I remember the first Earth Day well. I was 15 and a freshman in high school. I was already concerned about the environment. No, I was urgently worried, having just re-read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. I was aghast at how we were mismanaging our world and her precious resources.
One day at church, during some sort of Earth-Day Program as part of the regular service, I stood at the lectern and loudly chastised the congregation. After all, God had set the stage for us to take care of the planet: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth’” (Genesis 1:27). I focused on the word “dominion” and emphasized the connotation of care, responsibility and concern that should be a part of the power and control inherent in having dominion over the world. I was as distraught as an indignant teen could be: Just look what we were doing to the world!
I am not sure the congregation noticed my courageous and daring spirit. My mom did say I enunciated very well. Still, I felt like an activist, and I carried that sense of determination and action with me as I grew. I intended to protect the planet! And then I grew up and got a job and moved away. Life got hectic, and I slowly but surely gave way to convenience over conscience. Oh, I still felt like an activist concerned for the environment, but my deeds did not fully match that sentiment.
Now, 41 years later, I realize that Kermit was right: “It is not easy being green.” After all, green’s specialized meaning is more prevalent these days. It is most often used as an adjective, attached like a badge of honor to an activity, company, or person that works diligently to care for the earth. One is said to be green by respecting nature, preserving resources, and minimizing the impact on the world around us. In an ideal world, we all would consciously work at being more and more green, if not for ourselves, for our children.
I still think of myself as a champion of the world, but—in reality—that is not true. And I do not think I am alone in that lack of commitment. We all know what we could be doing, but it is a challenge to break old habits and give up convenience. Do you recycle, everything? Consolidate errands to one big trip—or explore online shopping? Avoid bottled water in favor of re-useable containers? Buy green products whenever you can? Walk to work, or maybe carpool? Drive an electric vehicle or even an energy-efficient one? Properly dispose of oil and cell phones and such? Maybe volunteer to help clean the beaches and fields that so often are clogged with our refuse? Vote to try and elect officials who will work to preserve our resources and avoid such atrocities as the recent Gulf Coast oil spill?
I know I answer “No!” to way too many of those questions. But I do want to be green! Going green is often one of my new year’s resolutions. It will take more than desire, however; it requires action to truly become green in word and deed. About a year ago, I did take one small step in the right direction: I became a Melaleuca preferred customer.
Melaleuca is a company that has been producing over 350 household, personal care, and wellness products for 25 years now. But, more importantly, Melaleuca has been a pioneer in environmental wellness since its inception. In fact, being green is one of Melaleuca’s core values. The company demonstrates its core value by using sustainable natural ingredients as well as no caustic chemicals, by reducing packaging as much as possible which includes concentrated products and reusable bottles, and by conducting extensive research to ensure they are producing the most effective products.
I have been using Melaleuca products for months now and am finding them very effective. The convenience of online ordering is terrific, and I am spending no more than I was before and sometimes even saving money. The best thing, however, is that I feel a bit more green these days. I think my teenage self would be pleased.
What are you doing to be more green?
NOTE: If anyone is interested in exploring Melaleuca, just go to their website and poke around. The company keeps costs manageable by avoiding national marketing and distribution, which simply means you have to go to them to find their products. You need to be sponsored to become a preferred customer, so if you are interested, just let me know and I can help.