Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little words, big thoughts

I returned home from my conference and promptly got sick.  Sick like I haven't been in a while and slept for two solid days.  I hate when that happens;  I am a productive, get-it-done-now kind of gal and sleeping for two days is not my idea of a good time.  However, my body had a different idea and I acquiesced.  

I have been cleaning out the basement incrementally, partly when I have time and partly because it's overwhelming - I can only take bits at a time.   What I love about cleaning and what will sidetrack me in a heartbeat is finding a book.  Frankly any book but this day I found Life's Little Instruction Book Volume II.

How timely to turn to this page.  #818 - Be Gentle to the Earth.  

My conference had a nice gentle theme this year.  The conference hosts provided a single, reusable water bottle to use at hydration stations instead of glasses;  attendees were provided links to the handouts pre-conference as to avoid extra paper use and no binders to fill up landfills. We did get the obligatory cool bag and that will become a shopping bag.  

My work has some gentle initiatives.  We are in the throes of 'bike to work' where staff commit to bike or walk to work.  More faculty, staff and students are taking the bus than ever before and our food service staff have incorporated earth-friendly containers and utensils, along with serving as much local fare as possible.  

It's a theme that has integrated into our lifestyle at home too.   We car pool, I take my lunch with a personal mission to not throw anything away, reuse what I can, recycle everything else and give away what's no longer needed.   Our lifestyle is - little to the landfill, to be gentle to the earth.  

So go forth this week and be gentle - to our Earth and hopefully to each other.  

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