Are you cynical about Earth Day? (This year, not one person wished me "Happy Earth Day." No one even mentioned it!)
Is it just another day?
If you're a practicing environmentalist (I prefer to call us "humanitarians") Earth-y talk in April can get annoying.
My walk to work April 22 was like any other: I picked up garbage (a plastic Target shopping bag and a Starbucks paper cup with plastic lid), stopped for a direct trade coffee in my own mug and carried my lunch in my stainless steel tiffin.
Nobody paid attention. Nobody gave me a gold star.
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Or, did they?
Ever notice that when people know what you stand for, they freely share and/or confide their recent Earth-saving acts?
Exhibit A: a guy rode his bike — for me!
One week, my team of beach volleyball drop-in misfits (who never played power in junior high) introduced ourselves, including what we do for a living. The following week a teammate said "Instead of driving, I biked to volleyball — for you!"
Exhibit B: my acupuncturist changed his light bulbs — for me!
At our first follow-up visit, my acupuncturist exclaimed "Check it out. I changed my light bulbs!"
Exhibit C: my mom hunts down organic clothing at garage sales — for me!
My mom will jump out of a moving car to get to a garage sale!
Her once-suspect finds for my son (a "My First Christmas" sleeper made of 100 per cent polyester and treated with flame retardants) are now always certified organic cotton or locally made.
Doing what's best for humans and the planet isn't always convenient. But keep slogging away (even during symbolic Earth Month) — because they're watching!
By "they" I mean, your mom who loves her toxic cleaning products, your husband who won't give up his neon blue, 25-ingredient deodorant or the regular at your favourite coffee shop who always orders a large, three-quarters-full Americano in a disposable cup!
Let's assume Earth Day is more for them than for you.
Have the gold stars ready! One day, IT will sink in. And they'll want to share their news with YOU! (And tuck your judgement or cynicism deep into your Fair Trade, organic, Made in Canada, reusable, cloth bag.)
Has anyone ever shared their Earth-friendlier behaviour with you, looking for a pat on the back?
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green