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On Earth Day: A Green, I Mean Really Very Green, Perspective

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When you live in a tree stump in the middle of a dank swamp, pretty much every day is Earth Day. In fact, some people might say there's a little too much nature out where I live, what with the smell and the damp and the mud and the humidity and all.

Yeah, back home, nature just slaps you in the face whether you like it or not. You learn pretty quick that everything works together in ripe, odoriferous, natural harmony. So I have to say I'm all for anything that reminds everybody that wetlands and forests are part of one big ecosystem. Believe me, lots of plants and animals love the swamp and, literally, wouldn't live any other way.

Of course, I myself choose to live in the swamp. It suits my lifestyle. The fact that human beings tend to steer clear is probably a good thing anyway given my temperament, but I have to tell you I've noticed it also cuts way down on the pollution and trash. It stinks in my swamp, but it's a clean stink.

As it happens, I'm not in the swamp at the moment. I'm in New York City, "treading the boards," with my friends Donkey, Princess Fiona and all the fractured fairy tale creatures in my new Broadway musical. I've met a lot of people here who don't appreciate the bouquet of a fine swamp gas. Really, some of these New Yorkers think a walk in Central Park is a jungle safari. They're not even that crazy about Donkey's aroma, and he's practically a city slicker now, hanging out at Sardi's and Elaine's after the show. His dressing room is full of flowers and the stagehands muck it out a couple of times a week. Even so he still gets the old wrinkled nose from some of the swells in the mezzanine seats. It's funny that the exhaust fumes don't seem to bother them when they leave the theater. What a terrible thing to get accustomed to. I was glad to hear that lots of cities, including New York, are working to reduce such stench.

I guess ecology is just a natural interest of mine. I am after all green. I mean really green, as in a slimy Lime Jell-O complexion. And my friends are mostly animals. Sure, they talk and crack wise, but not one of them owns an SUV. Their carbon hoof prints are miniscule. And if they wear fur, they come by it honestly. I also travel the rural countryside a lot. Why they can't put castle keeps, enchanted forests and dragons' lairs closer together is beyond me. So it's a good thing Donkey and I walk everywhere. There's a lot of beautiful scenery in the world when you slow down to take it in.

In the end I guess it's true what they say, you can take the ogre out of the swamp, but you can't take the swamp out of the ogre. I'm a nature boy and proud of it. The Earth is our home -- whether we hole up in a tree stump or a Park Avenue penthouse -- and if we don't take care of it, none of us will have a place to live. There is no land so Far Far Away that it is safe from the destruction of our environment.

Every week, in five evening performances and three matinees, I go on an epic quest and (spoiler alert!) save Princess Fiona. I wish it could be that easy to clean up our planet and protect our environment. It's going to take a lot of work though. Maybe you have to believe in fairy tales to think we can do it. Or maybe everyone just has to make a commitment to do their part and incorporate a little green awareness into everything they do every day. If it helps, you can think of me. Handsome I'm not. But a lean, green ogre machine I am.

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