Saturday, March 24, 2007

Little Things

One of the problems with mass media and our global awareness is that it can all be a little overwhelming. When we look at the problems facing our globe, our world, our earth, our home, it can seem like we are so far gone that there is no point. The problems are so huge and we are so little. Surely what I, one person, does can't make a difference.... I think humans were meant to live in small communities. I think it is overwhelming to find our individual identity when we think of the billions of people who live here with us.

Yet, I believe this is an illusion.... a dangerous illusion.... an illusion that is careening our species to extinction. And I think that there is a shift in consciousness. I think that the number of people uncomfortable with our consumer driven culture is growing. And I think we need to support each other in our efforts so that we know that we are not alone. And I think that every little thing matters.

Here are some of the little things I am doing to live more in harmony with the earth.

Compact fluorescent bulbs that use less electricity.

Not using my dryer. This means being more organized for me. If I do a load of laundry every day, I can mostly avoid using the dryer at all. It is when it piles up that I run into problems. Even with no wonderful wood heat flowing around my clothes horse, most things dry in 24 hours. And the clothes last a lot longer, too - black things stay black.

And with the money I save on those 2 things, I splurge on this more expensive dish detergent (it's only $1 more than regular kinds). And this is what it says on the back of the bottle: "You are making a difference. If every household in the US replaced just one bottle of 25 oz petroleum based dishwashing liquid with our 25 oz vegetable based product we could save 81, 000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 4, 600 US homes for a year.

"Our natural dish liquid gets your dishes sparkling clean yet is gentle on your hands and the earth. We use only ingredients that do not pose any chronic health risks and are safe for the environment..." What do you think? How about replacing one bottle? Now that I've tried it, I love it! I'm never going back. It will be many bottles for me!

Did you know that all those 'phosphate free' dish soaps are petroleum based? Did you know that this company, Seventh Generation, ensures that all their practises and ingredients will not harm the planet down to the 7th generation? In todays 'bottom line' driven economy, companies so often think only of the profit right now and not how it will impact the environment in 1 year let alone in140 years.

So, these are some of the little things I am doing.... How about you? For a great list of suggestions and books, try here.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hi Andrea
I think you are so right. It is best to start by thinking about the things that you can do. It is way too easy to just think that the problems are too big and that we can't possibly help - such a defeatist attitude. There are lots of things we can do to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the seemingly "unfixable" problems in our world. I like what you're doing. Have you seen this site? It has some other simple ideas.