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What's Earth Done for Me Lately?

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When will my debt to Mother Earth be paid? And when will I start seeing some reward?

mom annoyed with green speak

Lori Curley: My son insists that I remove every top from every plastic bottle. He does not care that I am elbow-deep in our recycling can. "We are saving seals, Mom." I hate it when he lectures me. I have nothing against the seals, but right now, with my arms dripping with leftover Coke, I feel sorrier for me than any animal stupid enough to swallow a plastic cap. "No, Mom. The seals don't eat the cap, the caps save the seals from research on hair products." Again, I don't get it, and I don't care -- I am scrubbing my arms with sanitizer.

Later that same morning, my hands are scalded by hot coffee in a cheap paper cup. When I ask for a lid, the clear-skinned college kid tells me, "We don't give them out anymore. They are bad for the environment." In the parking lot, my hair is soaked from a sudden downpour, my car is dented from a fallen tree branch, and I begin to wonder. What exactly DO I owe this Earth? How many sandwich-crust-covered bottles must I extract from my garbage? How many more hours must I spend tying newspaper? When will my debt to Mother Earth be paid? And when will I start seeing some reward?

To date, Mother Earth has flooded our basement eight times, destroyed a million umbrellas, and cost us thousands of dollars in insurance that we are forced to carry in fear she will send a vicious tornado through our garage. Last week, four men were struck by lightning, and a toddler was carried off to sea by a rip current. Mansions were burnt to the ground by a forest fire, while hundreds more contracted swine flu. All compliments of "nature."

If each cap I deposit in Troop 241's "Save the Seals" collection box earned us one free pass on disaster, I would not begrudge this dirty task. But I am not certain it is doing much of anything. For all the "green speak," my neighborhood streets and parks are as littered as ever with forgotten wrappers; and the planet itself has not coughed up any new drinking water for the children of Niger. Mosquitoes carrying malaria are still killing thousands in Southern Africa.

I think there are old religions that demand less: a basket of fruit set fire once a month, or a goat.

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous August 12, 2009, 1:30 PM

Great article! Haha

Michelle August 12, 2009, 2:44 PM

I don’t like you. I’m sure you don’t care. In fact, all you seem to care about is b-tching and complaining. In your quest for a job, have you ever considered your potential employers may look you up online and see your dismal view of teaching? Your poor outlook on the potential of today’s youth? And now, you gripe about the earth, which, at the very least, manages to feed you and your children? Whenever I see your photo at the end of a very negative, downing blog, all I think is “Ugh!”.

Chris August 12, 2009, 3:46 PM

Michelle, you read my mind. I have been thinking the same thing.

Gail Cooke August 12, 2009, 4:07 PM

Hmm..what has Earth done for you lately? I don’t know…something like providing oxygen, food, a surface to live on, and a vast variety of flora, fauna, and animal life to support and enrich our lives. That’s what the Earth has done for you. Considering as humans we contaminate and destroy everything we touch, it shouldn’t be an issue regarding cleaning up after ourselves. Even a token gesture.

Mary August 12, 2009, 4:25 PM

Is this some strange kind of reverse psychology? But I am glad to hear that your kids seem to be smarter than you.

But this article is just a snippet of how useless this site is a resource for any mom. Most of the stories and opinions in this site are outdated and useless in regards to parenting…

Dani August 13, 2009, 1:50 AM

It is people like you, arrogant, selfish, disrespectful people like you that have this Earth in the state of devastation its in! Your flooded basement? Your dented car? These are material things! They mean nothing when it comes to the basics of what keeps us all alive! Oxygen, water, soil for growing food…THESE ARE WHAT MOTHER EARTH GIVES US and you could live a million lives and dedicate everyday of each one and STILL not come close to repaying Mother Earth! How dare you call the seals stupid for swallowing the pollution WE HUMANS dump in their natural habitat!! Humans, arrogant moronic humans such as yourself, are the stupid ones for having a superiority complex and not understanding or respecting boundries. All the creatures great and small, in the water, on land or in the air, were here waaaaay before us yet we have no respect and think nothing of destroying their home, their food supply, in order to satisfy our selfish greedy materialistic needs! It is a shame you’re even allowed to have kids, and that they are exposed to the type of person you are but hopefully they will stay on the guided path of positive and selfless people like their scouting troops to steer them into adulthood. I am actually embarassed for your children. It is so sad that you are their primary role model!

RachelAZ August 13, 2009, 2:40 AM

haha I loved this article!

Liza M. August 16, 2009, 11:51 PM

Please!!!! All of you who really care, shut off your electricity, stop driving your cars and sew your own clothes. There is a reason we sleep in houses, fly to Palm Beach and have spray on tans. Because we can. If we were meant to poop in the woods, leaves would be double quilted (like Northern!)

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