Join me in being out­raged

As oil con­tin­ues to pour into the Gulf of Mex­i­co we are killing an entire ecosys­tem.  Since April 20th the day of the explo­sion, I have avoid­ed look­ing at the pho­tographs.  This has been my way of insu­lat­ing myself from the hor­rors we as human beings are per­pe­trat­ing on the plant and ani­mal life in the Gulf of Mex­i­co. 

I went onto Yahoo today to find the lat­est oil spill news.  In the top sto­ries of the day only one per­tained to the spill, it was about the Con­gres­sion­al hear­ing and hold­ing oil exec­u­tives account­able.  As I searched fur­ther, ads from lit­i­ga­tion attorney’s popped up ask­ing if I was dam­aged in the oil spill.  There was more news about celebri­ty homes, clothes, babies and cars than the Gulf sto­ry.  Where are our pri­or­i­ties?

I asked a friend recent­ly, “If the inci­dent in the Gulf of Mex­i­co is not suf­fi­cient to cre­ate a nation­al out­cry for alter­na­tive ener­gy, what does it take?”  His response was, “Per­son­al hard­ship.”

As I reflect on this state­ment, I know he is cor­rect.  When the price of gaso­line ris­es, it makes head­line news.  When we destroy an ecosys­tem, we turn our atten­tion else­where.  

Over the last few years I have altered my life sub­stan­tial­ly to reduce my car­bon foot­print.  Most of those changes seemed awk­ward at first, but over time they have become part of the flow of life.   I have reaped price­less rewards, in terms of my phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tion­al health, in the con­nec­tion with like-mind­ed com­mu­ni­ty shar­ing a com­mon vision of a life lived in har­mo­ny with the nat­ur­al world, and in my height­ened appre­ci­a­tion and respect for the nat­ur­al world. 

What most of us do not real­ize is the per­son­al pow­er we each have to make a dif­fer­ence.  We can­not change our lives overnight to be oil inde­pen­dent.   Yet, we can make sim­ple changes that add up. 

Tonight, I will walk out to my raised beds and pick greens for my sal­ad.  The aver­age item on a gro­cery store shelf has trav­eled 1500 miles to get there.  Add to that the aver­age 10 miles a per­son dri­ves to get to the store, and my sim­ple act of plant­i­ng a few let­tuce seeds, will save 1510 miles.   Not bad for a lit­tle let­tuce seed.

Don’t like to gar­den?  Join a local CSA (Com­mu­ni­ty Sup­port­ed Agri­cul­ture) or buy from your local farm­ers mar­ket. 

What is so incred­i­ble about focus­ing on sus­tain­able liv­ing is that it pro­duces so many oth­er unin­tend­ed pos­i­tive out­comes.  For exam­ple, buy­ing local also means the mon­ey stays in the local econ­o­my.  Eat­ing local means your food has a high­er nutri­tion­al con­tent, so your phys­i­cal health improves.  As your phys­i­cal health improves, your men­tal acu­ity increas­es.   As you slow down your life you spend more time in com­mu­ni­ty, cre­at­ing heart con­nec­tion with oth­ers, enhanc­ing your emo­tion­al health.   There are ben­e­fits for your pock­et­book as well, as most things that reduce car­bon foot­print save you mon­ey.

Here are some sim­ple ways you can make a dif­fer­ence in your car­bon foot­print today:

  • Dri­ve a small­er car or hybrid.  Car pool or take pub­lic tran­sit to work or school.  If you live close enough to work or school try bik­ing. It lessens your depen­dence on oil and is a nice work­out.
  • Unplug your appli­ances when not in use, your TV, microwave, elec­tric blan­ket, etc use elec­tric­i­ty even if they are not on.  Unplug, be green and save some mon­ey.
  • Turn down your hot water heater a few degrees. 
  • Get a clothes line.  Hang­ing your clothes out can save you as much as 6% on your elec­tric bill.
  • Plant your favorite veg­etable.  Front yard, back yard, etc, pick a place and turn it into a place of boun­ty in your yard.
  • Grow your own herbs.  Most are peren­ni­al and will come back each year.  They pro­duce large boun­ties and are eas­i­ly dried by sim­ply hang­ing them upside down in a well ven­ti­lat­ed area. 
  • Join us the 3rd Sun­day of any month for our month­ly pot luck and farm tour.  You’ll get even more ideas.  If you live out of town, we have 2 guest rooms ready and wait­ing.  Learn more at www.RedSunflowerFarm.com
  • Start or join a tran­si­tion move­ment in your com­mu­ni­ty, www.transitionus.org
  • Green your port­fo­lio, there are many green screened invest­ments avail­able.  Learn more at www.SocialInvest.org , call Andy or I at 859–331-7755 or  e mail me at Mackey@MackeyAdvisors.com

What is hap­pen­ing in the Gulf of Mex­i­co isn’t about some­one else, some­where else, it is about you and me.  Let oth­ers do the fin­ger point­ing.  Use your ener­gy for per­son­al change.  Join me in being out­raged, step up and make a dif­fer­ence, in your own life and in the future gen­er­a­tions to come.