When my son was young he loved to watch superhero cartoons. I remember Captain Planet was a favorite.
At the time, as a busy mom, I only knew my son loved that some kids with special powers could cause Captain Planet to form. He would swoop down saving Earth and getting the bad guys.
Years later I watched some reruns and paid a little closer attention. I was surprised that the bad guys seemed generally connected to big manufacturing companies or involved with deforestation. It definitely was a show with a bias against ‘big business’ and for cleaning the environment with the help of the Pagan god Gaia.
This weekend’s Earth Day special programs reminded me of those younger days. But I have to chuckle when I wonder how many people really believe that by planting one tree or recycling for one day that habits and people will be changed. Will your life be different if you turn your lights off for one hour one day of the year?
At our house every day is Earth Day. My parents grew up children of the Depression. They still hold tight to those values. They do not waste. They turn off lights when out of the room. They keep things because you never know when you might need it. They fix things themselves. Friends come together to help each other. So it’s no surprise that our generation still does the same. Oh sure, we are from the disposable generation… yes, we threw diapers in the trash and use tissue rather than hankies but it’s there. Those three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are part of our home. And we do these things daily, so much so that these habits are engrained in our fiber.
As conservatives we enjoy being good stewards of not only our finances but our time. At our house we, years ago, bought a ‘mulching blade’ for the lawn mover. Not only do we not fill up the dump with grass clippings but mowing the grass takes less time. In the summers especially, we hang clothes on the line. I had to buy more clothes pins and people laughed at the idea of still hanging clothes outside. But when it’s hot in Phoenix by the time I hang up the load of clothes they are dry and ready to come down. Free use of the sun’s energy keeps the house from heating up and the air conditioning running even more. We have long saved our aluminum cans. For years son would count on getting a Happy Meal with the money earned from recycling. Saving the landfill and getting a treat, what could be better? Last year we took down our old swing set and ‘repurposed’ the wood into a small raised bed garden. Now we’re enjoying the fruits of our labor.
None of the things we do require government intervention. We don’t need to have the government use stimulus money so that we can replace light bulbs that are still working. We don’t want to trade in our ‘running well’ car in order to buy a government approved green vehicle. We don’t need the government requiring that we must recycle. If it’s a cost effective program and trees are saved it makes sense and we’ll voluntarily do it. We want the environment to be clean and enjoyable for our grandchildren. Which is why every day is Earth Day at our house.