Fear in Writing: The Earth Beneath Our Feet

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Earth Beneath Our Feet

"Remember, we did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrowed it from our children."

I saw this quote today on Coffee Rings Everywhere, run by the crazy-busy hobbyist-mother Not Enough Hours.  I looked it up, and it is actually an Ancient Native American Proverb.
I knew, of course, that today was Earth Day.  I have seen the small festivals planned for this evening, and decided against them in favor of planting a vegetable garden with my children in our own backyard.  I mean, we can celebrate with non-biodegradable balloons, or we can grow our own food and replenish the earth.  Hmmm...
I have seen many Earth Day posts today.  Each time I read one, a bit more guilt set in.  Why didn't I post about Earth Day today? I asked myself.  But, I already posted today.  And I did the Carbon Neutral Blog last week, so I brushed the questions aside.
And then I saw NEH's post.  And that quote.  And I realized--today really is important.  We spent all weekend planting flowers and tending our yard.  On Tuesday I shopped at Whole Foods and took out the recycling.  Wednesday, we made our own strawberry yogurt, popsicles, and pie.
There is a lot I can say about becoming self-sustaining.  There is a lot I can do to decrease my footprint on this Earth.  We are paying for all of the industrial mistakes of our ancestors, and our children will pay for ours.  So let's make them as few as possible, and fix the ones we can.
Start small.  Start with your own life.  Maybe you don't have space to plant a garden, but surely you can fill a recycling bin once a week.  Go from there.  Do you drink coffee?  Buy bamboo filters instead of paper--bamboo is a renewable resource, and they are maybe 50 cents more expensive.
What do you do to make your footprint smaller?  What do you plan to do next to help the Earth?

Today's original post is just below.  Feel free to check it out and comment, as I will be responding to those comments as well!


  1. We have been composting for a while, but recently got a composting thing-a-ma-bob to make it easier. We now don't throw away things that could be composted for our garden.

    Straight From Hel

  2. I remember when I was a child and we would plant a tree each year on earth day and watch them grow. I would love to go back and plant a few more for this earth... there could never be too much plant life!!!

  3. I've recycled for as long as I remember. My town has unlimited recycle and compost pick up on garbage day - as well as real restrictions on what can go into the garbage. There are 6 people and 2 moody cats in this house - we generate one garbage bag every 2 weeks. We have energy-saver lightbulbs and I just bought a new washer and dryer which use so little water and so little electricity it's amazing!

    Everything helps.

  4. And tomorrow is the World Book day, believe it or not :)

  5. Beautiful post! And I love the reminder to start small. I always forget that the baby steps are what lead to commitment. Thanks for the reminder.

    And have funny gardening--it's snowing here today!

  6. Lovely post. The problems we face are so enormous, I think the first step for each of us is to accept responsibility. We have to believe that as individuals we really can make a difference.

  7. What a lovely post. And even though it is often just symbolic, it is nice to commemorate something like Earth Day, isn't it?

    Living in a city, there is not too much I can do :-(
    I do have all the plants I can cram onto my window ledge, but that's about it. But I do try not to use private transport when I can use public transport, or better still walk. And the kids tell people off for littering!

    ~ Rayna

  8. Helen- Good for you. That is one we haven't begun yet. I have that and buying a rain barrel on my to-do list.

    Jen- My parents let each of us plant a tree at the house in which we grew up. They no longer live there, but whenever we drive by we see how much they have grown. Ok, it makes me feel a bit old, but it also glorious to see what an impact we made! We planted trees at our house when we moved in, and again when we re-worked the yard, but you remind me it is time to do so again...

    Elspeth- Amazing. With that many people under your roof, going green could be a huge hurdle, but you have really taken it head on.

    Dez- Really? I could have sworn we just had that a couple months ago...

    Jackee- Snow! No way. My kids would be in heaven. Starting with big gulps is just too much at once. But small is doable.

    VR- Very true. If we each do a little something, it adds up to a big something--and then we have to make the big changes as a whole as well. We'll get there.

    Rayna- Fabulous! And you were the inspiration! My kids yell at people, too, who litter. It's a fine balance between teaching manners and teaching responsibility. Good for them!