Saturday, June 8, 2013

Earth Conscious?

Yesterday, sadly, we left the mountainous region of our country. We headed east for Adam's work in Jamestown, North Dakota. On our way out we decided to go through Montana, and we went through the Beartooth Absaroka Ranges. We took the scenic route. And boy, was it scenic! After we exited Yellowstone at the Northeast entrance, we had coffee in Silver Gate, Montana. We enjoyed the view and read the Prayer of the Woods. Beautiful.


 am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of and the flower of beauty. Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.

I am a lover of the woods. I appreciate our Earth. In the wild, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. We have trees all around us and we breath the air they create. The lichen in Yellowstone grows because the air is so clean. Oh, trees. I love thee.  

This got me thinking about an old Indain Proverb- that my sweet friend always had above her desk. I love it because sooner than later, we as a human race, will have to figure out what it si that we are going to do to protect our world for our children.  It follows here: 

"Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. ” Cree Indian Proverb

I'd like to think that my family and I are conscious about our decisions of what we purchase and what we use. I used cloth diapers for a year. And, then, Ryan started to have really bad diaper rashes. And, now, I really wish she would just use the bathroom. She does, but I think she's not quite there yet on how to hold it and when she really needs to go. It's frustrating though because we battle the diaper! I do not want to use them. And, we've used Seventh Generation, and then out of convenience, we've used the regular old diapers. Ugh! 

Everything now, we should be conscious about. Food, Soaps, laundry detergent, soda, wasting water, garbage, recycling, paper, and electronic waste. It's disgusting. It's frustrating. We, as in all of us, don't use everything we buy. We have garbage, wasted food, and container waste which I despise the most.  Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.... every little bit counts. 

So, I battle with purchasing organic items. I battle with buying soaps that have no detergents that are bad for water. I battle using plastic sacks because we need garbage sacks (we reuse them as such.) We  use reusable sacks. We reuse bottles. We recycle at every opportunity. 

I guess my point in this rant (ouch!) is that I battle with doing what's best- out of convenience. Is it better that I recognize that there's a choice? Is it bad that I don't always choose the best "eco" option? I get overwhelmed, but I do think that we should be conscious, and I try. I try diligently. 

So, here's one of my arguments-- just for the heck of it.  In Yellowstone, the hotels and franchises use Keurig's for coffee and tea. Ok, those make the single serve coffees, and they apparently save water. However, the containers that the coffee/tea come in are not recyclable.... Which is worse? Losing water, or filling up landfills with plastic? I vote plastic. I guess they have researched the less of two evils, but I still think that plastic waste is worse as it's toxic. And, water is water... at least we can purify it. 

Do you turn your water off when you're brushing your teeth? Do you wash dishes with running water? Do you hand wash dishes?  Do you shower longer than 6 minutes? Do you let it mellow when it's yellow? (sorry, yuck factor?)  

I do turn the water off when I'm brushing my teeth. I do hand wash dishes, and I try not to always wash with running water. Yes, I shower longer than 6 minutes.. have you seen my hair? And, sometimes we let it mellow..... Do those things count too?

Other things we do for our conscience:

1. Try not to waste food. 

2.  Turn lights off/energy off when we're not using it.
3. Don't run the A/C... we open the windows until we can't take it anymore.
4. We don't use the oven in the summer. 
5. We use programmable thermostats. 

This list can go on and on. We try!!

As long as Adam and I have been together, we have recycled. I turned him on to it. It just takes alittle bit more effort, and it helps. It all helps, so this is just a reminder for myself-- through rant... that we can't always do it all, but we can try to make a difference in choices we make. I would like to forever go to places like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, and with out these small choices, they wouldn't be continuing to thrive. 

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