Thursday, November 11, 2010

70-Degrees...In Mid November

Okay, is it just me or does it seem awfully balmy outside?  We are in Missouri, this is usually long sleeve, at least a sweater and jacket weather, maybe a hat on some mornings...but today, I'm running around in a t-shirt and sweat pants that feel too hot.

I know there are some people who do not believe in global warming or that our climate is being harmed by all the emissions from our ever-growing consumer world, but come one, even the naysayers have to say there is definitely something going on.

Now, mind you, it means we have bright sunshine days and my girls get to run around without a coat when they go to afternoon recess, so we are enjoying this extension into fall, however, there must be a price to pay for all this.  It just can't continue the way we, the collective we, have been living and not make it a questionable future for my daughters when they grow up.

We need to all do our part to cut down on our carbon footprint, to not emit so many harmful gases, and to think about what we are consuming.  I have been a recycler in as many ways as I can.  Even when it is inconvenient to load up my car and drive those extra two miles to the recycle center (since we moved, we can't get curbside and are too far away from the daily drop off).  I still do it and make my kids do it.  I use cloth napkins and washable towels for cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, or mopping the floor.  I even buy "vintage" or "gently used" jeans when I have the opportunity.  I look in the girls closet and make them "shop" at home and repurpose something, little sister has a lot of clothes that have been "graduated" to her from her big sis.  I buy refillable ink cartridges for my printer and try to do my errands on one big run to cut down on all the gas fumes coming out of my little white Cavalier.  Even that, it is 1998, and while my ego would love to have a new car, I know that this old one would just end up in a landfill or at the bottom of the ocean.

The kids know I love shopping at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market (for select things), but also know that I will frequent the farmer's market or local grocery store for local farmer produce.  I shop local stores and local artisans, not only to keep the money circulating within my community, but also because I know those items are produced locally.  When I can, I try to do the 100 miles or less.

We don't have to think about it, necessarily, in this country because even with our bottled water craze, we can simply turn on the faucet and get clean water (even though my husband knows I WILL NOT drink that, I use a filter).  We breathe clean air due to our laws (that I hope this uber pro-business GOP does not overturn) and we have excellent trash pick up that do not end up polluting entire cities.  We have trees to keep the waterways flowing, to keep nutrients in the rich Midwest soil, and to protect our natural infrastructure, unlike the deforested and fragile Haiti, that is always on the brink of disaster from the weather.

It is warm outside, my balcony windows are open and I'm sipping a cool lemonade.  It is November.  And I believe global warming exists.  I'm doing my small part, but what are you doing?  Because next year or the next, we could be running around in shorts and have our kids face a future like that depicted in the series Jeremiah (see Hulu for it) where water is scarce and the sun is scorching.  We can change this, it just takes all of us doing a small part, for a colder November.

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