Home Sweet Home
By Paula Hamilton



 As this month's issue of Awareness is focusing on Earth Day, I thought it only fitting to write something about our planet and home.  My first recollection of Earth Day was sometime in the 1970's, I was either in the tail end of Elementary School, or the beginning of (what was then called) Junior High. That was probably the first time I was introduced to the concept of "pollution", and the fact that "we" were primarily the ones responsible for it. My first childish and naive reaction to this atrocious news was "Well, why don't we just stop."  To that, I was in essence told "Corporations need to pollute, because it is the sad by-product of our conspicuous consumption." 

We were then given a list of things that we terrible little conspicuous consumers could do to help clean up the environment. Number one on the list was simple. Don't litter. Good advice then, and still is.  The list went on to discuss other alternatives such as recycling and planting trees and the like. All good ideas and respectful ways of treating the planet. 

However, I kept coming back to that point about corporations.  Maybe I'm just not getting it. Why, exactly do corporations need to pollute? Because we need athletic shoes, microwaves, frozen foods and disposable diapers. OK. Well, why do we need athletic shoes, microwaves, frozen foods and disposable diapers?  Because, we have no time due to the fact we work for corporations! Hmm. 

OK, I may just be busting a chop or two, but I think I may have something here. Living in the Great Northeast, I am privileged to live near areas where the Amish live.  Throughout  areas of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, just to name a few, there are a whole group of people who decided a long time ago to not get on the national power grid.  Yep, that's right.  NO ELECTRICITY.  No Automobiles. No Microwaves!  (Is your stomach turning yet?) No Internet.  No Palm Pilots. (Are you breaking out in a sweat?) Is this your post Y2K nightmare? I'll quit here.  But the idea is, this whole colony of folks doesn't pollute, unless you want to count horse poop. And they make some of the most beautiful rock solid furniture you'll ever see or own. Have we gone too far to turn back? 

Many people I know were secretly hoping Y2K would magically change us back to a time when life was slower, simpler and a little less automated, not to mention less polluting. I guess this becomes a sore point with me because of the news articles I have been reading about Space Pollution, and the decades of discarded and accumulated junk floating around thanks to us.  I would gladly give up these "modern conveniences" if it would reverse the damage inflicted on our planet and the surrounding space we inhabit. Sadly, the majority of the culture wouldn't, or would say it couldn't. 

I don't know if we have gone "too far", but I don't think we'll ever get the chance to find out. The environmentally-conscientious crumbs off the corporate table will never be enough to repair or even halt the continuing damage done to the air, water and soil.  Not to mention human, plant and wildlife. Remember, I also live in the state that harbors the infamous former "Love Canal" and the former "Hooker Chemical Corporation" But a rose by any other name still remains as deadly I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is what came first, the "need" or the "greed". And again, Why don't we just stop? 

Think about it. But, remember it's just my onion pi.

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