Huffpost Business

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Harry Fuller Headshot

You Are Powerful and the Planet Loves You. Act Like It.

Posted: Updated:

Ask a thousand Americans what's special about Tuesday, April 22, and here's what you'd get:

It means I survived another Monday at work 43%
Pennsylvania Primary 38%
Income Tax Deadline 7%
Earth Day 2%
My Mother(Father's) Birthday/Anniversary 1%
Tiger Woods' Birthday 1%
Don't Know 8%

Well, it's Earth Day and regardless of who does what in Pennsylvania, we need the planet almost as much as we need a new President in the U.S. With that in mind, I thought I'd do something more upbeat than my usual rant about being powerless, pissed off, too old to believe in revolution, or even refuse military service in any overt way. Sure, American corporations are short-sighted, driven by greed for bonuses, and are corrupting a political system that sucks up money almost as fast as the Pentagon.

But you and I (I called us Lilliputians in my last gloomy blog) are all powerful. You eat? You own a car, a condo, a pair of shoes? Maybe a dog or a guppy? Then you, my friend, even as I, are an empowered dynamo of revolution. Let's get to work. Every cent, every nearly worthless Yankee dollar we spend is linked to a political decision. Every expenditure we make, every bill we pay is a political decision. So let's open our eyes and stop feeling so helpless.

Shade-grown coffee or bio-diesel swill in a Styrofoam cup? Local organic potatoes or DDT-laced white grapes from Chile? A plastic bottle leaching bisphenol-a (BPA) into your filtered water. with a green tea infusion. Go to the local growers' market or buy from the agri-mega-corporate complex?

Drive or walk? Buy that one-read paperback or get it from the library? Buy an antique or some knock-together modern thing made from wood shipped twice across the Pacific? Made in China? Think hard about that one. I note that every time I buy a planet-friendly LED or fluorescent lightbulb it's MIC. But with clothing and shoes and some products, there's still a choice. So here are some websites I've found useful in my attempt to stop feeling helpless and gullible and gulled.

1) Use Brijit. You don't need all those unread magazines lying in their PLASTIC sleeves. You won't miss anything except the stack of murdered trees on your coffee table.

2) Know your water pipes. Upon them your life may depend.

3) Check out the ideas for greener living from Green Guide. They're from National Geographic, folks you can probably trust. They don't own part of an oil company. Their bias: no planet, no geographic.

4) Check out your local utility: gas, electric, water, etc. Many have rebates for conservation. Here's just one example from the big power company in Southern California. They could reimburse you up to $600 if you replace an old, inefficient electric appliance with a new Energy Star one.

5) Buy something solar this year, even if it's only a wrist watch or vibrator.

6) Cancel one airplane trip in favor of a conference call.

7) Don't buy anything with formaldehyde in it. Ever.

Have a wonderful Earth Day. Re-use a plastic bag.