Hello!

I'm Krisha - a Scandinavian mama and physician, a crafter, and an avid coffee drinker - trying to nudge my family towards a greener lifestyle!

   elQuiltro

Entries in earth hour (1)

Saturday
Mar312012

Going green

Last night we celebrated earth hour with candles, board games and lots of candy!  We all really enjoyed it.  One of the first things the kids did was look out the windows, where they found several of the neighbors also had lights out - I think it really made an impression on them. 

This was a partcularly important celebration for me, as I have found myself "going green" more and more lately.  I'm a bit conflicted though - the term "green" is a bad word in some circles - thought of as elitist, lefty, anti-jobs and anti-commerce.  That's not me - I'm not going off the grid.  I am not granola - I am pro-trade and pro-commerce.  I like my makeup and heels!

But, I AM CONCERNED.

 

I am concerned for this little globe of ours that floats though space amongst millions of stars that we know next to nothing about.  This little globe has limited space and we are crowding it with ourselves, our garbage and our pollutants. There is a plastic garbage patch the size of TEXAS floating around in the Pacific.  Pollutants from ever-bigger landfills are seeping into the ground water and reentering our food chain.

And there is no doubt that the global temperature is rising - it is stipulated that, in 12 years, the North Pole will be ice free in the summer.  Can you imagine that - an ICE FREE NORTH POLE.? 

Why are we not more concerned?  

There are probably very many reasons.  First and foremost, we can not conceive of the destruction that will result from relentless global warming if, for example, the South Pole were to also melt.  And, of course, I think there is too much money to be made by continuous raping of the environment through extraction of resources in an all-too-unsustainable manner.  Politicians just want another vote, so they are unwilling to do anything meaningful, and the pundits and talking heads out there seem to be representing the politicos and moneymen who aren't about to lift a finger for us to change course. 

With these monumental forces at play, how can a single person like me make a difference?

I think that we - the individuals - are the solution. I think it is our moral obligation to think about what we consume on a daily basis. Is it moral to drink from a plastic straw that will be around for more than a thousand years after your daughter is done with it? I don't think so. I think that the solution to the predicament our planet is in is that each and every one of us starts taking responsibilty for our actions and their consequences for the planet.  

We teach toddlers to share their toys, yet we insist on polluting so much so that island nations are flooded? Why should we as adults not be equally obliged to understand that we are all sharing this precious and beautiful globe? Shouldn't you be confronted with your polluting as a moral dilema for the harm it does to your children and mine?

    poster by Max Temkin

In my mind, the problem of global warming boils down to this:

 :: The emissions of green house gases - which causes global warming and changes in ecosystems - is caused by our over-consumption and wasteful lifestyle.

:: The constant consumption depletes the planet of resources and causes the destruction of wildlife and nature. 

:: The enormous waste we accumulate starts breaking down, polluting our water and soil, emitting methane, an even more potent and malign greenhouse gas.

I admit that this is a very simplified view, but looking at it this way motivates me rather than making me dispair.  Our consumption patterns should be seen more as an addiction, where, if we own up to our problem, maybe we can change.  If we see all this as interconnected - our plastic spoons and the migration of the penguins - we might be able to protect our wildlife, our oceans and our planet.  Start with what's most important to you and see how tiny changes will make a difference.

Steering the planet is like steering a massive ocean liner, heading full speed in the wrong direction.  We can't stop and change direction all at once, but we can slow down right away and eventually slam the engines in reverse and gradually pick up speed on the right course. 

The time is now.

Last year I chose these three things 

1. started recycling

2. chose to use cloth diapers for the baby

3. started doing meat free monday.

This year I will continue doing the above and I will:

1. stop using dipsoable plastic

2. start walking or biking to work 

3. make my own yoghurt to avoid the plastic containers. I will let you know how this goes!

So I challenge you to choose three things you can start doing this year that will help, even if it feels like it will make as much impact as a mouse peeing in the ocean. Maybe you can talk about your choice in such a way that it becomes a moral imperative for your best freind as well? 

Then next year celebarate earth hour, feel good about yourself and the gradual "greening" of your family and add three more things to the list.

You are welcome to write your challenge or leave a link to it in the comments section!