Reflections on Earth Day

See Entire April 2, 2010 Newsletter

April 22nd will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Great, right? Upon reflection, I had to honestly ask myself where I was for the first 35-36 years since Earth Day was founded. Fast forward: Thoughts are literally flooding my brain as I look back on the last three explosive years of my life – since the conception and birth of Mrs. Green (metaphorically speaking.) Take a deep breath…

Five years ago, I guarantee you that I had no clue what GMO, CFL, nor LED stood for. I left the water on when I brushed my teeth, I used regular commercial brand everything – toothpaste, laundry soap, dish washing detergent, shampoo, deodorant, house cleaning products – you name it. I never gave a thought to how many times I flushed the toilet nor to how long my shower was. Our house had plastic bags shoved in every corner of the pantry; I used baggies like there were no tomorrow, bought two cases of bottled water every month and went through at least one roll of paper towels per week. And, yes, I confess – my idea of heaven was a particular fast food breakfast complete with a diet coke. Carbon footprint? Greenhouse gas? Not a clue. Lead in my lipstick? Parabens in my make-up? I thought an energy calculator was something solar powered, and I threw batteries in the garbage without another thought. What the heck was dirty gold? Weren’t blood diamonds the subject of a Hollywood movie in some warring, greedy country, far away and with no connection to me? Energy Star was a cute label, and I am quite certain I didn’t know that air conditioners had a SEER rating. Eco-travel meant saving money and carbon emissions were something nice people just didn’t talk about. (Well, maybe that one is a bit of an exaggeration.) The smell of Clorox? That meant things were really clean even though my nostrils were on fire. And why in the world would anyone join a Clean Cities coalition? Afterall, we all want clean cities – right? Enough already – you get the picture.

As of this Earth Day, 2010, I am awake, I am alive, I am on a mission, and I have changed more things in my life than I can remember. All those things I wrote about in the last paragraph? I know what all the initials stand for, I never waste water, I watch movies like Food Inc. and blog about the evils of Monsanto. I read things like The Daily Green, Grist, Greenbuzz, Green Biz, Earth 911, the Wall Street Journal, Sustainable Brands, and Earth Justice. I have an all-green talk radio show, Tweet, and spread the green word on my Facebook Fan page. We just renamed my website because the WORLD is our green oyster. I am a member of the Clean Cities Coalition, the Southern Arizona Homebuilders Green Building Council, the Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce and the USGBC – local chapter. I always check Bookmans before I buy a book and we take anything we are getting rid of to the Habistore, Goodwill or the landfills operated by the Fairfax Companies. I get my hair dyed at VerVe – an Aveda salon, buy organic at The Farmers Market, and live deeply troubled by the knowledge that 1.5 billion people don’t have clean water today and what more could I be doing to help change that. I proudly travel about town in a Honda Insight that can be spotted a mile away. Some people at Chapman Tucson think my name is Mrs. Green and people call my house and ask my husband if he is Mr. Green. I like that (so does he.) I believe that I AM another TEP bright solution.

But I am supposed to be writing a newsletter not a book. Sooooo, this Earth Day in the year 2010, I am Mrs. Green. I live in a world filled with hope, possibility and change and know how blessed I am to be surrounded by people like you. Happy Earth Day!


1 thought on “Reflections on Earth Day”

  1. Karen Duggan says:

    You’ve got it exactly right. Even if we can’t afford a new hybrid car or solar panels, there is so much each of us can do to make a significant contribution. You’ve pointed out a lot of waste I am responsible for, but last night I turned off my cell phone/laptop power strip for the first time. Making even one small change each day will make these “sacrifices” easier to bear…

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