Friday, July 2, 2010

A Challenge

What do you think of when you hear the word oil? Do you think of a gas pump, your car, the terrible ongoing spill in the gulf? Do you think of all the marine life that has died, or is currently dying? Although countless birds, turtles, and other marine life have already died, I am certain there will be many more to come. It is truly a terrible disaster that will affect not only the United States and it's shores, but it will affect the our entire planet negatively eventually. The global repercussions of this epic spill have not even begun to manifest themselves. It is going to be terrible, and it is still leaking thousands of gallons a day.

While the loss of marine life is certainly something to be remembered, what I see when I think about oil are all of the families that now have no way to support themselves. I imagine what life must be like for the fathers that go out in fishing boats, and crabbing boats, and even those that prepare this food along the gulf coast. All of these proud fathers that love and care for their families that now have no way to make a living for their families. These families have bills to pay, like all of us, and now, no way to pay those bills. Their children are hungry, and with no income they are struggling to provide enough food for them, let alone for themselves. It absolutely broke my heart when I saw the 800 families of Plaquemines Parish pulling up to receive boxes from Feed The Children. I thought it was wonderful that Feed The Children was able to step in and help these struggling gulf coast families, but if 800 families received donations, can you imagine how many hungry families did not? What about the fishermen that can't bear the thought of failing their families and deciding they are worth more to them dead than alive, and have taken their own lives? What about the families all along the gulf coast that make their living from tourism? The beaches are stained and closed, which only means less tourism for those areas as well. How many tourist areas do you think have another way to make the majority of their money? Having lived in a tourist town, I can tell you there aren't many other ways that these areas support themselves. Without tourism, these towns, cities, and residents are going to have a deeper recession than our country is already suffering through.

This is not about whether BP has done enough (because let's face it, they've only just begun), and it's not about whether or not President Obama, and our government has done enough. We all have blood on our hands, because our country's dependency on foreign oil is insatiable. This is about whether or not we, as individual Americans have done enough. I have decided that I am going to do my part to help conserve oil, and to also educate my children about the spill. Locally, I will make a difference. It has been difficult, but I have managed so far to achieve my goal and I have saved at least 40 gallons of gasoline in the month of June already.

Here's where the challenge comes in. I am not driving my car at least 3 of the 7 days of the week. Because I am a stay at home mother, most people assume this is an easy goal. It is not. I have errands to run like everyone else, and I have places I want to go and places my 3 children want to go. I do not leave the house unless I have at least 4 NECESSARY errands. I organize and plan my stops and make a loop through my town and the next one being careful not to double-back, zig-zag, or otherwise waste time, money, gasoline, and lives. It is a very conscious decision for me, and I am challenging you all to do it.

I am challenging you to do what you can to save marine life, and human lives. Set a goal, and achieve it to conserve oil and lower our dependency on oil. If you work a 5 day week, plan to leave your car in the garage on the weekend. Take a bicycle to the train, join a carpool, or find another creative way you can ease up on your oil dependency. We can all change something, even something you may small to make a difference can indeed be enough. I'm just a stay at home mom of 3 children, and I'm doing my part, however small to help conserve, what are you doing?

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