“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” Marshall McLuhan
This month I’m building onto a letter by Jaime Mitchell, publisher of the San Francisco edition of Natural Awakenings. It is a practical message with a sense of urgency. We truly all need to contribute if we want the Lehigh Valley to remain an awesome place to live with wonderful natural places and plenty of resources to maintain our present quality of life.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: These three R’s have long spearheaded Save the Earth campaigns with good reason. This October’s special Environment issue looks at ways we each can preserve our world right now. I challenge you to consider with me fresh ways to apply them in your own life.
Reduce: America’s Clean Air Council reports that we annually throw away enough paper and plastic cups to circle the equator 300 times. How many times have I entered a coffee shop without bringing my own reusable cup? When I think about how simple it is for us to do our part to cut such waste, I am inspired to take the extra minute to bring my own cup, reusable water bottle and reusable fabric shopping bags.
Reuse: World population, now 7 billion, has more than doubled since 1960. In this month’s Green Living article, “Follow the Lifecycle,” Brita Belli, shares research behind the startling fact that humanity is already consuming resources equivalent to 1.5 Earths.
Such offense inspires me to more urgently think outside the box and capitalize on reusable options. If we divert every unwanted item from landfills by giving them to someone who can use them, contribute to thrift stores and list items on Freecycle, we can better use current items.
Recycle: We all have the response-ability to do our part in caring for our irreplaceable celestial home. It’s easy to use city-provided recycle bins to sort garbage, recyclables and foliage. Know that Natural Awakenings uses recycled newsprint and nontoxic soy ink and works to recycle every material used in creating and distributing this publication.
The most vital resource of all is our minds, and we have the capacity to think differently and always apply the three R’s. Consistent small changes across millions of households add up, eventually rebuilding Earth’s resiliency via a fourth R: Replenish.