We're all in the same boat! by Gia Machlin, August 03 2011, 1 Comment

photo by Gerry Thomasen Flickr Creative Commons

Did you ever hear the one about the group who goes out in a small boat together? One of the passengers pulls out a drill and starts drilling a hole underneath his seat. The person next to him is shocked and, afraid that the boat will sink, asks the man why he is drilling a hole in the bottom of the boat. The driller replies, "it's not your business, I'm drilling the hole under MY seat!"

That's how I feel every day. When I'm behind someone in line at the drug store who takes that CVS bag just for the pack of razor blades they just picked up when they could easily slip the blades in their handbag (or better yet - use a reusable razor), or when I see hundreds of people buying bottled water and disposing of the bottle before it is even empty, or when my friend gets in the car to drive to the coffee shop that is less than 1/4 mile away, I think - why are these people drilling a hole in my boat???

Believe me, I'm far from perfect and I realize that every human creates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions just by living, but at least I am trying as hard as I can to minimize my footprint every day. You are reading this, so obviously you are trying too. The question is - how do we reach those millions of other people, people we interact with every day? I've been asking that question, and trying to come up with solutions, since I started this blog two years ago. And while I know from the emails and comments I receive that some of the tips and information and guidance I have posted here has inspired and helped a few people here and there, and the content we churn out weekly on EcoPlum and monthly in our newsletter has helped some to go green, it just seems there is still so much work to do...

I want to figure out a way to reach people who just haven't had that Aha! moment, who just don't think about the waste they produce or their GHG footprint, who just go about their lives consuming, disposing, wasting, polluting, without a care in the world that they are drilling a hole in my and my kids' boat. I'm convinced that fear and guilt don't work. It just causes people to feel insignificant and to throw their hands up and to go about business as usual. What we need is inspiration. How do we inspire people to care? So I'm reaching out to you, my readers, for some ideas. Let's come up with some grass roots, community oriented action, that will get more people fixing the hole and less people drilling the hole in our boat.

Please post your ideas here, or on EcoPlum's facebook page, or send me an email: gia@ecoplum.com.