I'm no hippie, but I try to do my part. In Death to Smoochy Ed Norton is always saying, "You can't change the world, but you can make a dent." A silly movie, sure, but a pretty relevant quote. I'm not saving the planet with the "green" things that I'm doing, but I am making a very small difference.
I use a reel mower. That's the kind you see people in the 50s pushing around. When it came time to buy one, there were so many reasons to not buy a gas mower and so many reasons to buy a reel. 1) It only cost $99. 2) It uses no gas and no oil. 3) It's a great way to get exercise. 4) My kids can be around and I don't have to worry about horrible accidents. And 5) It makes no noise. When I'm out on a beautiful summer evening there is nothing that annoys me more than the extremely loud roar of my neighbors riding lawn mower that seems useless in his 12' by 12' yard.
I do cloth diapers. Again, there weren't enough reasons to do disposable, and so many reasons to do cloth. 1) Its costs about $200 to diaper your child for their entire life. 2) It's more comfortable and less irritating to their skin. 3) You get WAY less blowouts. And 4) It may actually help them to potty train earlier than a child in disposables.
I recycle. With the new programs that many cities offer, there's really no excuse not to. They often provide a bin, pickup, and disposal. All you have to do is seperate your trash and they do the rest. Some places there is more work involved, like driving your recycling to a designated location, but every load of recycling is one less load going into a landfill.
My point is, there are a ton of small ways that you can make a small difference. I don't do everything I can to "save the planet", but I try to find a couple viable options that I know I can do. It only takes a little extra effort; pushing the mower yourself, washing diapers every few days, taking the time to separate your garbage. But this little effort is actually making a difference; small, but real. We can all find one or two ways to contribute, it's not that hard, it's not going to kill us, and it just might matter.
I watched a documentary once called No Impact Man. A family tried to have zero environmental impact & no carbon footprint for one year. It was hard, it was work, but they did it. And the lesson they learned was that it is nearly impossible for us to give up everything in today's modern society. They tried to live without toilet paper and a refrigerator. And while they survived, they saw these things as conveniences that they couldn't live without. But they also discovered many things that they could give up; hours in front of the TV, car rides short distances, wasted spending. And what I took away from the movie is that we don't need to be hippies in order to make a small difference. We can all make tiny sacrifices in a few areas of our lives, put in a little extra muscle & time, and it just might add up to something big.
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