a little lost and confused...


As I’m sure many of you fervent readers have noticed, I haven’t really posted a blog in a while concerning some environmental plea about not washing your hair, reusing that ziploc bag for the 1,000 time, or buying more compostable undies. It’s not that I haven’t been caring or looking out for those eco-friendly developments, it’s that I’ve been a little under and overwhelmed by them recently. With so many new products hitting the shelves promising to be the next green thing, famous actors or bank tycoons promising to save the world and Presidents seemingly drilling in places where that I thought were to be protected, lets just say... sometimes I get a little lost and a little confused.


We all have it and suffer from it and I am not alone. Yes, sometimes I debate if I really want to stick my hand all the way into the bottom of the peanut butter jar in order to clean it out so that it’s nice and clean for the recycling people. Yes, sometimes I’ve forgotten to bring my reusable bag into the grocery store and out of sheer lazyness... didn’t say anything when the clerk handed me my goods in a plastic bag instead of the paper like I was intending on requesting. And yes, sometimes I took a shower multiple times in a week and maybe left the water running as I brushed my teeth or perhaps I used the light from the open refrigerator to illuminate my late night cheese and cracker making cravings.

This summer, when it seemed so many people around the world were pulling together for 350.org to climb mountains, gather in public green spaces and photograph themselves holding up the number (350 is the number of parts per million, that scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere) I found myself wondering exactly what that had to do with anything? People will join into a cause with good intentions and efforts at making a difference, but how does climbing a mountain or traveling to the Arctic Circle just so you can wave a banner with a website posted on it do anything more than just provide for good public relations for you and your environmentally friendly efforts? It seems to me that if your travels to said far off location caused more environmental harm than staying at home and writing a blog would have, it’s a little counter productive. It’s one thing if you want to climb a mountain, but to do it for a cause while joining in on the eco-friendly bandwagon seems a little far fetched to me.

I don’t race bikes for the environment, in fact me traveling by car go participate in a race some 50 miles away is not at all eco friendly. Likewise, me traveling to a far off location to bag some summit isn’t really doing the local environment any good. It’s putting more impact on the land, creating more erosion, and filling the air with more smog that ruin even the best photo attempts. While these are things that I enjoy doing because I like the challenge, these are also things that make me cringe and fill with guilt. I wrestle with these conflicts all the time and honestly, sometimes I get a little down on myself.

However, I am reminded that by going to these places and experiencing the love of the land, that I have been given a direct connection to the wonders and joys that that place has provided. I can preach for all the good things that can come of it, and... I have the knowledge and the desire to fight to keep those places protected and pristine. To do nothing and to sit at home all day everyday, in order to not increase my carbon footprint would be ridiculous, far fetched, and to waste the gifts and the joy that mother nature have bestowed upon us. And... there are ways that while I’m not making the trip for the sake of curingcancer.org or finding ways to reversegreenhouseemissions.org or more sustainablewaysofcookingtrailfood.org, I can make a difference. I can pick up trash that isn’t mine that I find along the way, I can pay my trail fees, I can buy local produce, I can tip a few more cents into the jar at the local coffee place, I can support organizations that work hard to protect and maintain those places.

We aren’t all millionaires. We can’t all build sail boats made 100% out of recycled plastics, we can’t always afford to buy organic, we can’t always spring an extra $8.50 for a pair of earth friendly undies. But, there are little things that we can do everyday. My goal for you readers, for this Earth Day and this coming year... is not to climb some mountain for the sake of an environmental cause. You need to climb it for yourself. And while you’re there... take a photo, take a memory, take away some little part of a reason to keep caring. Because it’s going to be “that thing” that in the laziest deepest darkest days of winter or the most energetic sunniest days for backyard barbecues... makes you turn off the lights when you go outside, it makes you turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or the car engine while you’re waiting for your friend, and it’s that thing which makes you truly care about the world around you. Because if anything, sometimes you’re allowed to be a little selfish.

Happy Earth Day ya’ll!

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