22 April 2012 | Us: Las Vegas Cups: Tasmania
It's Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970 by 20 million people worldwide, this outcrop of 1960's activism is now celebrated in 180 countries by an estimated billion people...that's about 15% of the world population. Seems a pretty low number to me. And then of course, celebrating it and living it are two very different things.
What did we do to celebrate? nothing, I'm afraid. But I have been thinking about it. While waiting in the dentist's office last week, I read an article in the April 2, 2012 issue of "Time" magazine entitled "It's not easy being green". It addressed the Y-generation's affirmation of being green...whenever it was convenient. I'd guess, however, that may be the case with many of us.
Cruisers tend to be green because we live on boats and because we're usually tight with money...I mean parsimonious. On Nine of Cups, we recycle and re-use mostly because we can't find replacements all that easily, so it's easier to repair or patch. We use single-ply toilet tissue because it's cheaper and doesn't clog the head. We sail when we can because wind is free and diesel is expensive, although if we're in a hurry to get somewhere, the old engine comes alive. We don't waste water or power, but that's because we have to regenerate both ourselves, so we're conscious of it. We fish, but only keep what we can eat short term because we don't use our freezer (too much power). We prefer no plastic overwraps on products or plastic grocery bags because they're hard to get rid of when you're at sea. We've done our share of beach clean-ups and we're careful not to pollute. I'd say compared to most land folks, our carbon footprint is smaller, but by no means, as small as it could be. More importantly, I think we're greener because it's part of the sailing cruiser's lifestyle, not because we're worried so much about Mother Earth. Sad commentary, huh?