Dianne McDonald:Mother Nature needs help from sisters and daughters
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a catastrophe that almost can make us feel helpless because of the sheer magnitude of the environmental implications. This human-created disaster will affect our world permanently.
Why does it take a disaster for many of us to revisit the preciousness of the world we occupy?
Waste is everywhere. Your morning starts with a cup of coffee now accompanied by a useless paper receipt bigger than the cup of java itself. The gas-guzzling commute continues with idiots flicking cigarette butts out their windows. Hello? That is littering, and a fire hazard. Then you get to the office and log on to your "sleeping" computer, which was never turned fully off.
Changing the world is not impossible. You can contribute and make a positive impact by being conscious of your power as a consumer.
Practice what you preach to your kids. Don't waste water. Save a tree. Don't smoke. Shut off lights. Save energy. Don't litter. Support local farmers.
Minimizing your carbon footprint is the purest form of cleaning up after yourself. Beach and park signs ask that you "carry out what you carry in." One way we moms can do this at home is by recycling everything possible.
We can also garden with our kids, which teaches them not only about agriculture, but about patience and appreciation of what goes into the growth and development of our food. Show that the grapes don't magically appear in a bag on the food store shelf.
Women are not helpless. We can address environmental issues as well as men can. We can get involved in government and grassroots community activism to get the job done.
Ecofeminism is win-win for everyone, especially Mother Earth.
Patriot Ledger writer Dianne McDonald is a working mother who lives in Marshfield, Mass., with her husband and five kids.