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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Avoid. Repair. Reuse.


We depend on this planet to eat, drink, breathe, and live. Figuring out how to keep our life support system running needs to be our number-one priority. Nothing is more important than finding a way to live together—justly, respectfully, sustainably, joyfully—on the only planet we can call home.”
Annie Leonard

In casting about for writing topics this morning, I just pulled a name out of the stratosphere—Annie Leonard. Never heard of her, have no idea where her name dropped down from, but guess what! She's an environmental activist! Right down my alley! One of the statistics she cites is that bottled water costs 2000 times more than tap water. Can you imagine paying 2000 times more for anything else—or even ten times more? Her mission appears to be raising awareness that nothing actually goes “away.” When we throw something away, it doesn't just disappear. It's one of the laws of physics that we forget when it comes to things like the bottles that water comes in—just because we “recycle” them, does not mean that they go away. Recycling them is certainly better than throwing them in the trash, but not using them in the first place is better still.

I saw a clip on the news the other night about classes being held somewhere in the U.S. to teach people how to fix things that are broken. What a novel concept! These are skills we have forgotten, or never learned. Somewhere along the way, we decided that just starting over was more convenient. We put things on the curb, or in the trash when they break and go buy something new. As a consequence, our landfills are full of old washing machines, hair dryers, batteries, cans of dried up paint, thousands of miles of electrical and telephone cords and cables—and on and on and on. Millions of pounds of our discarded electronic and tech equipment end up in developing countries where it can be stripped and resold—but the contents are toxic and sicken the people who do the work. Consciousness begins with the individual human being. The mantra must become: Avoid. Repair. Reuse.

Avoid buying things you don't need. Repair what is broken but repairable. And, reuse or re-purpose everything for as long as you can. This Earth is the only planet we have. If you are religious, then you'll remember that we are the appointed “stewards.” That applies to each of us and not just to our governments. We love this earth. We depend on its bounty. It is our life support system. We must do our part in caring for it.

                                                           In the Spirit,


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