Everyday, during my devotional times, I pray for the environment of our earth. And I sincerely mean it, too. I would like to see more ecologically friendly behavior in the world, to try and clean up our beleaguered planet. I want this even more because I have heard from many sources that it is us, the Baby Boomers, who have critically impacted the environment.
I know this to be true. I know this, because while I am praying for a better environment, I am usually in my car, driving 30 miles to work. While I cannot presently do anything about the commute to work, I do appreciate the irony of burning fossil fuels while praying for environmental miracles from the Almighty.
I know there are other ways for me to do a better job in the environment. I have gotten rid of nearly all chemical cleaners, I only have reusable water bottles and I pick up trash in ditches, while avoiding the throwing of anything out the windows of my car. There are some things I am less good at, however, and I am here to confess them to you.
Let us consider the subject of paper towels. Yes, I know it is not good to use a lot of paper towels, but in the last week, I have used over a roll of paper towels and in some cases, like wiping up dog piddle from a nervous visiting dog, I feel I am more than justified. I don’t have to keep rags around that have cleaned up dog mess–paper towels can be thrown out. However, I also used them to wipe my hands fifty times, cover food in the microwave at least 25 times and wipe kitchen counters more often than I would care to admit. Ever since the video on what is in the average kitchen dish cloth or sponge was played for me, I have nightmares about what I am smearing on my counters, while wiping them off, so I use paper towels.
I had a friend some years ago who would hang up paper towels if the only thing on them was water and then re-use them. I tried this for about two hours one day and then I realized if I keep re-using them, I have the same problem as the evil dishrag. What to do, what to do!
I also have trouble with recycling. Is that bottle I just emptied one that can be recycled and if so, where can I take it? Do I put aluminum cans in with the tins used for tuna and vegetables? Which paper products are recyclable, is it just boxes, or could I include some old printer paper? It’s so confusing, so I finally decided that if it isn’t me burning rubber tires, spreading black smoke into the environment, then I am okay.
I have taken a serious look at cleaners in my house and since I’m not exactly a fanatical housekeeper, it doesn’t pain me too much to get rid of them. A friend advised that I use vinegar as my main cleaning agent and so I stocked up on a number of bottles. I sprayed it, wiped it, scrubbed it and ran it down the drain. I don’t know if the house is any cleaner, but the vinegar smell that hits you when you walk in my front door will drop you to your knees.
I turn lights off when I’m not using them, although I admit I’ve gone back to turning on the kitchen light when I get a drink in the middle of the night, ever since I tried to pour myself a drink of water and took a big swallow of vinegar instead! I don’t think the environment will come crashing down if I turn on the light long enough to distinguish the water from the vinegar. On a related note, vinegar spit all over you counter makes a pretty awful mess, especially if you leave it until the next day to clean up.
I don’t own any cows, I plant trees whenever possible and I never use an aerosol can for any reason. So, I feel entitled to use garbage bags as opposed to wrapping garbage in newspapers. I own several grocery bags that I routinely forget to take with me to the grocery store, but the intent is there, as I cram a new selection of plastic grocery sacks into the door where the rest are stored.
I recycle magazines and read newspapers online. I properly dispose of old paint cans and I always remember to pick up all papers from the grounds in the park. These things I do gladly as I try to make up for the Baby Boomer’s generation which hurt our environment so. And as for my morning prayers about the environment and the 30 mile car-ride; I hear electric cars are becoming a big thing. I’ll get one as soon as I have plug-in for it in my garage!