The Pollution Sollution


Forget climate change. Forget global warming. Forget the Paris Agreement. Forget all the absurd conversations and fights about what the problems are and what the solutions are. Forget the politics and economics. Forget everything you hear on TV and see on the internet. Forget the pollution/ecology factoids you think you know. Clear your mind and break pollution down to its most basic level. Clear your mind of all the clutter and nonsense and write on that big blank white wall in your brain, “Pollution Is Bad.” Then stop. Right at that point. Stop. Don’t go one thought further. Just focus on the white wall with black letters in your head that simply state, “Pollution Is Bad.” Focus. Meditate. Ponder. Think. Keep doing it until you are bored. Put it away for a while and then go back and do it again. Just stare at the words, “Pollution is bad.” Then once it has sunk into your mind as deep as it will go, start doing what you can do to make your world a better place. And by “your world,” I’m referring to the world within a hundred feet of where you’re sitting. Start at home. Start with you.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that with few exceptions, there are not many “big” things in this world. At least not in the sense that big things are a standalone entities. With few exceptions, most “big” things are an accumulation of small things, especially if they are manmade. A building for instance is just a few thousand small things put together to create something much bigger. Same with neighborhoods. They are just a bunch of buildings that make up something bigger. A city or town is a bunch of neighborhoods. And a State or a nation is a bunch of towns and cities. So, I’m weary when politicians and others tell me they have the “big” fix for the “big” problem when most people, including them, are paying little or no attention to the little items which created the big thing. Pollution is the same as all other “big” problems. It’s a big problem created by billions of small pollution problems. And the solution is a bunch of solutions to small problems, that created the big problem.

It seems to me if people want to clean up the world, we need a lot more cleaning and a lot less activism and politicking and finger pointing. In the words of the late great, Walt Disney, “The great way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” If we want to fix the big pollution problem then the way to start is to fix the billions of little pollution problems.

Instead of reposting pictures of garbage floating off the coast of South America, or campaigning to ban straws, or a thousand other non-cleanup actions, start cleaning up the world that you can reach out and touch.

If you step out your front door and see trash, pick it up. That’s a good place to start cleaning up the world.

If you go to the store to buy a four-inch stapler and it’s wrapped in ten inches of plastic, don’t buy it. Refuse to buy little things wrapped in lots of plastic.

If you put your groceries in a plastic bag instead of a canvas bag, stop doing it. You don’t have to wait for plastic bags to be outlawed.

If you drive a big SUV or something bigger than what you need, sell it. Get something smaller.

If you drive to places a half mile away, start walking. It’s good for the Earth and it’s good for you.

The list of little solutions to our pollution problems are as big as the list of little pollution problems, but you don’t have to make a list. Just start being conscious of the little pollution problems in your little part of the world and in the words of good ole Walt Disney, “Quit talking and start doing.”

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© 2015 by B.M. Simpson