A Resolution Worth Keeping
I have a resolution I hope to keep long after January. It has to do with global warming. That thing that seems to have caught on as actually real, and really happening. Folks may differ on what they believe is causing it. But I finally get the sense there’s much less denial. It’s tangibly affecting each of us now. And we’re woke.
As I write this, it’s quite chilly out. But I have believed the climate is changing for a long time. I’ve complained to anyone who will listen (mostly my husband) about lacking the Christmas spirit when the thermometer in December pushes 70. Yet when scientists predicted drastic changes in my lifetime, even I was skeptical. Eventually I got on board. And then over time really became vested.
I also got rather irritated when deniers dug their heels in. And I certainly got discouraged when major players were lobbying against me. But now that it’s on the radar of more corporations and countries, I’m motivated to do my part more than ever.
I’m not alone. Global warming is now snowballing in the hearts of those around me. It reminds me of that point in the Titanic movie about half an hour after they hit the iceberg. Before that, folks reluctantly put on lifejackets. Some were getting on lifeboats. Most were milling about. Yeah, she’s leaning, but she won’t really go down. But then it’s like a face slap. The music picks up in volume and tempo. People are all in, clawing to survive.
It’s no longer fanatical to envision a bad future in our lifetime. I’ll take it a step further and say it’s not beyond comprehension that generations after us could experience a lawless, dystopian state. Think not? Imagine just one of the many issues we face really taking hold. Like serious water supply problems and already depleted reservoirs running dry. The trickledown effect on our food chain could be devastating. I shudder to think what lengths a gun-toting people may go to, to feed their families.
Change is hard. And for a land of plenty, it can be especially hard on Americans. We (me included) love our abundant lifestyle. We travel when we want, drive what we want, and cheaply replace whatever’s broken. This is not us being indulgent, spoiled brats. It’s generations of parents wanting a better life for their children. It’s ingrained in the fabric of our lives. We’re free to consume and enjoy.
But make no mistake, life as we know it will change. Even simple, cherished traditions that we take for granted may become things of the past. A time of bottomless resources gone by. All things are on the chopping block whether we like it or not. Whether we agree or not.
My husband and I have been making small adjustments for years. We stopped buying cases of water. At first, I missed the convenience, and hated washing and refilling jugs. But we got used to it. We switched to LED lighting, especially now that it comes in gay-friendly, warmer tones.
We bought a hybrid (we love the 500 miles per tankful by the way). We recycle, although I probably take it a bit too far...think the little plastic tab that keeps your bread bag closed. It can be addictive, and I can be neurotic. And you start to cringe throwing out even the tiniest plastic. But I know we need to really up our game and that’s my resolution.
However, a lot of what we need to change costs more money. Meanwhile we’re eyeing retirement and scrutinizing every purchase. So that can be the hardest adjustment of all. Buying more organics; greener cleaning and gardening products. Clothes and goods made in the USA. Creating our own farm-to-table by shopping locally as much as possible. Buying higher quality products with more staying power.
Think even bigger for more pain in the wallet. Should we buy into one of those services that delivers household products with refillable packaging? Do our investments, regardless of performance, support companies with green initiatives and less dependence on fossil fuels?
I could go on and on, but I’ll miss this article’s deadline. It can be exciting once you embrace it. And frankly not just good for the environment, but likely better for us in general.
Still, making personal changes feels like sticking a finger in a collapsing dam. But it’s a resolution worth keeping. The more we change as consumers, the more corporations and governments will follow. They’re upstream. We’re down. But ultimately, we’re in this together because the stream is disappearing. ▼
Ed and his husband Jerry split their time between homes near Harrisburg Pennsylvania and Bethany Beach. Ed builds websites to pay the bills but loves to cook, garden, hike, and dote on their dog Atticus.