Earth Day One Week Later—What Can You Do?Okay, so maybe I’m married to an environmental scientist who refuses to use a sprinkler system in the hot Georgia summer. Yes, our lush fescue lawn is brown and crispy by mid-July. And maybe, unlike most people, we faithfully compost, participate in our county’s recycling program, and capture any stray water we can find, be it rainwater from the gutters or shower spray. Yes, there are buckets in my shower in the summer. Thanks to marrying the man I did, I have discovered that’s how one keeps a vegetable garden alive when one vows to conserve water by any means and refuses to use a sprinkler system, even though the house came with one. I’ll even grant you that we are those weird kinds of granola-head people who don’t turn on the air-conditioner until the thermostat hits ninety and we’re sweating like proverbial pigs, BUT I’m not asking you to live as I do.
All I want from you is a simple pledge to stop running your car engine as you wait for your kid to walk out of a dance studio or run off a soccer field after practice.
Since the Earth Day celebration on Sunday, many celebrities and politicians have urged you to change to fluorescent bulbs. They have suggested you use alternative fuels and buy hybrid vehicles. I’m not asking you to buy anything. I’m keying in on the middle verb of the environmental mantra “Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse.”
One small way parents can reduce emissions is to just turn off the car when they aren’t moving in the vehicle. If the interior of your car gets hot and stuffy while you’re waiting on your child, turn off the engine and roll down a window. It’s what us pioneers did back in the pre-air-conditioning, only three TV channel days. If you like to read while you wait for ballet class to end and night is falling, you can buy an LED book light that clips right onto your thriller. If you need tunes to make the wait for practice to end bearable, borrow your child’s iPod.
Making this one small change CAN help. Thanks!