Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Future of The Earth

is in Your Shopping Cart, declares this bag. How true!

Many environmentalists refuse to think about the harmful impact on our Earth their meat and animal by-products consumption has. Did you know there is a 'dead zone' of 7,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana that cannot sustain most aquatic life because of severe oxygen depletion from animal manure pollution, noted Farm Sanctuary's Veg for Life? Or that it takes an estimated 4,000 gallons of water to produce a one day, animal-based food supply for an average American (vs. 300 gallons for a plant-based diet)? Learn more.

Would it really be a huge sacrifice to switch from a hamburger to a veggie burger or organic grilled veggies for their BBQs? Instead of pork beans, why not organic baked beans? Or from cow's milk to a non-dairy option? But I digress...

This weekend, I joined fellow environmentalists in taking part in Hackensacker Riverkeeper's clean-up of Staib Park in Hackensack. It was great to see so many youth groups participating. One teenage boy exclaimed, "You get to save the environment and have fun." Where were boys like him when I was in high school?

Trash from Route 4 businesses such as Wendy's and Fuddruckers trickles down to the woods, and often to the river, including cups, ketchup packets, and straws.

As is everywhere in our world, cigarette butts littered the ground. Note to smokers: the streets are not your ashtray. Cigarette butts can take 10 to 15 years to break down in the environment, and in the process, leach toxic chemicals into the water and soil as they corrode into tiny plastic powder, according to EcoWorldy. One tree is sacrificed for every 300 cigarettes produced, noted

After just an hour and a half, volunteers collected all this. An AC, several tires, and an old lawn mower were in the mix.

Afterwards, I hit the C.A.T.S. Resale Shop, where I picked up a set of silverware for $10 for our office kitchen. For every reusable fork, spoon or knife people take, that's one less in the landfill wasting away for thousands of years. I've even started bringing my own silverware when I know disposable will be around, as well as takeout containers for leftovers when dining out, and highly recommend this. Don't feel a trendsetter!

At the C.A.T.S. store, I socialized with my friend Dottie, who suffers from eye ailments. Instead of doing the responsible thing, her owners tossed her into the woods to fend for herself. Much like their trash, many people seem to think their pets are disposable too. Read about her story.

The next clean-up is Saturday, May 30, in Kenneth B. George Park, River Edge.


Chessbuff said...

Great post. I am sorry but I will miss the KGB cleanup in River Edge. I am going up to Boston to help my son pack up. School year is closing.

Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks so much. Last year, they had a very large turnout at the River Edge clean-up (as was the case with this Hackensack clean-up). It's great to see more involvement. What's not great to see: Dunkin Donuts at every cleanup. Even if they are donated, which they probably are, cruelty, factory farming and environmentalism never mix.

Safe travels.