You Can’t Get Off, So Pitch In!

A few months back, the CEO of the Nestle corporation announced that it is his belief that “access to water is not a human right”. On the surface this is sad and awful, but if you think about it, obvious for him to believe. After all, how can you run a company that makes a bulk of its profits from bottled water sales and NOT believe this? How else would you make money? If you believe that clean water is a basic human right, how can you make money off of this commodity? This, in no way, excuses the idea, but it gives it reference. In order to live in a world that allows him to make money off of a basic core of life, he has to rationalize his views on the topic.

This got me to thinking about developed and non-developed land masses. It has become politically incorrect to say “third world”, and for good reason as we in the “first world” should not be putting ourselves above those in less developed areas of the globe. We should be looking at everyone, everywhere, as human beings in a collective planet. The things we do here, in the over-developed world, effect everyone. When we pollute our air, we pollute all the air. When we pollute our water, we pollute all the water. Our actions cause a ripple effect and we cannot easily reign it in. Our actions have become ever increasingly nonchalant and negligent.

I like to say over-developed, rather than simply developed, because that is what we have become. Industrialization has made us over-developed to the point that we have done harm to our planet. We can no longer continue living the way we have been or we will doom the planet for eternity. There is a certain level of development that is good for an area and anything beyond that starts to degrade the environment. We blew past that exit years ago and have continued to speed down the highway at an alarming speed. Never looking back.

Then there are those that say it doesn’t matter if we continue on the way we have all these years. Some even say that global warming is not real. Those people are idiots. Sorry to be so blunt, but it is true. Global warming is a big deal and until we collectively make efforts to reduce our carbon footprints, we will continue to kill the earth. Those that say it is too late are not idiots, as they could be correct, but they also push in the direction of futility. If it is too late, I guess it doesn’t matter. To them, it does not matter. To the rest of us, it kinda does.

And then there are the religious, end of times, folks. They think this is all pre-determined and that global warming is something that we have to endure to get to the apocalypse. They are excited by the possibility of the end of the world and do not see anything wrong with the manner in which we have been treating the earth. Here is the problem with that line of thinking. Yes, it serves the purpose of the apocalyptic, but what will happen at these so-called gates of heaven? When St. Peter asks if they were good stewards of the earth, what will they answer? “Well, I did not think that was important because we needed the end of the earth in order to get to the gates.” St. Peter will answer with something like this, “um, no, the big one said that you should take care of the earth for it was given to your care, so, you’re out” or something to that effect. There may be pre-determination, but there is also free will, and if you are making free will choices to be bad to the environment, it is likely that the big one will not be happy.

So, where do you stand in all of this? Are you like the dude that sits in the cubicle across from me, that throws his pop cans in the garbage all day long? Each time a can drops, my heart dies a bit, which I have voiced to him, to no avail. Or, do you recycle every single item that can be recycled? Are you the person that breaks down the keurig cups to recycle, reuse, and compost the materials within? Or, are you more middle of the road with your recycling? Do you return your bottles and cans for deposit, but not always recycle those that have no monetary value attached? Whatever type of recycler you are, now is the time to up your game. Unless you have made an effort to reuse, reduce, or recycle every single bit of material in your life, you can do more. After all, every day should be earth day because without it, we are screwed! Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your path to helping our planet heal.

50 ways to help the planet.
Protect the Wildlife.
Make a Recycled Craft.
Need to recycle something? Find a local site to recycle.
Start an office recycling program (this one is for me!)
Green your morning (and afternoon and evening) coffee
Educate yourself on how much it means to recycle
Keep up on things with EcoGeek and Treehugger

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