How much does it really matter, these little things we do to improve ourselves and our earth? Sometimes the odds seem so overwhelming, so here’s a little story:
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
— Adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren C. Eiseley
Each little effort we make is part of a larger trend. So that you know you are in good company, here are some inspiring tidbits from around the word:
To drive an electric car…you need to charge it!
In New Zealand, a company called ChargeNet NZ is working on a goal to promote and accelerate the use of electric vehicles by focusing on electric vehicle infrastructure and installing a nationwide network of DC fast charging stations, which many consumers say is a prerequisite for buying an electric car.
Tire companies…where the rubber meets the road…
We like our cars, and cars need tires, and tires are made from rubber, and rubber comes from trees, contributing to deforestation, especially in South East Asia.
But the earth needs trees (See our April issues for more info). According to a recent report on greenbiz.com, the world’s biggest tire manufacturer, Michelin Group, and automotive giant General Motors are steering the industry toward a “zero deforestation” stance on this issue.
Last year, Michelin announced it no longer would procure rubber from deforested lands. It set about working with suppliers and regional governments to encourage sustainable forestry. Michelin’s zero deforestation policy led other tire makers Bridgestone, Goodyear and Continental to also begin working toward zero deforestation in rubber procurement.
France bans disposable plastic ware:
In 2016, France became the first country in the world to ban disposable plastic cups and plates. The Associated Press reported that France has enacted a ban on all plastic dishes, cups, and utensils. The ban goes into effect in 2020, after which all disposable utensils and dishes must be made of biological, rather than petroleum-based, material.