Making the Earth our BFF
by Patricia Draznin

With Earth Day hurtling toward us faster than you can skin a free-range carrot, we consider our nation’s progress, if any, in cleaning up the ecosystem that we’ve been trashing for decades like a freshman dorm room. Here at the Oh Zone, we did what any responsible researcher would do to find the answer. We asked Siri.

For those of us who are still using a prepaid Go-Phone, Siri is the digital assistant in the iPhone 4S, the female HAL of the third millennium. HAL, for those of us who are falling behind in our Netflix queue, is the omniscient navigational computer of the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. This brave, futuristic, and bonkers movie forecasted our digital era of personal computers and GPS, and of course, the SmartPhone, that can send emails, search online, and find an Olive Garden in Times Square just like we always dreamed. It’s only a matter of time before we cross the final frontier and accurately predict tomorrow’s weather.

Siri found me a slew of web sites offering more information than I ever wanted to know about Earth Day, which I would like to share with you now. Sure, I know what some of you are thinking: Earth Day is for wussies who drink rainwater and grow their own chickpeas. Au contraire, my polluting comrades, this day is for all of Mother Earth’s children who breathe her air, bathe in her water, and scale her mountains or just blow the tops off them.  

Naturally, we all want to shrink our carbon footprint, as long as we don’t have to do anything inconvenient like shutting down our computers at night. Personally, I would feel more encouraged if we were graded on a curve and credited for all the polluting we didn’t do—the same way that I deserve weight-loss credit for all the Devil Dogs I didn’t eat. Case in point: I don’t drive an electric car but my four-door Hyundai is worth extra credit. Why? Because I live in the rurals, where the official family vehicle is a 4x4 V8 three-quarter-ton pickup that straddles two driving lanes and gets all the gas mileage of a Boeing 747. See? Suddenly I’m Al Gore. 

Founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day 2012 reminds us that we can make the planet our Best Friend Forever through A Billion Acts of Green. All we have to do is 1) bicycle to work, even if your office is in your attic, 2) carry those reusable bags to the store instead of composting them in the trunk of the car, and 3) recycle old friends. At least that’s what Siri says.

Copyright 2012 Patricia Draznin


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