Thursday, April 22, 2010

Everyday is Earth Day

Its been one year since I got to spend a couple days hosting
Paul Watson, Captain of the Sea Shepherd, in Hawaii for an
animal rights group that I led. As I was driving him to the
airport on earthday we had a great conversation about what
earthday really is.

Earthday has become such a greenwashing of corporate
marketing techniques that it is really hard to see through the
crap. Companies brand their products to make you forget the
guilt behind the consumerism and waste that is so prevalent.

"But this microwaveable dinner has organic beans in it!"
"All natural"
"Made with 5% recycled materials"

Should we really be spending one day remember that the
environment is important and then turning around the next
day and going back to our bad habits? You know something
is wrong when earthday events are sponsored by major
corporations like GE or Coke.

I feel that in a small way earthday is good for people that still
don't know any better. Last Earthday, after taking Paul to his
awaiting plane, I went to try and educate faire goers about the
impacts of factory farming, leafleting, and handing out PETA
stickers to little kids.

This year I leafleted down at the Mar Vista Farmers Market for
a while. Then today I attended a green jobs panel at school to get
some more ideas for internships that I could support. However I
couldn't help thinking about everything that has changed in the
last year.

My own life, it has changed alot when it comes to sustainability.
I'm not as able to get to good quality, local, organic food that I
once was. But I can recycle a hell of a lot more than I could in
Hawaii. I don't drive, but rely on public transit or biking every-
where. I don't use paper products (except for TP, which is a hard
vice to give up). Veganism has become second nature to me and my
partner has taken to the lifestyle and all my cooking more than
happily. I'm not a huge consumer. I reuse, recycle, reduce...
Where do I go from here? What more can I do?

When I started studying it-- turns out a lot.

In a way, my solution has been part of my New Years Resolution.
I promised to do whatever I could to become more environmentally
conscious and sustainable. And for the last couple months, I did
what I did with a lot of New Years Resolutions... I got lazy. I didn't
get worse, but I didn't get better.

The last month though, with the coming of spring, I planted my
own garden. Hell, if I can't find a decent farmers market in my
area... I'm just gonna have to grow my own. I've always composted,
but finally got my butt into gear.

My next step is to eliminate plastic almost entirely from my life.
I know this is gonna be hard with alot of vegan products coming
in packaging, etc. But I want to reduce that as much as possible.

I want to start making my own nut milks again and get soymilk a
little less often. I want to try to make my own nondairy 'gurt.
And stop using plastic produce bags. I ALWAYS bring my reusable
bags. I keep at least one in my backpack or purse at all times, its
really not that hard.

I wonder though at certain places they get pissed when I produce
my own bag. Like using a reusable bag makes me self-righteous.
TJ is always happy about the bag thing, but I've found that mexican
markets and big markets like albertsons always sneer at me when I
pull out my own bag... Have you guys had this problem.

Back to the produce bags. I like them because I hate to think of
what has oozed out on to the conveyor belt at the market and putting
my veg on it bare. I use the bags to hold my compost in the kitchen
til I get a chance to take it out to the garden, then I wash and recycle
the bag if its got holes. Now I'm going to take it further and sew my
own mesh bags for produce and bulks. I've seen them sold at whole
foods and whats easier to sew than a freakin bag?

I use recyclable razors, but I want to find and use a straight razor.
After that, I'm gonna try to sew cloth panty liners. Although I use the
ones without plastic, I still hate throwing anything away.

My trash output is about 1 gallon every three months.
(Not including Kitty poooo)

After that? I don't know we'll see. Maybe I can eventually give up
TP, find a decent farmers market, and get a better bike to forsake
public transit. The point is that I am aware and I am trying.
Are you? I challenge you to finally look at one of those habits that
you find yourself burying away to ignore the microguilt. Look at it
closely and ask yourself "is it really worth it", "what can I do
differently and better", and "what benefits come of rejecting my
habits". Consider it self spring cleaning for earthday.

Its not about changing the world by yourself, but really living by
what you believe in. Do you believe in waste, garbage, and
destruction? Than why incorporate that into your life?

Happy Earthday folks...

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