Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Schmearth Day

I had no idea today was Earth Day until I opened up TweetDeck tonight and saw that many people had, err, tweeted about the day. Let me start by being completely honest. I could give a shit about Earth Day. For me, it conjures up images of abrasive brown bags and product packaging and abrasive individuals holding clipboards outside your office, asking you if you have a minute for Greenpeace. No, actually, I DON’T have a minute for Greenpeace. I barely have a minute to pee, let alone run to this here deli to get a poor-tasting panini to scarf down my gullet while I continue to type meaningless words into a document that will likely get thrown out two minutes after it’s received.

Oh! Hey! You’re still there. Sorry, THAT was an embarrassing rant…

Anyway, Greenpeace, Earth Day, not for me. Except, what I find funny about all the clever little things Earth Day preachers encourage you to do is that many of them seem to be things we all used to do back in the day. You know, back in the day when men were men and kids walked to school in the snow uphill both ways. I mean, I think back on all the things my mom drilled into my brain as a kid:

1. No Littering. You know how you’re driving, and someone oh-so-casually rolls down the window to throw out their stale gum or candy wrapper? That makes me cringe. Mom never let us kids throw ANYTHING out the window. Not a gum wrapper, not a popsicle stick, nothing. If there were no available garbage receptacles, TOUGH, we had to keep the trash in our pockets.
2. Brown Paper Grocery Bags. When all the cool kids’ moms were getting their groceries bagged in plastic, my mom was still requesting paper.
3. Tap Water. Bottles of water were never present in my house. My mom never saw the point. We have a tap! We have glasses! These days, we’re constantly reminded about the damage we’re doing to the environment with all the throwing away of plastic bottles. To say nothing about the alleged flesh eating bacteria that will take over our bodies if we use a bottle more than once.
4. Reuse. There were few items in my childhood home that my mom couldn’t find a new use for after their initial purpose was achieved. Are you crazy throwing that jam jar away?! I can use it to house seeds, store buttons, save coins!
5. Actual Dishes. Paper plates? Not something I truly discovered until I was an adult. You see, paper plates are not reusable by nature. And, well, see #4.

So, given the above, I suppose one could argue that my mom was ahead of her time and, as a result, I’m actually a begrudging believer in the principles of Earth Day. Just don’t tell the folks from Greenpeace.

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