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Should we eat dirt on Earth Day?

The news is full of items on all the trends about food and eating – Slow Food, the Food Revolution, the 100 Mile Diet – but does any of it really make a difference? I mean really, in the grand scheme of things is it better if I support the local farmer who is trying to grow something here instead of supporting someone who can grow the same thing more easily farther away? And if I am healthy, what difference does it make if a family somewhere in the USA or elsewhere in the world is unhealthy from obesity, or from malnourishment? How responsible are we for the world? (Are you feeling guilty? Is your morning bagel getting stuck in your craw??)

I don’t mean to sound callous; I just wanted to get your attention. I was thinking that with Earth Day approaching, it is a good time to stop and think just how much we want to do to support our planet and its fellow inhabitants. I am a big believer in consistency – even if you only want to commit to a small amount of effort, if it happens consistently that speaks volumes. I also believe that we should be honest with ourselves, and we should be selfish about enjoying our own lives. Don’t say you want to save the planet for your kids – do it so that you can breathe easier tomorrow. Then your kids will know you mean it.

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So, does that mean we should eat dirt on Earth Day? Well, a bit of dirt wouldn’t hurt… like the dirt on the carrots you can buy at the Farmer’s Market, open now for the season.  I think they taste better with a bit of dirt still on them. Let’s face it, fresh garden carrots taste better any way you eat them, dirty or not. I wonder if people were mass-produced like some veggies, would they lose their character too?  I think I remember reading about that in a Robin Cook novel years ago.

It probably isn’t the best day to visit a fast food joint. Something about eating processed food , even if it is now in a recyclable container, seems to go against the grain of the event. Perhaps you could work on eating meals from around the world next week – that could be fun! Not local, but fun. If local is your thing, maybe visiting a locally owned restaurant would do the trick, even if it served ethnic food from another place. Maybe just thinking about the food, enjoying the bounty, is the thing to do.

Maybe if we just take a drink of water, breathe in the air, feel the sun on our faces and the grass between our toes,  that will be enough to remind us of all that we have. In the forty years since Earth Day has existed, we don’t seem to be making great progress in improving. But then, don’t they say that life begins at 40?

If you feel like you need to have a tangible reminder of your mid-life status and the necessity to care for the earth, try these cool do-it-yourself adult crafts that recycle water bottles. Your kids will think you are a cool middle-aged parent if you have a recycled lava lamp!

Support the cause – have a cookie!

My mom used to say that there isn’t much a cookie can’t cure. The good news is that cookies can also be especially rewarding when there is nothing wrong. Even better news is that you can help someone else by having one of their cookies. 

Okay, full disclosure: I am a Girl Guide leader. It is Classic Cookie season.  The  boxes of good old-fashioned vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies will be arriving by the truckload this weekend in the Okanagan. 

Soon girls in blue will be all over your neighbourhood asking for your help to achieve their goals. You see, Girl Guide cookies are the way units fund their activities such as camps, field trips, and service projects. It may sound corny, but your support could really help send a girl to camp. 

For me, Girl Guides is a delightful opportunity for girls to be exposed to a variety of experiences in a safe and encouraging environment. I enjoyed my time as a Girl Guide, and I adore my time as a leader (altogether I have spent 14 years in the organization.) Especially since I don’t have kids of my own, I feel it’s important to give back to our community and connect with young people. 

You may have other causes you support – there are so many of them nowadays it’s impossible to support everything. I would only ask that you be encouraging if you see girls at your door or in the community. I remember how intimidating it was the first time I asked someone to buy cookies; thankfully they were sympathetic that I had forgotten how much they were and had to run down the driveway to check. And see, look at me now! (Not to worry, guffaws are expected at this point.)

If you can support a Girl Guide, or a Girl Scout, or even a Boy Scout, thank you. I do believe you are helping to support the upbringing of well-rounded young people who will be leading our society into the future. (No pressure.)

Seriously though, they are good cookies. 

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