Thursday, April 12, 2007

Step It Up 2007

This Saturday, April 14, over 1300 public rallies and other events will celebrate the newly popular awareness of and concern for global climate change. It's called "Step It Up 2007," and it was created by Bill McKibben, the author of "The End of Nature," a seminal book on climate change, which first appeared in The New Yorker and which came out in book form in 1989. Back in the 1980s, only Al Gore's book "Earth in the Balance" attracted as large an audience to what now seems to be the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.

You can find a "Step It Up 2007" event near you here.

So here's this enormous challenge facing our very own little planet, and Saturday tens of thousands will be walking and bicycling and DRIVING and even FLYING to gather on capitol steps and in houses and parking lots and stadiums and courthouse squares and theaters to show spiritual, political and bodily support for 'stepping up' our legislative, economic, national and personal incentives to stop (and if we are persistent and lucky enough to reverse) the effects of our burgeoning industry, affluence, consumption and population.

And what did I do about it today? I bought toilet paper.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the NYT article, "The Year Without Toilet Paper," about one Manhattan family's experiment in going a year with a minimal environmental footprint. Well, today, I splurged on toilet paper. Yep, splurged. Twelve rolls for $8.99. It's Seventh Generation brand, 12 "double" rolls, 2-ply, 600 square feet, enough to last for months in my me-myself-and-I household. That $8.99 is about $2.00-2.60 more than a similar 12-pack of Scott, Charmin or Cottonelle, but hey, that's only 17-22 cents more per roll, a small price to pay for what you get.

On the front, around a cute cartoon character that looks like a cross between a polar bear and Casper the Friendly Ghost, there's this: "This recycled paper product helps fight global warming" (and it's true, IF you use TP). And on the sides of the package, there's this:


"If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 12-pack of 400 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissue with 100% recycled ones, we could save:

* 4.4 million trees
* 11.6 million cubic feet of landfill space, equal to over 17,000 full garbage trucks
* 1.6 billion gallons of water, a year's supply for over 12,700 families of four
* And avoid 275,000 pounds of pollution

Now, what I've learned (and you can TOO!) is that what matters is what YOU do. If you make small changes, then you ARE doing your part. Or at least part of your part. But some of these parts are the easiest parts to do, so how about doing them, eh? You can find out more about Seventh Generation here.

That's just one 12-pack a year, and April's a good month to go a little green, right along with the greening of the landscape around you, just in time to say you did for Earth Day.

We've all got pretty good radar on those who shun doing anything altruistic. We can smell a bitter cynic a room away. So really, it's not about them. It's about us.

So if you can, carpool to a Step It Up event, and on the way home, pick up a 12-pack.



At 4/13/2007 4:37 PM, Blogger 1rfruth said...

Thanks for the step it up 07 heads up - I wish the (our) environment was a higher priority with
but its on the todo list ...


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