I hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving celebration. Giving thanks is what I’m talking about because it’s that time of year.
Let me start with a quote from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass:
” After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on–
have found that none of these finally satisfy or permanently wear–
what remains? Nature remains”
I am Grateful for Our Glorious Green Globe
So what am I thankful for? I am grateful for the glorious green globe that we all live on– planet Earth– because without it we wouldn’t have family, we wouldn’t have friends, we wouldn’t have meaningful work to do, to be grateful for! So it all begins with being grateful for this planet.
The scary thing is that this wonderful ball of rocks and soil and all the multitudinous creatures in it floating around in space, is in terrible trouble, and I frankly don’t think many of us are either aware of it or are that concerned about it. And that is a frightening proposition.
I recently read about the findings of the National Climate Assessment that comes out every five years. It’s a comprehensive multi-departmental study and what they say is that climate change is harming our physical, mental and community health and well-being through the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events. We are experiencing increasing cases of infectious and vector borne diseases, declines in food and water quality, and security.
According to this report, the United States is warming up faster than the rest of the world and will warm about 40% more than the rest of the world! As a result, hotter average temperatures mean weather that is even more extreme. Just think about it: the wildfires and the floods we are seeing right now. In my entire 70 plus years, i had never before experienced the smoke that we had from the fires in Canada that produced orange skies for days here in the northeast part of the country.
Therefore, I’m begging you to pay attention.
Read up on it from reliable scientific sources that originate from universities and renowned, specialized institutions. Don’t take as gospel what some politician or newscaster says.
We need to get informed and do our part. There is stuff we can do. Don’t feel like, “Oh my god, I don’t know what to do!” You could be calling your legislators and demanding that they pass laws to protect our environment; to protect the animals, the water, the air– whatever particular thing is your passion that speaks to your heart. It’s the easiest thing in the world to pick up the phone or shoot an e-mail to your representative and your senator and just say, “Hey, I care about ____. Do something!!” Be frantic. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!
Talk to Your Neighbors
Talk to your neighbors and if you belong to a local organization like the Knights of Columbus or you’re a Pythian or a member of the school board or the PTA or a church or business organization, speak to the other members and have conversations about what you think “we” can do–is there anything we can do as a group? Can we write a letter to our congressman as a group and complain about our environmental concerns? You can put your passion into it because you care. This is important!
Although I care about all aspects of our environmental crisis, I feel the thing i can do most about is recycling, that’s my passion. I talk with people every chance I get to find out where they stand on recycling. If they don’t recycle, I ask why, and depending on their answer, will explain how plastics end up in the ocean where birds think it’s food and choke to death when they swallow it. Or how much pollution is added to the atmosphere from the manufacturing of plastic and glass containers. I could go on, but you get my drift, right?!
Recycling, Reusing, and Reducing
I could do a whole talk on practicing the Three R’s: Recycling, Reusing and Reducing. Let me Briefly define each one:
Recycle of course means to return an item as close as possible to its original state so it can be used to make something new, so I have a compost pile in my backyard for any kind of natural product such as food scraps and leftovers, grass clippings leaves, weeds, coffee grounds, eggshells, you name it. The lovely compost goes in my garden as natural fertilizer.
Hard plastics, metal items, paper and cardboard go to the curb on recycling day. I bring glass items to a local collector (my library.)
Reuse—Take old tee shirts, cut them up and use as rags. Take your plastic bags back to the market and use again. So many ways… https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/education/25-things-to-reuse
Reduce— Think about how you use things, like water. Do you throw a tissue in the toilet and then flush? Do you keep the water running while you brush your teeth? Do you throw away the bags you bring home your groceries in? Do you toss out a pair of shoes because the heel is worn down? Do you leave lights or the tv on in rooms that are vacant? What kind of car do you drive?
I’m a fanatic when it comes to paper towels. They are one of the most destructive and unnecessary objects we could possibly buy in the supermarket. What’s wrong with a perfectly good rag? These days, we have these great cloths that clean everything and you don’t even need any kind of chemical cleaner to use with them. You throw them in the washing machine and use them over and over again. Buy a few of these and you will hardly need to buy paper towels! https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/microfiber-cleaning-cloth-guide/ In my neighborhood people are throwing out perfect stuff just because they’re tired of it. We’ve been brainwashed by commercials to compete with one another for the Who Has the Latest and the Greatest title. Do we really need a new this or new that? Frankly, what I’ve discovered is that the way they make furniture, for instance, today doesn’t hold up. My bedroom set is over 50 years old and as stable as the day we bought it. Solid wood holds up, you know what I mean? It was made to last whereas the stuff today is made to use for a few years and then it breaks so you have to toss it out.
Get Chickens If You Can!
I’m over the top I’ll admit it. I put out my garbage pail once a month, maybe. There isn’t a scrap of food in my house that goes into the garbage because I have chickens as some of you may know, and they are walking garbage disposals. Not everybody can have chickens, I understand that, but if you can, you will get these glorious eggs. So you’ve got a source of protein in your backyard. And they’re pretty funny to watch, too!
But we all can do something! Just think of yourself as a citizen of the planet and because you care and you want this planet to survive, you’re going to do as much as you can to protect our home. You can inspire other people to do the same thing as well.
Rehome What You Don’t Want
I’m at the stage of my life where I’m rehoming things. Rather than throwing away the items I no longer want, I bring them to several different thrift shops run by religious organizations or hospitals. I know we’re all at different stages and we do need to buy things but give it some thought before you toss an item in the garbage or decide to get a new this or that.
What Remains is Nature
It is the animals and the plants that feed us, sustain us, allow us to do all that we do: to have families, to run our businesses or do our work. It’s the earth that we’re standing on– that’s where it all begins. So take that into consideration and let’s do our part in whatever way your Innate Intelligence suggests to you. Get still for a minute, listen to that inner guidance and hear what it tells you.
And when you get a few minutes, take a walk, enjoy nature, feel your feet on the ground that sustains you. Feel it, be present to it- take out the plugs from your ears and simply walk in nature and feel the air blowing across your face, feel the sun shining on you, or the rain if it’s raining, and appreciate it. Be grateful for the gift of life that our planet affords us. Do it and notice your stress level sinking into Mother Earth, going down and far away, leaving you with a gentle smile on your lips.
Remember, everything begins with a thought so watch those thoughts and get rid of the ones that are causing you hurt.
Peace and Love Always,