April 28, 2022

Earth Day Hangover & the Ultimate Recycling Plan (that has nothing to do with Paper, Plastic or Glass).


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I hate to admit it but I am suffering from an Earth Day hangover.

I did all “the things” on April 22. I read all the doomsday articles and the hopeful ones explaining how we can still save the world in eight years if we only do “the things” we already know we’re supposed to be doing. I listened to a podcast and I watched a great interview that Elephant Journal did with Waylon Lewis and the guy from Wild Earth Guardians. (Which I loved and learned so much!) I closed my day out by re-watching the first episode of David Attenborough‘s “Our Planet.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years or more, you know what we’re supposed to be doing to save our Mother Earth.

Just in case you’ve forgotten here’s a quick reminder:

Stop using single-use plastics

Stop eating meat

Grow your own food or purchase it from your local farmers’ markets

Recycle, reclaim, and reuse

Shop thrift stores instead of big box stores

Support environmental legislation and vote for candidates who also support it

Conserve water

Walk or bike instead of drive or fly

Wear more clothes instead of turning on the heater; wear fewer clothes instead of using the air conditioner

And always turn off the lights when you leave a room

This is the shortlist.

My guilt for not doing some of these things and doing a half-assed job with the rest of these things has created this shame-filled hangover. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying (although as soon as these words leave my lips, I hear Yoda say “Do or do not. There is no try.”)

I left Facebook years ago and only recently rejoined to self-promote my Elephant Journal articles. An upside to this is a reconnection with some really wonderful people who I have lost touch with. One of these people is an intelligent, funny, and strong woman who I share little in common with on topics such as religion and politics. Our mutual respect for each other and the fact that whenever we were together we laughed a lot created a very unique relationship, especially in this day and time. We didn’t avoid topics we disagreed on but instead listened and if we couldn’t agree we at least understood why the other felt the way they did. It’s called maturity.

She recently posted a YouTube video on Facebook that brought the biggest smile to my face because it made clear why this wonderful friendship has survived. We find common ground in the strangest places. (Pun intended…you will understand in a moment.) She discovered the ultimate recycling project. It is only legal in three states: Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. A bill is currently on hold in the California Senate to hopefully be voted on soon.

It is such a genius, mind-blowing idea that I immediately copied the link and sent it to my daughter, son-in-law, and best friend with the caption “This is what I want to do. Let’s help make it legal in California!”

I’m not going to tell you what it is. It is my hope that you will be intrigued enough to spend some of your valuable time and watch the video for yourself. You will either be appalled or you, like me, will start making plans to put this request in your deathbed instructions.

If I have enticed you to watch it, please see it to the end before you jump to your own conclusions.

Earth Day is important and like so many others I believe we should celebrate every day. And commit to doing just a little bit better on each of those days. If you believe the predictions, and I do, we will soon know whether our sacrifices made a difference and if we choose the ultimate sacrifice laid out in this video, we will have finally done all we could.



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