Image via WikipediaWhat I did for Earth Day 2009: Recycling is only one of the thousands of Earth Day action topics, easy to do and easy to pretend to do. This east side Milwaukee neighborhood is the abode of many professionals and college students, but recycling participation appears to be about 50-50, from what I saw yesterday.
I found hours of Earth Day activity just recycling what was carelessly or lazily (or even deliberately) tossed into the garbage bins or dumpsters around a few of my city blocks. This became my 2nd Earth Day 2009 action. My first action comes last in this post.
I enjoyed the dumpster diving exercise of removing many, many cardboard boxes and recyclable containers from the trash and the sidewalk near trash pick-up areas, separating out the contents (the liquids and food, the packing foam, the reusable items, and the just plain garbage), and breaking the cardboard down to size, and fitting everything into the appropriate, freshly emptied recycling containers. Then I donated some re-usable household items to a local thrift store and that was even more fun.
Maybe, I mused (both amused and not amused) these non-recyclers suppose that no one will ever know who they are after they hastily, wastefully, stash their stuff just any old which way in the trash collection area of their homes or offices. To me, the non-recyclers from this office building and the apartment building next door were easily identifiable from the items they tossed. But I wanted to get more done and stay happy so, deliberately, I stopped noticing evidence soon after I started.
I worked as a private detective for a little while and owned and managed cleaning services for many years and I build art from found objects as a shamanic shifting process, so to me, garbage sings out - and even dances - many sad and funny stories. Probably, many around this artist-infested neighborhood do see and hear as many signs and wonders in the garbage as I do, but I can tell that most around here try not to look twice at garbage or give it a second thought.
But, neighbors...! It does NOT matter that I know, now, how you practice helpful, healing therapies or study ways to make the world a better place or exclaim fervently "I believe in global warming...!" or similar (reduced to the) absurd words, but then toss the extra stuff that you bring across your thresholds of life in the big city just any old where you can get away with. And my opinion does not matter, really. You know, and god or ultimate reality as you understand it knows, and the Earth knows...and will tell all eventually!
Now a similar message goes out from me to you several folks I see regularly, sitting, idling your car engines for 5-15 'extra' minutes, waiting for whatever happens next in your life, unapproachable and irreproachable, listening to tunes or tapping on a laptop or PDA inside, with an 'endangered species' license plate and/or green-themed bumper sticker(s) advertised politically-correctly outside. Yes I see you, haha.
And HEY YOU, the sizable subset of you engine idlers who also smoke inside your sacred vehicles (your cars and your bodies) during these several precious, stolen moments of exhaust emitting solitude...Yes, YOU ARE being watched as you flick your ashes out that thin window crack onto the face of our Mother Earth. But - oh yeah, reality check - I am not worthy, though I rant, to throw stones at you or anyone for my aim is far from perfect yet and I live in a glass house myself still!
Every little, personal, local action flows into Gaia's universal, creative, chaotic cauldron and new patterns of global and cosmic effects (upon us and generations of children) are always, in all ways emerging, sooner and later, through, in, and as ordinary, measurable matter, energy, space, and time. We can fool ourselves and most of our neighbors and colleagues, day by day, temporarily, but no one fools Mother Nature for even a single moment.
When I wonder how to 'live green' more deeply and most effectively I am humbled, awed, and terrified by the simplicity and complexity of it all - all the interconnecting, interrelating, and overlapping topics and sub-topics, issues, solutions, controversies, questions, and research that comes under the jumble of headings and headlines - environment and environmentalism, sustainability and conscious capitalism, ecology and eco-spirituality, climate change and global warming, and all the rest of so many more. I am happy and grateful for the easy, do-able, tiny actions I can live with every day while I keep learning, changing, and growing greener!
Pretending on purpose is a powerful shamanic technique so I shamanize daily over and around all green-washing I notice others or find myself still doing. I stop judging as soon as possible and start dreaming and visioning my and everyone's weak to strong green vibes transforming into healthy, balanced, vital, impeccable, fun restoring green living waves.
My first and last Earth Day 2009 action was going outside, walking around, noticing as much beauty and harmony as possible during this present, local, earth day. I resolve to keep doing this every coming earthy day.