APFwebs: Letters from the Editor

Earth Day 2017

“Respect for the Earth”

That’s what it says on the back of our cigarette packs. And the chain groceries are driving Whole Paycheck out of business with their own lines of organic, bulk, ethnic, and locally-grown foods. Not to mention gluten-free mineral water, yoga pants for sale in the cosmetics aisle, and paper plates made from 100% “pre-consumer recycled materials and biodegradable”.

Our lovely city Santa Fe just swapped us from small recycling bins to large carts. As it was, we had one bin for glass, one for plastics plus metals plus bound-up non-corrugated cardboard (like cigarette packs), and we placed tied-up cardboard and sacked paper in separate stacks. Now in carts we drop everything unsorted—except glass, which we must gather and drive—ourselves—to an appropriate dropoff.

Go figger. Easier for smokers, harder for drinkers. Respect for the Earth.

So Earth Day looms upon us. We’ll March for Science this morning downtown, to protest the current politics that stifle research into, for example, the climate change that threatens us all. Our first march in, say, forty-some years?

In My Back Yard, new and barren in 1984, is lush xeric growth. Junior Tree thrives. Nearby is a live Christmas tree, replanted long ago, now over twenty feet tall. And the surprising cottonwood in the far corner is the behemoth of the neighborhood. Fourteen trees raised from pups with harvested and gray water assist.

Then, there’s an apricot on the side. (Great for flowers, but terror for garbage.) And ten more trees in the frontyard. Where Jill’s cactus garden shows labels of untold varieties.

I remember many years ago seeing a website sponsored by a celebrity who is now a Santa Fe resident. (He shall remain unnamed: naming is the origin of all particular things.) On the site was a sentiment, worded roughly like this. “Want to be green but don’t have time? Here’s some links to great places to donate cash.”

Point is, Earth Day’s a nice idea. Yeah, donate. Speak up. But Respect for the Earth is: just do it. Actions speak louder than words. Plant a tree.

“…We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

Think I’ll go out in Junior’s shade, have a drink and smoke one.