penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.

A letter to the Earth

with 2 comments

Dear planet:

I owe you an apology.

You know I’ve never been the crunchy granola type. So you couldn’t have expected much really.

You and I both know that I’ve tried to bring my own coffee cup and bottle of water, but I still forget sometimes and need to buy that extra container.

While you would prefer it if we bought local food and ate less out of a plastic container, you haven’t said a word when I’ve bought grapes and oranges flown in from a distant land. You know yourself, it’s almost impossible to buy any food that doesn’t come in its own individual wrap these days.

I use cloth bags to buy my groceries, but that doesn’t seem to stop the milk bags, bread bags, produce bags, dry goods bags from piling up.

I’m not surprised you rolled your eyes when I bought disposable diapers. You just sighed when I failed at making my own baby food and bought a multitude of tiny little jars.

You haven’t complained when I bought giant chunks of plastic for the children for Christmas.  We’ve tried to stay away from battery operated toys, but these days everything seems to need a bit of power.

We’ve tried keeping the heat down to a frosty level in the house during the winter and to turn off all electricity sucking lights and gadgets when we don’t need them.  We wash in cold water and take short showers.  But my bills show that all that energy is still flowing down the drain.

I wish someone had told me sooner that vinegar and lemon works better at keeping my house clean than those harsh chemicals that come in a bottle that also wind up in the land fill.  Who knew? Certainly the advertisers and companies that sell them aren’t telling anyone.

While you seem to be happier since we started biking and walking more, you haven’t said a thing about the fact we haven’t gone the full distance and completely rid ourselves of our car.

You probably saw me this morning as I snuggled on the couch with my son (sorry again about the Scotch Guard. I didn’t know it would leak off and poison the the soil and the water). We watched the sun peep over your horizon at the ungodly hour of 6 am.  Its light glinted off the frost on the houses, and shimmered on the window of nearby apartment buildings.  The shadows of bare trees outlined sharply on brown lawns and gardens.  A golden moment in your time.

“This is the best world I ever saw!” my son suddenly exclaimed.

I looked out the window with my eyes newly opened by my preschooler.  And I had to agree with him. You, planet Earth, truly are a world of wonder.

But there is only one of you.  And there are nearing 7 billion of us, using you up at a furious rate.

I know I am not making enough of an effort these days to take care of you.  I’ve let society and industry encourage me to increase the amount I consume.  In my busyness I’ve let myself become lazy and made choices that are damaging to you. I’ve let the garbage and the toxins pile up.

I’m concerned that you are not going to be in good shape by the time my children become the stewards and citizens of the earth.  I’m certainly not setting a great example for them to do a good job at it either when they take over.

Today is Earth Day.  The day when we celebrate you.  A time for turning over a new leaf.  A reminder that we really need to try harder to treat you the way you deserve.  You, our planet, are the only chance and the only choice we have.

I hope you can forgive me, forgive us all.


Written by pennyinacastle

April 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Beautiful! Children often say the words of wisdom that we need to hear. Your piece was moving. Thank you for writing it.


    April 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    • Thanks very much for your words of encouragement. You are right, children are often our best teachers – they have a fresh perspective – a good sense of humour to go along with it!


      April 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm

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