It occurred to me a while back that while I’m all for keeping our beautiful blue and green ball healthy, why on Earth (pardon the pun) must I use CFL light bulbs to be considered green? Or, for that matter, why must I recycle, drive a subcompact hybrid, or use “green” cleaning products?
Since when did caring for the planet become a requirement? And not something God requires, but something Natalie Portman, Leo DiCaprio, or Al Gore demands. Am I truly doing the “right” thing by doing what other people tell me is the befitting thing to do? Or is it just the de rigueur thing to do? For my part, I’m apt to believe that it’s the fashion of the moment. I may be dating myself here, but I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed environmental campaigns before. And after a time, the habits they acquired during the zero hour became just something to do on occasion, and feel not quite so passionate about as before. For instance, back in the late 1980’s, if you didn’t recycle, you must have fallen off the turnip truck. Or in the early ’70’s, the energy crisis forced millions of Americans to turn their thermostats down and put on an extra sweater, as well as purchase compact vehicles. But once the crisis was over, we Americans quickly forgot the severity of aforementioned predicament, and returned to our old habits, without thinking twice. All I’m saying here is that people will do what people want to do. They don’t want to be told what to do. They like making the most basic decisions about their lives for themselves.
But let me clarify something here… I am SO not against doing what’s best for the planet, and for future generations. Just driving past a landfill gives me the heebie-jeebies! I can’t see how it’s good for the environment one iota. In the Bible it says in Genesis 1:26
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
That sure sounds to me like God has put man in charge. Now, the question here is: which man? Al Gore? RFK, Jr.? Or are we supposed to be in constant relationship with Him, and have God convict us of our wrongdoings? Even how green we live our lives… Maybe I’m just a tinhorn country bumpkin here, but I’m pretty sure I’m smart enough to decide for myself what’s best for my family and my lifestyle. Disclaimer here: I drive a gas-guzzling SUV! But I also live way out in the country, and the county government doesn’t take care of the roads in winters, so if I’m not driving my 4WD, I’m likely stuck in a ditch somewhere. And our family uses said SUV to pull a pop-up camper as well. With our camper we’ve seen a vast deal of this incredibly wondrous country. We’ve used these vehicles pretty responsibly, actually. While we may use a lot of gas driving from our home in the country to just about anywhere, we also compost, grow fruits and veggies in our garden, and get eggs from our own chickens. Beyond that, however, we made a choice – without any government intervention – about what we drive, as much for our family’s safety, as for “getting back to nature” by using it for camping as well.
There are a LOT of things we do as a family that don’t harm the planet. There are a lot of things we do that, in fact, help it. So pardon me if I get offended when some starlet that took a private jet to and from Cannes tells me that I should brush my teeth while I’m showering to “save the planet.” And pardon me if I get extremely annoyed that because I live in an area that doesn’t receive a great deal of federal funding, the very same government that doesn’t keep my roads drivable in the winter – roads being, say, more important for public welfare than probably a farm subsidy for Ted Turner, now tells me I should use a $7 light bulb to conserve energy!?!
My philosophy is pretty much Boy Scout founder Baden-Powell’s philosophy: “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.” And I think, that without the government’s or Hollywood’s help, I should be able to accomplish just that…
Just for fun, here’s a website dedicated to teaching children how their carbon footprints are harmful to the earth. Oh, the joys of knowing when you should have died, just to save the planet….