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Leslie Garrett | pg.3
My kids started school a few weeks ago. Along with new binders and some recycled paper, they took with them pencils. Despite technology’s steady advance into our lives, we still need pencils. Albeit my children’s pencils were Forest Stewardship Council–certified, meaning the wood for them came from sustainably managed forests.
How are you?
I’m asked this at least a few times a day by people ranging from the letter carrier to the grocery store clerk.
I’ll tell you how I am. I’m BUSY.
It’s a popular response. All of us are, perpetually, busy. We often make vague references to the day when we won’t be so busy. We might allude to the upcoming vacation during which we plan to do nothing but read and snooze. In the meantime, we’re…busy.
Some people ask me why I’m so passionate about “environmental issues.” Well, these “environmental issues” I’m so concerned about aren’t just about the environment. In fact, I haven’t thought about them as environmental issues for some time. They’re about everything else that’s inevitably on people’s agenda — economy, health care, politics …
Christmas might be months away, but I’m feeling awfully Grinch-like. Specifically, I find myself covering my ears and muttering about all this “Noise! Noise! Noise! NOISE!”
Although I can’t blame bamboozlers or pantookas, I’m certainly pointing the finger at leaf-blowers and cell phones.
Not to mention car horns, dogs (frequently my own) and air conditioners. Airplanes, video games and … sigh.
Something made me say yes.
It wasn’t love. Despite his name, there was little about Romeo that lassoed my heart. He was enormous. And toothless. His claws seemed permanently poised to strike. His fur was dull and he had a bad case of dandruff and he reeked of a pack-a-day habit.
My feet have served me well.
Although I wasn’t an early walker, I have always been an enthusiastic one. Family lore has it that I was tied like a dog to a stake in the backyard because I was such a dedicated wanderer. Living close to a river meant that my trailblazing could lead me to trouble, so my mother kept me tethered. I maintain that she could have simply kept an eye on me but, it being the ’60s and all, perhaps that would have cut into her cigarettes and activism.
A friend recently confided in me that she, too, was increasingly alarmed by news of climate change, water shortages, chemicals in our kids’ toys — letting me know she was prepared to take action. From now on, she announced triumphantly, she planned to reuse gift bags. “And if people think that means I can’t afford new ones, well … that’s fine.”