An acquaintance recently asked me what I had done to mark Earth Day this year.
I was a bit taken aback, not really knowing if Earth Day was that day, had already passed or was yet to come.
I tried to cover my tracks, environmentally of course, by saying that when you are retired, every day is a Saturday and if the government doesn’t give everyone else a day off with pay, we’re not really sure if it is a special day or not.
I found out that I had missed Earth Day by a couple of days, but the theme for this year was, “Trees for Earth — Let’s Get Planting.”
Over the next five years, as Earth Day moves closer to its 50th anniversary, we are being asked to help achieve one of the most ambitious goals yet, planting 7.8 billion trees, and we have to start now.
I’m not sure the developers in south Langley or South America have been made aware of this goal, but it seems to me that not cutting existing trees helps to achieve this ambitious goal as well.
I try to do my part for the environment.
Each week I dutifully separate my garbage into three separate containers and dig my dandelions out of my lawn instead of nuking them with some exotic chemical and watching them shrivel up and die.
I have a large number of cloth shopping bags in my hall closet and I make an effort to use them.
I say that because I often take them out of the closet and set them down by the door as I tie my shoes and they get left behind.
Sometimes they make it to the car and get casually tossed on the back seat and never quite make it into the store.
I was in a grocery line up one day and the woman at the front of the line had just had $200 worth of groceries packed into plastic bags and as she went to pay she realized she had a bunch of cloth bags rolled up under her arm.
Both she and the cashier glanced at the five people waiting in line and decided that transferring the groceries at this point was ill advised.
But I believe Mother Nature gives us some partial points for remembering them even if we don’t use them.
She knows we are slow learners and she has been exceptionally patient with us so far.
A man at a grocery counter was asked, “Do you want plastic sacks or paper sacks?”
He replied, “It doesn’t matter, I’m bi-sackual.”
A cowboy tried to be environmentally conscious and made his pants, his shirt, his chaps and his hat out of brown paper bags. He was arrested for rustling.
I can recall using paper grocery bags to make text book covers and then covering them with drawings of jets and cars and sneaking in that special girl’s name on the inside.
We were recycling and didn’t even know it.
North Americans throw away almost 100 billion plastic bags every year, and only a fraction are ever recycled.
There are many articles written regarding plastic bags with only the plastic industry being on the pro side.
Paper bags seem to be the better choice, but then, don’t we have to cut down trees to make paper bags?
Remember, we are only looking after this place for our grandkids.
At least that’s what McGregor says.