Did you know that a leech has 32 brains? I didn't until I started this post.
Other trivial facts about leeches:
- Leeches are used to treat some diseases. In the past, they were used to cure anything from a headache to gout
- The bite of a leech is actually painless
- Leeches can bite through a hippos hide
- A leech has three mouths and Millions of teeth
But what do leeches have to do with going green?
I wasn't sure about that connection either until one day I heard a "non-green" person referred to as a leech. The implication to me was clear and obvious. "Leeches" or "non-green" people go through life sucking, consuming, and parasitically living off of the work and efforts of others. Well, that kind of sounds like me a little bit... (laugh).
All joking aside, when I look at my personal environmental footprint, I recognize that it is quite large and can be reduced. In the past few years, I've made a conscious effort to cut back on my level of consumption relative to our limited resources. I'll admit that some of the motivation has been driven by the economics of it all. Remember when gasoline prices were well over four dollars a gallon? I was happy to park my gas guzzling SUV for a little while in favor of the environmentally friendlier and more economical hybrid vehicle. I noticed the savings immediately. And compact fluorescent light bulbs make a lot of sense to me as well. Being the chief bulb changer around here I've noticed that the frequency of that activity has been slightly reduced. I've become better at recycling and have changed my philosophy on several issues. Call me a tree-hugger if you like ...... Well, I'm not that extreme yet but I'm certainly moving in that direction. I look around my home at the level of paper products. Wow! There's so much! I can hardly keep up with it all. Anything from newspapers to receipts, to junk mail, and packaging products. All of that stuff goes in the recycle bin for starters. I even shred my financial statements and recycle them with the hope that they'll come back to me as toilet paper one day. Then they'll be worth something... ha, ha.
Los Angeles has joined many other cities and developed a great rubbish/recycling program. They give you three different containers. One is a big blue container for paper, glass, plastic, and other recyclables. A green container is supplied for compost items like food, flower and plant trimmings etc., and finally there's a black container for the rest of the trash which ultimately ends up in a landfill. Some cities, like San Francisco, have proposed fines for unsorted or improperly sorted garbage. Perhaps a bit excessive and extreme but I suppose that's where we're headed. Los Angeles is proposing a system that charges you extra for using one use bags at the grocery store. I don't know where that proposal currently stands but I do notice that many people are now sporting reusable canvas bags at the local supermarket. I guess in the years to follow the question at the check out line will be "reusable bag - or paper, plastic and 25 cents per bag?"
This environmentalism stuff isn't new either. The beginnings of an environmental movement in the United States can be traced as far back as 1739, when Benjamin Franklin and other Philadelphia residents, citing "public rights," petitioned the Pennsylvania Assembly to stop waste dumping and remove tanneries from Philadelphia's commercial district. In the 1800s, John Muir and Henry David Thoreau made their key philosophical contributions. Thoreau was interested in peoples' relationship with nature and studied this by living close to nature in a simple life. He published his experiences in the book Walden, which argues that people should become intimately close with nature. Muir spent quite a bit of time hiking in Yosemite Valley and studying both the ecology and geology. He successfully lobbied congress to form Yosemite National Park and went on to set up the Sierra Club.
Anyway, you get my point I'm sure. While we have many problems around the globe today, we've only got one "Blue Marble" to live on.
And while I'm somewhat confident that there will be enough resources for me during my lifetime, I'm hoping to do a little bit to ensure that there are a few more resources left for our great-great- grand kids and beyond.
So while people across the United States are putting on their green hats, ties, shirts, blouses, pants, and undies to celebrate St. Patty's Day ...... I'll be doing the same. But as I do, I'll be thinking about a different kind of "Green."
Let's see instead of green beer this year I think I want a good Irish whiskey.
Do they make green Irish whiskey?
For more ideas on going green: Click here - Going Green Do It Yourself