Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. What’s the point?
The Prairie Lights at Lynn Creek Park is a beautiful Christmas exhibit spanning 2 miles and using over 4 million lights. As tried to check out the exhibit and not crash off the bridge spanning Joe Pool Lake I could not help but wonder why I could even see the park two hours after it was closed. Here I am running around turning off every over priced energy efficient light bulb I own while the city of Grand Prairie was lighting up the path for no one.
As if that wasn’t enough to get me pondering the futility of my energy conservation efforts the 5 mile drive on interstate 20 really added insult to injury. I must have passed at least 10 dealerships within a 3 mile stretch of highway with their lots, devoid of customers, completely lit up like Times Square.
What is the City of Grand Prairie and the dealerships hoping to achieve by keeping the lights on after their customers leave? Entice passer bys to become the next round of potential customers? Increase security by lifting the cover of darkness? I hope they have a good reason because it sure as hell seemed pointless to me.
Driving around that night really got me close to giving up my earth conservation efforts. Humans are designed to be acutely aware of their current situation and fight or flight as needed, but I think we do a pretty shitty job of planning for the future. If real efforts to make our plant a better place for our children are only going to be embraced when our backs are against the walls then what the hell am I doing getting in the way of progress? What am I doing getting in the way of our concentrated effort to expose the dry land under the polar ice caps and gain new mountain bike trails soon accessible once those damn glaciers get out of our way? Hell if takes putting the eastern seaboard underwater and clogging every creek with plastic bags and bottles to let us know we have a problem then I’m being an careless steward of the Earth to not help hasten that condition.
Fuck it. Let’s be real…. My efforts to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle as much as possible, are in reality just a drop in the ocean. I feel like I’m on a poker table with the cards stacked against me. It’s like trying to put out a forest fire by pissing on it. While I spent days trying to figure out how to Reuse plastic bottles and Reducing waste by making my own soap ton’s of plastic bottles were tossed out after consuming the ¼ liter of water taken from the spigot of some public utility on the other side of the country.
But you know what? I got to thinking about all the environmentally unfriendly things that I do and how I need to shut up and focus on myself before worrying about everyone else. I accept that I can’t change the world, and that I must have the courage to do what I can, and to educate myself to know the difference. At that moment I resolved to do the only thing that I can do, which is to forever refuse to be part of the problem and I continue to make myself a better citizen of our plant regardless of the collective stupidity of my species.