Tuesday, April 22, 2008

saving the planet, one plastic bag at a time

Here we are, Earth Day 2008. It's funny, but I can't help feeling like it's the early 90s all over again. Gas guzzling is out. Recycling is in. And the Democrats are using the green vibe to their advantage (with similar results in November, I hope).

So what does it all mean? It means that we have some serious problems to face, and that at least for now, we have to cash in on this neo-eco-consciousness. It means changing your habits whenever you can. Simply holding onto that plastic water bottle you just purchased until you can get home to recycle it is a great start. So is unplugging all those appliances that use up juice just sitting there, even when they're turned off. It means voting for people who will make a commitment to a cleaner 2009 and beyond.

I know it sounds corny, people, but I for one don't want my great grandkids to be faced with the choice between moving to Mars or enduring certain death from painful cancer after the ozone is all but wiped out. And you shouldn't, either; I hear Mars is pretty chilly at night.

But seriously, the good thing about what's going on now is that it looks like big business is finally starting to listen. Who would have thought that hybrid car technology would have become so popular in a matter of just a few years? Electric cars, which were the wave of the future back in the early 90s, fizzled and died out before they ever had the chance to make it. But you can't watch a car commercial nowadays that doesn't mention the words "fuel economy," "mileage," "hydrogen," or "hybrid." (Okay, except for that silly VW one with David Hasselhoff.) So, I'm hopeful that people are starting to realize that "Earth-friendly" and "business-friendly" don't have to be polar opposites.

Anyway, my two suggestions for you on this Earth Day: Read this eye-opening series from The L Magazine writer Amanda Park Taylor on how to change your plastic-using ways (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5); and check out this set of free enviro-toons from the one, the only, BrainPOP.

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