Dear Mother Earth ::Thank You For Trees

Wednesday is Earth Day 2009.  Our Green Moms Carnival are rallying yet again at Alline’s Blog: Passion Green Business to celebrate

Below is my contributing post

Dear Mother Earth,

Happy Happy Earth Day! You are unfolding before my very eyes these recent days, trees that were bare are now feathering with potential of leaves, and blossoms. It is just beautiful.

I always thought I was treading lightly on you. I fear that my personal impact is more, much MUCH more than I ever knew. I am so very sorry that I didn’t know the harm that I was causing you. I want you to know that I am making changes, little ones, as best I can to have my footprint be less. I want to learn more so that I can do more, and so that I can advocate and be more of a voice. I am so grateful for you.  The clean air you provide so that I can breath, the dirt smell that fills my nostrils as I run my hands through it, the regard I have for soils nutrient density and all that it gives back in the form of food, and natural beauty. I am comforted at the warmth you give me through your reach of sunrays. They touch and warm my day and my heart. I am so delighted when you sprinkle all of us with drops of rain that hydrate all that I need to continue to grow and prosper. You are generous over and over.

In the last few years I have done a few things to contribute less to global warming. I plan to do more. My paperless office is doing well. I have reduced my files by 50%. This was a matter of purgeing more than anything else and is a work that is in constant progress. The idea of being completely paperless is an inspiration to me – not a current reality (if you saw the papers in my office now you’d raise an eyebrow), but please note that it’s a true long term goal. In my business this has been a shift in practice and policy – I work strictly by telephone now vs face to face appointments and offer internet sources for follow up, I no longer do a paper newsletter or any snail mail month end mailings or invoicing. This has saved me time, resources,and money. And paper.

Domestically, when a bulb goes out I am using the curly one’s instead, I do very full loads of laundry twice a month vs weekly medium loads, I have reduced my laundry by 50%! I am turning my lights off, didn’t have my heat higher than 68 degrees this past winter. I befriended my sweaters. I am buying less in plastic packaging, buying less in general. I am more aware of consumerism that ever before

I have reduced my gas mileage by 50% – part of this was a necessity as I needed to be conscious of how much I was spending on gasoline. I became very mindful of using my car time and stacking my errands. I would say my average car use is now maybe 4 times a month. A huge shift from daily usage. Walking more has been a great contribution to my health, and my spirit. A shift in my thinking, as walking takes more time but this last year I got better at it. You knew that if I walked I’d reap the rewards. You are more wise than I give you credit for

I am taking a few road trips this summer and I will offset that mileage and those trips by planting some trees. It’s the least I can do for you.

My fellow sales leaders have planted over 870,096 trees, those are the ones that folks reported. I know that there were many more because I never reported mine and I bet others forgot to share their totals too. This makes me very proud to be part of my company.

This 2009 Earth Day Wangari Maathai 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement will ceremoniously plant our millionth tree at corporate headquarters this earth day. We met Wangari in 2005 here in Chicago and just loved her, she embraced and tremendoulsy inspired our field.  This film clip from Taking Root shares part of her passionate story. Inspired by Wangari our tree loving sales leader Ellie Rogers fostered the Million Dreams Million Trees Campaign

Below my mentor shares these loving comments about trees:

Trees and plants cool and cleanse the air, increase property values, break the harsh winds of winter, provide habitat for wildlife and recreation for humans. They keep waterways clean by holding riverbanks and lakeshores in tact. They help prevent mudslides. Trees and plants absorb and remove farm chemicals and other contaminants from the soil and ground water also.

Over the past decades, a huge numbers of trees have been lost due to urbanization, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, housing and commercial development. Experts estimate we have a deficit of approximately 700 million trees for the environment needs they address.

Trees are the lungs of the planet, absorbing and breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling pure oxygen to cleanse the air and help prevent global warming.

How We Can Help?

It takes ten trees to offset the carbon dioxide produced by each human that walks the earth each year. Simple math would suggest that just doing your part would be to kindly plant 10 trees a year, to offset your personal human footprint.

Here are some ways you can do that:

Consider making a contribution to the Million Trees. Million Dreams.™ campaign.

Be sure to use the carbon calculator to see how many trees you and your family need to actually plant – it might be more than just ten!

flickr image credit – stunning stain glass tree

Karen Hanrahan ~ Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant/Blog Author
Nutrition Weight Loss, and Green Clean

How do you celebrate Earth Day?
If you’re not cleaning green – what’s stopping you?

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10 Responses to Dear Mother Earth ::Thank You For Trees

  1. JessTrev says:

    Karen! I love that you call CFLs the curly bulbs…and our trees are leafing out and exploding with blossoms here in DC. Thanks for sharing your musings (oh, to someday have a paperless, clutter-free office!).

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank you Jess – I always get the letters mixed up re: the bulbs. It’s better to call them as I “see” them! I wish I could proclaim a 100% clutter free office, paper does seem to still come in faster than it leaves. I think the process includes letting it go. I once recycled by mistake 10 years of tax files. OOPS. Sortof like a computer crash – when those files are gone you somehow get by w/o them!!

  3. Karen,What a lovely letter to Mother Earth!Like Jess, I loved the curly reference!Congrats on going nearly paper-free! Did you know there is a correlation between weight loss and clutter? Perhaps losing all that weight helped you to de-clutter! Lynn

  4. Condo Blues says:

    I think “Curly Light Bulb” is going to soon replace calling it a “CFL” because whenever I mention that I drastically reduced my condo’s electricity use the first question I get is, “Did you switch to the Curly light bulbs?” 🙂

  5. It’s hard not to notice the trees at this time of year – with buds just about to burst open. (at least that’s where we’re at here in the Midwest!). They are so beautiful and they do so much. I agree – thank you for the trees!!

  6. Karen Hanrahan says:

    You realize the curly bulb reference is because I can’t get the acronym right ? yes? Hmmm a parallel to weight loss and paper purging, that’s inspiring!

  7. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I am in the midwest also and I agree that Spring really is beautiful!

  8. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Ha! I should just trademark their appropriate name !! Appreciate you stopping by

  9. Lisa says:

    Beautiful letter!!

  10. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank you Lisa!

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