Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekend Assignment #264: Environmental Awareness

Hi, folks! Part Two of my trip up the Sky Island Byway, aka Catalina Highway, aka Mount Lemmon, will be posted later today. First, let's get on with the Weekend Assignment:

Weekend Assignment #264:A lot has changed since 1970, when the first Earth Day took place and had an unexpectedly large impact. In the current, uh, climate of global warming, eco-friendly marketing and recent attempts to gut environmental protections, how much of an effort do you make in your daily routine to help protect the environment?

Extra Credit:Do you observe Earth Day in any way? If so, how?

We just had another Earth Day, obviously. I remember its very first observance in 1970, when I was young and impressionable, and the new holiday was a big deal. I was 13 years old and in seventh grade. We had an environmental science fair at school, and my contribution was two fish tanks. One had a pearl gourami in it named Pearl, chosen because it frequently chased other fish and I wanted to punish it for being so "mean." The other had water mixed with laundry detergent, all that stuff with phosphates and enzymes that was supposed to be so bad for the environment. On Earth Day itself I went to the woods by the frog pond and the disused railroad tracks, and collected a large bag full of empty cans. I took these home and used them to spell out the work "JOIN" on the front lawn. Then I cleaned them up again.

By the time I was in high school, my dad and I were recycling. I've tried to continue ever since, with varying degrees of success depending on the resources available at the time. I used to collect boxes of white paper and boxes of colored paper at Worldwide Travel, and every few months haul them to a photocopy store that took paper for recycling. Then they stopped doing that, but the city had a recycling center by then, with a bin for paper. Then they started mixing all their recycled goods in the same bin, and I was never quite sure after that what they really recycled and what they threw away. These days we have a small recycle bin under the kitchen counter, and a big blue one outside that gets emptied on Fridays. Lots and lots of stuff goes in there, including a few things I'm not sure they take. Still, we follow the city's directions on the subject as best we can, and I even carry stuff home from work (when I work!) or elsewhere to go in the big blue bin.

But you know what? I'm not so good on other stuff. My car isn't an SUV, but I do use a fair amount of gas, just going to the dog park each day. I just guiltily turned off an extra light in the kitchen, and it's not unusual for our tv to show a paused DVD all night long. We try not to overdo the A/C, but I have far less tolerance for heat than John, not to mention the allergens that come in through the windows he likes to open. So yes, I try, but not perhaps hard enough.

As for Earth Day this year, I sort of celebrated it early, going partway up the mountain on Monday afternoon for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot. When Earth Day actually came, I posted Part One of my EMPS entry, and then went to St. Michael's to prepare the weekly deposit as usual. Shortly after I started, Father Smith made a brief appearance, and told me he was about to go take part in an Earth Day observance.

"Cool," I said, and kept working.

A few minutes after that, the phone in the workroom, which I had not noticed before, was activated as part of an internal PA system. A voice I didn't recognize invited the entire St. Michael's community (i.e., anyone from the church or school who happened to be around and not too busy) to attend an Earth Day ceremony at 3:30 in the Sunken Garden. I was tempted, but there I was with a stack of the church's cash, and limited time to get the deposit done if I wanted to finished before the parish secretary left for the day. I kept working.

How about you? Are environmental concerns something you pay attention to on a daily basis, or is it something you think about for five minutes each April, or something in between? Tell us about it in your blog. Be sure to leave a link to this blog in your entry, and a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week with the results. Meanwhile...

For Weekend Assignment #263: Predict the Future!, I asked you to make from one to three predictions about the rest of 2009. Three of you responded:

Julie said...

So, I'm going to shuffle up the cards (The Fool is on top right now, which suggests something), deal out a few, and give you my interpretation of each. And just to make things interesting, the text on the cards is in French, so I can't guarantee I'll get it all right....

Florinda said...

I'll crawl out onto that limb...but I'm a bit afraid of heights, so I'm picking one that's only a few feet off the ground, and hoping that it won't hurt as badly if I fall off. But I'm hedging my bets - no tree-related pun intended - by not predicting anything that's likely to have a dramatic impact on my own day-to-day life. Prediction #1, still staying close to the trunk of the tree: The Dodgers will finish the season somewhere between first and fifth place in the NL West.

Mike said...

First, in sports the Blackhawks will win the Stanley Cup, The Bulls will win the NBA Championship, the Cubs and White Sox will be in the World Series together and the Cubs will win. Hey, the White Sox won just a few years ago. Then, after all the fires have been put out around the city, the IOC will determine that Chicago can't handle a major sporting event, so they decide to have the 2016 Summer Games in Des Moines, Iowa.

I'm still dangerously low on "guest professor" suggestions for these Weekend Assignments, so I ask again: please, please, please, PLEASE email me some new ones. I warn you, I will continue adding another please to the previous sentence each week until someone suggests something. Save us from the invasion of the pleases!



barrettmanor said...

Here you go:

Florinda said...

I wish my answer were better, but here it is anyway.

Mike said...

You do a lot better than I do. As you can see.