Pebbles and Dominoes

Ripples from a pebble thrown make tsunami on a foreign shore

-Ian Anderson "From a Pebble Thrown"

Tossing a pebble into the water creates ripples that go far beyond the pebble. When many pebbles are tossed, the ripples can fill a lake, often touching each other in the process. The larger the stone, the bigger the wave. Many large stones, create many waves that crash onto the shore. All from pebbles and rocks, and it starts with one.

One rock placed atop a larger one soon becomes a structure. Many can fill beaches and lakes, creating both nature's art work and useful platforms for crossing streams. One rock, then another, then another. When well planned, these same rocks can be placed to create beautiful furnishings and homes. It begins with one.

With dominoes, the structures are perfectly set, spaced, and angled. When one taps one too early, well, we all know what happens. The structures are singly created, fragile, and beautiful when falling. One touches the other, which touches the next, and on and on, cascading into beautiful patterns of brilliance.

These are the powerful images for positive beauty, but it is exponentially true with trash and waste, as well. I look around as I walk along beaches, trails, and paths and see cigarette butts, bottles, plastic bags, trash just thrown from a car window. Mountains, oceans, streams, and roads filled with stuff that doesn't go away. I don't know where people got the idea that our beautiful planet is a garbage can. Just drop it there and it's gone. It is not gone. The culprit may be gone, but the litter is not. What if everyone just made it a point to use the garbage can for trash? What if everyone just picked up one piece of trash that is on the ground?

I have a friend who is the most environmentally conscious person I have ever met. She is brilliant in all the ways I admire. She works hard to live in a way that feeds our sweet planet, as well as keeping it clean, while watching out for critters, birds, trees, and soil. Her home is on a large plot of land filled with native plants, organic gardens, and true Florida flora and fauna. Not many people can do what she does, so whenever we chat I'm in awe of her knowledge, ideas, and actions. Then I realize how much we all have to learn and do so that we too can be faithful stewards of our earth. For those (like me) who believe in God, that was one of the tasks he gave us to do.

It's a daunting task!

Everywhere I turn, I'm bombarded by how far we need to grow. It's overwhelming. Look around. Plastic is everywhere: water bottles, straws, grocery bags, food containers, cups, lids.... I looked around my house and found so much that I was almost paralyzed into doing nothing. It was just too much. Then I decided, I can break this into small bits and try to only take on what I can and will actually do. What would fit best into my lifestyle? Being that I am at the grocery store a few days per week, I can easily bring my own bags. It's small, easy, and doable. Then it occurred to me that if we all just started with ONE thing, we create a single ripple that reaches out. It really does not take a lot of effort or money to do this. Keep bags in the car and use them.

What if everyone chose just one "green" action. This is doable. We just need to spread the word! I have enjoyed using my canvas bags. They hold more and can be put over my shoulders. I can hold at least two plastic bags worth of food in one canvas bag. When another person does the same, we reduce waste and multiply the environmental help. Then another person, and another, and another, and so on. Before we know it we are tossing many pebbles in the pond, reaching to the end of the lake, and creating less need for the dreaded plastic bags.

Begin the dominoes causing the ripples into the tsunami. Spread the word. Choose one area YOU will change and contribute to reusing, repurposing, or recycling. Help keep our earth beautiful.

Choose One:

  • Bring your own glass, metal, or paper straw

  • Bring your own grocery bags

  • Bring your own mug, cup, or tumbler

  • Make sure all trash gets into the trash can

  • Re-use plastic grocery bags to collect trash from streets.

  • If you have been littering, keep plastic bags in the car for trash. Put trash in there and dispose into garbage cans.

  • Pick up one piece of litter (or more of course)

  • Share this information with a child

One person. another. another. and another. Before long, if everyone chose one thing to do, we would have a long chain of dominoes cascading to release many pebbles into the sea. After we master one, we add another and begin a new ripple.

Our earth would be healthier; each person would make a difference, because each person became part of the whole earth. We are one planet, one people, collectively powerful tsunamis that can make a positive difference.

Let's create a beautiful world for our children, and help them learn to do the same.

What will you choose as your one "green" action?

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