Pink Bike, Earth Shoes And Treasures From The Dump



My 11 year-old son wanted to dye his hair green today for Earth Day. It is his way of showing his support for our Earth. It turned out dark brownish black, not green. I told him he was paying homage to the deep, rich soil – the earth.

Most of us are curious about each others’ lives. This curiosity led me to wonder if other people were at the same place that I am when it comes to being “green?”

My furthest back memory of taking care of the environment is when I rode my pink, 3-speed bicycle to Chinook Junior High on the third Earth Day in 1973. I was in the 8th grade. I also recall wearing “earth shoes.” I don’t know what the particular genesis of this shoe was, but I recall that they toe tipped upward and the emphasis of walking was placed on the heal. One company that made these shoes in the 70’s is still in business and the shoes today are damn cute!  Check out:

Our family recycled before it was cool. You see my dad worked at the dump on Marvin Road. (Yes, it was called a dump before it ever became a landfill.) Dad moved garbage around with a Caterpillar tractor. This was before recycling. Every day, I would wait for him to come home. I heard his truck when it rounded the corner down the block. Sometimes he had old colored bottles, once new shoes from Sears – endless treasures every day. We weren’t poor. My dad and I just shared a love for the “pre-owned.” This is where my lifelong love of things vintage, some call it junk, began.

A few years ago, when my-then seven year-old began to admonish me for leaving the water running while I was brushing my teeth, I knew it was time to step things up. I began to pay more attention to my recycling habits. I changed out my light bulbs for compact fluorescent (CFL) ones. I curtailed a lot of my running around, making a rule for myself that I wouldn’t drive unless I had at least three errands to run or several appointments in the same day. I wash in cold water, keep my thermostat on 62 degrees. I drive an economical car. I shop at thrift stores in order to recycle goods, and I donate items I no longer need.

There’s a copious amount that one can do to become more green. I, myself, need to do more.  We all must make changes to avoid the repercussions of global warming and other environmental challenges. It starts at home, one compost pile at a time.


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