Summer is a time to let go and be free and be yourself. It’s a time to take time off from work and enjoy nature. The sunny beaches. The parks. The lakes. The green forests. Oh, it feels good just to think about it. It’s unfortunate that summer has its bad side. It’s also a time when we put a lot of strain in the environment.
In the first place, It seems that the best stuff that nature can offer are usually far from where we live. This requires us to drive and consume gas and contribute to global warming. And when we arrive there, what do we do? We make our presence felt by polluting the place. For instance, we celebrate the outdoor by cooking barbecues with charcoal which contaminates the air by releasing hydrocarbons and tiny soot particles to whoever can breathe them.
In summer, we tend to pamper ourselves. It gives us an excuse to be liberal with our spending to look good and feel good to the detriment of our pocketbook and the environment.
One of the best/worst ways to indulge ourselves is to go on a cruise. I confess that I had been on several cruises in the past and enjoyed every moment. When you’re on a cruise, you feel like royalty. But now I’m not sure if I can still afford the luxury without my conscience bothering me.
According to the Bluewater Network, “A typical cruise ship in a one-week voyage generates more than 50 tons of garbage, one million gallons of graywater (waste water from sinks, showers, galleys, and laundry facilities), 210,000 gallons of sewage, and 35,000 gallons of oil-contaminated water. Most of this waste is dumped directly into the ocean, some treated, some not. In addition, luxury liners spew a range of pollutants into the air that can lead to acid rain and contribute to global warming.”
As I marveled at the ruins of Pompeii during my visit to Southern Italy, the local guide commented that the place hasn’t been fully excavated to ensure that there would be something left for future generations to discover. In the same vein, shouldn’t we do the same on a larger scale? Shouldn’t we help protect the planet and leave something beautiful behind for those who’ll be around long after we’re gone?
Perhaps we can start by simply putting this bumper sticker on our cars, “Live simply that others may simply live.”
By the way, does anybody know the original source of this quote? It would only be appropriate to have the person duly recognized.