Earth day

images4So it’s Earth Day. This is a big deal with the elementary school crowd. Lots of planting, cleaning up the litter from the playground and the street in front of the school, exhortations to walk or bicycle or take the bus instead of driving in the car, reduce-reuse-recycle, etc. etc.

I’ve done it all. Not that I’m anti-Earth day, oh no! I love our earth as much as the next environmentalist. It’s just rather repetitive. We do the same things every year, we teachers, just with different groups of kids. Does it make a difference? I don’t know. But I am glad that we do it and that we expose our students to the concept of taking care of our environment, because I don’t really want to think about what might happen if we educators didn’t do our small bit for the future. Kids are the future, after all, so we need to at least point them in the right direction, obviously.

But my favourite Earth Day moment has to be the phone call I received from my colleague Classy Dresser this morning, about fifteen minutes before the bell rang to start the school day. She called to tell me that she had just dropped her offspring a couple of blocks from their school so that they could walk part of the way. As she did this, she noticed that she was across the street from one of the local coffee establishments, so she thought she might stop in and get a coffee, and she wanted to know if I wanted one as well. I thanked her for her thoughtfulness and placed my order. Then she started giggling.

“Yep, here I am, on Earth Day, after having dropped my kids off three blocks from their school so they could walk part of the way, heading for coffee,” she laughed. “To the drive-through. In my truck. To get take-out coffees in styrofoam cups with plastic lids. To drive five more blocks to my workplace.”

This would be yet another definition of irony.

Happy Earth Day anyway!


5 responses to “Earth day

  1. Yesterday, as Mr. Jazz and I left to buy the no doubt non-environmentally friendly Sico paint we needed, there was a note on our windshield.

    “I resolve to eat meat no more than 5 days a week. Please join me.” Signed by Jason (or whoever from the elementary school on the corner- I dunno, it ended up in the recycling bin). Um, so Jason, I probably eat meat no more than 3 days a week. You got something better to propose?

    • Jazz – That’s weird! It’s a warm, fuzzy sentiment (“Let’s all do something together to save Mother Earth!”), but not that well-thought out to put a note about it on random people’s cars. Hopefully that WASN’T a class project.

  2. XUP – Yes, it truly boggles my mind how many little darlings are driven to school each day, often literally a half-block. Will they melt if they walk? Is it a certainty that they will be grievously injured or kidnapped if they’re not in Mummy’s Escalade? That being said, my school is part English program, part French Immersion. The English program kids do live in the neighbourhood, but those in French Immersion usually don’t, because French isn’t offered in every single school. So some kids at my school really DO need to be driven. But I totally agree with you on the coffee issue. I mean, buy the damn Starbucks beans if you must, but make it at home so YOU can control the strength of it and the size of your travel cup! And is it absolutely necessary to sip your coffee in your car anyway? It’s a car, not a restaurant – you’re supposed to keep your mind on driving, not on whether or not that latté has just a touch more almond flavouring than you’d prefer!

    Nora – I know, I find it almost ironic that here in North America, where we have so much more space, water and other resources as compared to Europe, we’re so much more worried about saving the planet. Much of Europe has been trashed much longer and the results are so much more clearly seen, so I would have thought that Europeans would be more involved in environmental causes. Go figure …

  3. I don’t believe Spain takes much (if any) notice of Earth Day. Probably not surprising in the light of the amount of waste etc seen daily everywhere here… !

  4. I think you’ve highlighted very well the problem with things like Earth Day and Turn out the Lights Hour. It creates a nice feel-good moment; a bunch of people perform some token task and think they’ve done their bit. Nothing against your lovely friend or even this particular story, but I have so many questions about situations like this playing out all over the country. I’ll stick to my main 2 questinos: 1) Can’t kids walk or ride their bikes to school anymore? Are there no buses? Why are schools so far away from the kids’ homes that they need to be driven in every day? We live near 4 schools and the traffic in the morning and mid-afternoon is insane in our little neighbourhood. It’s like a parking lot. We live in a residential area, surely to god kids in these schools live somewhere in this area? 2) Why would anyone want to line up at a drive-thru to drink coffee out of styrofoam when there are such a variety of reusable travel mugs around? Come to that, why go to a drive-thru at all? Is it not possible to make coffee at home or at your workplace? Every morning I see long line-ups at Starbucks, Tim Horton’s of people waiting, waiting, waiting for their morning coffee. They could have saved that time and used it to make coffee at home and saved a bundle of money as well. (Not to mention all the paper, plastic and styrofoam) Sorry. I’ll go away now.