I totally forgot to pose the family for our Earth Day cards. Guess we won’t be sending them this year.
Actually, in all seriousness, one of the reasons I don’t send holiday cards is the wastefulness of the paper involved. A lot of people I know are going paperless with their cards and the online options are getting fancier and classier. There’s an Earth Day tip right there!
Kim thinks I’m relatively conscientious about this stuff because I compost. It’s so easy to impress her. (I will say that there’s a disgusting aspect to composting that does test your commitment). I’m happy to report that our recycling waste now far outpaces our regular waste, and between that and the composting, we’ve definitely cut down on icky bags of goo going out to the trash can.
And of course I made a vow to be a vegetarian this year (and maybe on into the future) for strictly environmental reasons. If you’re a faithful reader of this blog, you’ll remember that I “went” vegetarian on New Year’s Day, which makes it roughly four months now since I’ve eaten meat or fowl.
(Okay, confession time: I had a few mouthfuls of chicken at a literary festival where I had JUST spoken and was sitting back down, still shaking from having been up in front of hundreds of people, and found lunch waiting on the table in front of me. Without thinking, I had devoured a bite or two of chicken salad before realizing what I was doing. I cried out, “Oh, no! I just ate chicken and I’m a vegetarian!” which raised some skeptical eyebrows among my tablemates, since most vegetarians know not to eat chicken. Also: once I nibbled on my daughter’s leftover pizza and she pointed out to me it was barbecue chicken pizza.)
Overall, though, I’ve found it surprisingly easy to stay the course, even when we were traveling all over the place for spring break. Of course, I made it easy on myself: I’m not a vegan, so I eat eggs and dairy–can’t imagine doing this without cheese–and I also eat fish which pretty much solves the “what do I get at a nice restaurant” problem. I try to focus on types of fish that are environmentally sound, like anchovies, sardines, and tilapia, but when I branch out from those, I can’t always remember which ones are best, so I may have made some mistakes in that area. (I should carry one of those lists around–I know you can get them online–that tell you which fish you shouldn’t order because they’re being overfished or are toxic or are caught in ways that harm other species.) Read the rest of this entry »