I have always loved the calendar and how a series of numbers lining up seems to make that day stand out more than others. When I was a kid, we got a kick out of our math teacher reminding us that 9/9/81, was special because 9×9=81.
Today is 07/07/07 and for some, seven is a lucky or perfect number. In Texas, 07/07/07 has been a great day whether or not luck or perfection is involved. Water stands all over the city and many other places throughout the region and the sun is straining to poke through the cloud cover. Mercifully, so far today, no rain has fallen. That makes 07/07/07 a good, “dry” day. It’s rained every day but 7 since June 1st and though June is Houston’s “wettest” month, it was much, much wetter than usual.
Also today the Live Earth concert is going on all over the world, calling attention to the plight of the Earth’s resources, and how to go “green,” and be good conservationists. Not only have I heard some incredible music, I have been encouraged at how they’ve simplified the Go Green message to make it accessible and “do-able” for everyone.
I’ve had some history with recycling and “green” thinking. When I was a kid, we recycled pop cans (excuse me, Easterners, “pop” is soda, and for your Texans, “pop” is coke). We would walk up and down country roads and collect a few garbage bags full and then take them to the can recycling collection center and get a few cents a can.
One winter, around the time of the coal strike in Indiana when electricity was scarce and we had to sit by the windows to have enough light to read at school, we had a solar heating panel made from a kit attached to the house (I don’t remember if we had it that winter or that winter of low energy inspired the solar heater, but we had one around that time). Unfortunately, this “kit” had no way to store any energy and Indiana winter days are too short to make a difference. Though the solar energy couldn’t combat the below zero winters, if you sat right next to the vent you could feel the warmth it generated for a little while, so it proved to me it could work. Though the solar heating panel disappeared after one winter, I had more experience with non-traditional energy sources and recycling than most kids I knew.
After college, when I worked for a rather sizeable newspaper, I learned a great deal more about recycling. The newspaper was very “green” and recycled nearly EVERYTHING. There was one large garbage can in our department for non-recyclables… like fountain pens, highlighters, or things your weren’t sure fit anywhere else. Otherwise, there was a bin for whatever you had to throw away. Even the waste basket under your desk was for paper items or wrappers that had touched food. It got recycled.
A huge bin in the middle of all our cublicles collected discarded newspapers. Another bin next to it was for typing/copy paper and the bin next to that was for all other paper (magazine type paper, color ad inserts, etc). Then there was the bottled water bin, the aluminum can bin, and all other colors of bottles bin.
In some communities, recycling is accessible and easy to participate in, and in others, recycling takes a real commitment. Yet, every little effort adds up to a significant amount when everybody starts taking those baby steps.
In my apartment we have energy-saving lightbulbs. It’s not much, but it’s a start. Instead of drinking so much bottled water (and discarding the bottles) I drink filtered tap water. Therefore I use less plastic (a petroleum based product).
While I was in San Francisco, they announced a plan to cut out bottled water in the city. It would cut down on the wasted bottles, the gas to bring the bottled water into the city, the emissions of the truck bringing the bottles into the city, etc. One idea snowballs into something big. A little inconvenient, maybe, but not really that big of an effort, right?
Yes, I still drink things out of plastic bottles, but not enough, at least at home, for a significant collection to recycle them. As I’ve watched some of the Live Earth concert, I realized that there are more small things I could do to save on resources, and that will give me something to ponder for a while.
The sun just poked through the clouds and is streaming across my living room floor. In fact, I peeked through the blinds and I see BLUE sky! Of course, rain is forecast for later, but I’ll enjoy this bit of sunshine while it lasts.
Enjoy your 07/07/07… There won’t be another in your lifetime, but we have other types of number assortments to look forward to like 3/03/09 because 3×3=9.