It’s not easy being green. But it’s not hard, either.


Wednesday was Earth Day; a day I make note of and try to celebrate each year. I’ve often proclaimed myself as a big, dumb hippy. I recycle everything I can, try to get ecofriendly goods, and live in a way where I leave as little of a footprint on this floating space rock as possible.

I’m not the perfect hippy. Red meat is pretty hard on the environment, and I still mow down a cheeseburger on occasion. I drive a car, but at least it gets decent gas milage. I use paper towels. Let he without eco-sin cast the first organically sourced stone. Or something.

A friend and I once debated the most ecofriendly way to die. If you are embalmed and put in a casket, that’s a whole host of chemicals being put into a concrete cell in the earth. (Yes, graves are lined with concrete.) To be cremated releases gases and uses energy to burn you up. He suggested just wandering out into the woods to die alone and be eaten by a bear or just decompose back into the earth. Too bad they’ll send out search crews and vehicles to go looking for you, increasing your carbon footprint. Even if you leave a note.

My point is that you can nickle and dime yourself to death with being green. Instead of doing these solo grand gestures for Mother Gaia, I think it would make more of an impact getting other people to just be a little more green.

So I’m advocating that people give being green a shot. Just a little! Nothing crazy like composting your own poop. It’s easier than ever to make socially conscious choices about what we use and buy. A classmate once marveled at my use of my own coffee mug at the school cafeteria. It’s nothing against her, she was just unaware that a little change like that is worth making. Sure, I’m saving one cup. But what if we all brought our own cup or bag every time? We make those choices all the time without even realizing there might be a more ecofriendly option.

A super easy way I’ve found to do it is to use a free app called PaperKarma. PaperKarma helps you eliminate junk mail. When we moved to our house, we were just bombarded with junk mail to the old owner. I think she’d signed up for every mail catalog there was. At first I’d call in and sit on hold and eventually talk to someone to get my address removed. PaperKarma streamlines the whole process for you so it’s faster.

You take a picture of the offending junk mail showing their address/logo and your name and address. PaperKarma identifies the company mailing you junk and submits a removal request on your behalf. It’ll even let you know when they’ve successfully done it. I’ve been very happy with the app. Give it a shot! And in the meantime recycle that junk mail – it’s made of paper!

If anyone has any questions or ideas about getting your green on, just ask me. I’m happy to share my knowledge. As dumb as this sounds, everyday should be Earth Day. Why not start today?

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