Thursday is the 40th Earth Day. I heard a man on TV last night say how ironic it is that Earth Day is about America, not the world.
I was 10 years old on that first Earth Day. At school we had a special assembly and each student was given a little pine tree sapling planted in a card board milk container.
After school I rushed home and dutifully planted my little tree and watered it well, just like I was told to do. Then some rotten kids came along and pulled it up by the roots and left it lying there. So much for the kindness of humanity.
But I was really touched by all that was going on during that period of my development. All of the youth of that time, it seemed, were talking about being responsible . Not wasting water, turning off the lights, and especially, not littering! Remember the Wonderful World of Disney? All those wonderful nature films and admonitions of “Litterbug, litterbug! Shame on you!” And who, of my generation can forget Jacques Cousteau National Geographic specials!
I even started a campaign to raise money for “Ecology”.I had stood outside the Acme and begged donations! I collected a whopping $3.00 and change! I presented my milk carton “please give to my cause” bank to the town council.
Now I’m fifty years old. And it’s amazing to me how many of the tactics that are used to help protect the planet are also things that are integrated into a frugal life.
I grow my own veggies and fruit.
I keep the thermostat at 63 degrees, F.
I don’t run the water when I brush my teeth.
I recycle and reuse lots and lots of things.
I only use 1/2 a paper towel if that’s all that’s needed.
I only wash clothes in cold water.
I only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
You get the idea.
But! I think the biggest contribution to saving the planet that I’ve made is showing my children how to live frugally. By my example they know how to conserve energy. And they also know what’s right and what’s wrong in the field of “Waste not want not”. I can only pray and hope that they, when they have children of their own, will pass these lessons on.
So, if you are a conserver, reuser, recycler, make sure your kids are paying attention.
The bible says, “teach your children that they may teach their children.” (my paraphrase) I think that this verse also applies to saving our planet for the sake of our children’s children’s children.