Monday, May 2, 2016

Life changes for a beautiful planet

Yesterday, Gary and I watched “A Beautiful Planet” at the IMAX theater. It was truly a life changing experience for me. The astronauts aboard the International Space Station have a unique opportunity to watch our beautiful planet's story unfold. Unfortunately, along with that, they also get to watch as we systematically destroy this wonderful, tailor made environment that keeps us alive.

They watch the rain-forests shrink. They watch pollution fill our skies and waterways. They watch the conflicts that tear our children from our arms. They also see very clearly what sincere effort does to improve our quality of life. And so, I watched all this with them and decided it's time for us to make a few changes in the way we live.

Now, granted, we were already headed in that direction. However, this short, but high impact film convinced us that we all need to do more than just pay environmentalism lip service if this planet and everything on it is going to be a viable future life support system.

And yes, it's true. One person's efforts to save the earth may not mean much in the grand scheme of things. That's why I'm sharing this and encouraging you to go see the film yourself and/or make your own positive changes. You know. There's the power in numbers factor and all that. Tickets were ten bucks each at our local IMAX. A small price to pay for enlightenment, don't you think?

Now, as I said before, Gary and I have been making small changes here and there in order to lessen our impact on the planet and more. And honestly, I have been researching this since the age of ten, so I pretty much know what I have to do here. But the film inspired me to try a little harder and do a lot more than we already are.

So we're reducing our consumption of goods and increasing recycling and reusing. We're repairing things instead of buying things new. And when we do find it necessary to buy new things, we're supporting sustainable businesses and purchasing sustainable products as much as we possibly can. We're using the car we're already paying for, but when it comes time to replace it, we'll be looking for something more environmentally considerate.

And then, there's the vegan thing. I know not everyone wants to hear this but that that doesn't change the fact that a vegan diet is the most sustainable, healthiest and compassionate diet there is. It's been proven over and over. The facts speak for themselves.

Now, there was one thing in that film that I disagreed with. The astronauts seem to have a fondness for nuclear energy. That probably comes from staring at the sun all day. No pun intended. But we all know the dangers of nuclear power plants, don't we? Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Japanese Tsunami disaster have certainly illustrated the irreparable damage that a power plant disaster can do to our planet.

Solar is my energy of choice, you guys. And that conviction is also inspired by staring at the sun all day. My independent research has revealed that it would take a comparably small area to power the entire U.S. by solar power. It's the most sustainable choice we have. And we've looked into it.

There are companies out there who will install solar panels on your roof that give power back to the grid so that your electric bill is actually lower than it is now, even though you're paying for the equipment along with your bill. Not only that, once the equipment is paid for, your bill gets even lower. Sweet! Now, for Gary and I, this means we'll also have to fix our multiple shingle layered roof first. But we were going to have to do that eventually anyway.

Now, our home may become a container sorting mess until we work the bugs out on this whole recycling thing. Our suburb doesn't have a free recycling pick up, so we'll have to do that ourselves or hire a service. And we'll have to figure out where to put saved containers and such, but we'll be making a lot of useful objects with that glass cutter I just bought.

Folks, I can't even begin to tell you all the great reduce/reuse/recycle ideas I have floating around in my head. We already have a bucket garden made from used kitty litter buckets and such. We are not without innovation around here as it is. But still, I'm so excited about this. I can't wait to get started on our revved up sustainable journey.

Wish me luck! And watch that film! It's a life changer!

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