“There is No Away”That’s always been one of my favorite quotes from Barry Commoner, scientist, author, politician, and a whole lot more who was one of the fathers of the environmental movement. Many of you weren’t on the planet yet in the late 1960s but those of us that were around were doing a pretty good job trashing the place. Not deliberately, of course. Most of it was out of ignorance. Few people understood the downstream impact of their actions. Commoner’s 1971 book, The Closing Circle, helped change that and led to really good things like the Clean Air Act and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Commoner laid out four laws of ecology:
1. Everything is connected to everything else.
2. Everything must go somewhere.
3. Nature knows best.
4. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Love those! They make sense, don’t they?
April 22, 2014 marks the 44th Earth Day. It has always seemed to me that every day should really be Earth Day but that’s probably true for any special days – like Christmas or my birthday! With that in mind, I thought we should use this Earth Day to kick off something that helps the Earth and also helps our wallets. Don’t worry. I picked something easy.
Bottled Water. Give it up. You’ve seen the videos that show we’re using enough single-use plastic bottles in a year to circle the earth bunches of times. So stop using those. Save money and help the planet at the same time. Plan ahead and bring your own water when you’re headed out for the day. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, buy an inexpensive filter. And please, stop buying water that is flown in from an island in the South Pacific. You know you can’t really taste the difference. Six bottles will set you back $30. Those bottles are plastic which is made from petrochemicals – a nonrenewable resource. Recycling helps for sure but remember – there is no away.
Give up the bottled water habit. Bring your own water and save $30 a week. $30 saved a week means $120 per month. Think of the fun you can have with that!