Is it only worth going green if you go in 100%?
DH and I care a lot about making green choices. We use CFLs, buy organic, recycle, reduce, and reuse. We cloth diaper, breastfeed (yes, it's an eco-friendly choice), and I use reusable menstrual pads. That should put us firmly in the hippy camp. Right?
- There are still light fixtures in our house with incandescent light bulbs.
- I have every intention of recycling all of our cardboard and paper waste, but sometimes things on the top floor get thrown in the trash.
- Despite arguments that conventional meat and produce is more expensive in the long run, when working with our grocery budget, organic meat and produce is just too expensive up front.
- I really love frozen jalapeno poppers, and sometimes, DH and I eat an entire meal of frozen fried food. We call it despicable dinner. It may or may not have happened more than once during my last trimester.
- I didn't stop eating McDonald's after watching Food, Inc. I stopped a few months ago (several years after the fact) when it finally stopped tasting good to me.
There is a parable, called the Star Thrower, retold often by motivational speakers. The following version was adapted by Starfish Charity from the original essay by Loren Eisely.
My minister told the starfish story as part of a sermon recently, and it has stuck with me.
An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.
"Young lady," he asked, "Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"
"The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die."
"But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference."
The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, "It made a difference for that one."
The old man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
Turn off the lights when leaving the room. That's one starfish saved.
Line dry the cloth diapers. That's another starfish saved.
Use natural light during the daytime. Happy starfish.
We don't have to save every single starfish to make a difference. Start by throwing back as many as you can, and together, we will save many.