, was a reused brown paper bag. The box inside was a gift box that you would typically put inside another box before wrapping. This reused brown bag and flimsy box made it from Florida to Boston with minimal damage to the box and no damage to the gift. It was very different from the other gifts we were receiving. Most of them in boxes wrapped in wrapping paper with ribbons and bows, all inside another box for mailing. The items that came directly from a store had boxes that were way to large for the gift and a bunch of packing materials as well as catalogs and junk mail. We were recyling more than our share of waste the weeks after A's birth.

I was happy about the way the gift arrived but was also pleasantly surprised with the items inside. For the most part they were typical baby gifts. A cute pair of tiny pants and a shirt. A few onsies. But there was also a small baby book. The kind that babies "read" with puffy cloth pages and it was four pages long. The pages were filled with colorful drawings of cute animals in different settings. The first page read "let's save the trees". The second read "let's clean the water". The final page simple said "Let's care for our home". The animals were dancing on top of the globe. Simple. To the point. Something a baby can understand. Save our trees, clean our water, and care for our planet.

But how? 

That is the problem I am struggling with. Everything you hear is tainted with politics, conflicting information and opinions. The best solutions we have to our energy and waste problems also have downsides. Nuclear energy has toxic waste that cannot be safely disposed off. Wind power is unsightly and dangerous to migrating birds and other animals. Even the simple light bulb has me wondering: Lower energy use vs toxic mercury?  There are no easy answers.

I will post my thoughts about what I think is the best way to save our trees, clean our water and care for our planet. My goal would be to leave no trace. Leave this planet with what I came with. This is not possible.  But I refuse to turn a blind eye and continue to live an unsustainable life. I would like for there to be resourses left for my daughter when she is my age.

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