Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jane Goodall & Brushing Teeth

That speck at center stage is Jane Goodall!
Had an interesting date night last Friday with Hubby and my Mom.  We'd heard primatologist and conservationist, Jane Goodall,would be speaking at Barnhill Arena at the University of Arkansas and couldn't resist.  My dad had heard her back in the sixties at Western Michigan University and thus chose to stay home.

I wasn't sure what to expect.  Ms. Goodall has fascinated me forever, but Barnhill's a mighty big place.  It was a rainy and cold night.  What if no one came?  I would be mortified on behalf of my alma mater.  Ha!  As is with most of my worries, this one was unneeded as the place was filled to the rafters with people who genuinely seem to "get it".  By that, I mean people who care about animals and our environment and the "golden rule".

I'm hardly the poster child for our planet.  I loathe washing all of our trash for recycling and am incapable of brushing my teeth without running water.  I don't use my own cloth bags for groceries, but Hubby did convince me to switch to those fancy new low energy light bulbs.  When I hear about what's happening in the rain forests, it's depressing.  And so I choose not to think about it.

Ms. Goodall made me rethink a lot of things.  Small in stature and extremely soft-spoken, she somehow managed to clobber me over the head with uncomfortable, not popular ideals that should've maybe even angered me, but instead called me to action.

Much better photo courtesy of:
As I sat in the arena where I'd accepted my high school diploma nearly twenty years earlier, she unwittingly forced me to assess a lot in my life--not just where I truly stand on environmental issues, but other more personal areas, as well.  In the anonymity of that crowd, I was able to give myself a report card and came up with a solid C.  I do all right in most areas, but have the potential to do so much better.

Three-quarters of the way through the lecture, I received a highly upsetting call.  Hubby and I had made plans to be out of town for the rest of that weekend, but instead went home.  The call acted as an emotional bungee cord, snapping me back to what I know is the most important part of my life--family.

But back to the environment, whereas I have been cursing the City of Tulsa's exhausting new trash rules, I now see them a little differently.  Ms. Goodall made a simple request for all of our families--do better.  If not for ourselves, for our children and their children.  Our families.

And so lately, I've been faithfully washing jars and plastic take-out containers and tin cans.  It really doesn't take that long.  As for brushing without hearing running water?  I'm working on it . . .   :-)    


Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Hi Laura,

I grew up in Santa Barbara, We always had water shortages. Mandatory low flush toilets and I always turn the water off when I brush my teeth. It's an ingrained habit now.

Amanda Renée said...

I would love to hear Jane speak. I'm a stickler for using only reusable bags and separating my corrugated. I never use plastic throw away water bottles, opting for a filter pitcher instead. But there are still more things I should be doing. You just inspired me to get my environmental act together!

linda s said...

I struck gold last night. Bag to earth... in stock. Yay! Ever since our city started it's organic recycling program, kitchen waste must go in paper bags. Leaky. Yuck. Bag to earth has non plastic organic liners but the stores here sell out of them as fast as they come in. Last night, I found a store that had just recieved a shipment. Seems so ridiculous to be happy about garbage.

linda s said...

When one lives in a rainforest by the ocean, water isn't so much of a problem. And we do have the garbage police, so we recycle almost everything. My new crusade is to cutt my power bill in half. I think I can probably do that by replacing my sixty year old freezer.

Megan Kelly said...

I try, Laura. Water off when brushing is an easy fix. I replaced my bulbs w/CFLs. I recycle and reuse and am working on reduce. But I have much room for improvement! Thanks for the reminder. Hint: wrap kids' presents in the comics from your newspaper. They love it, and you save money as well.

Megan Kelly
Santa Dear

Laura Marie Altom said...

Linda, I'm in AWE!!!! Whoa do y'all take your trash seriously!!! Good job!!!

Megan--You're a rock star for dry tooth brushing!!

Saving your cool wrapping tip for the grandkids I should hopefully be getting in five years or so?!?! :-)

Laura Marie Altom said...

Tammy--I'm surprised Santa Barbara is short on water. Has that whole region looked into desalinization plants? You're also a rock star for dry brushing!!

Laura Marie Altom said...

Amanda--That new water filter ad where they say some crazy statistic like Americans consume enough water bottles each year to wrap around the globe twice is scary. Our fridge has a filter for the door water, so I've been drinking that instead of using bottles.