I leisurely cruised the blogosphere this morning, making a quick pit stop at all of my favorite blogs and checking in on the green news. Some people were talking about Earth Hour, others about the joys of the farmers' markets and still others about socializing in the green scene. All interesting, thought provoking stuff.
Then I hit Crunchy Chicken's blog. She had a post up about her project to provide teenage girls in Africa with reusable menstrual pads - a grassroots effort that she has dubbed Goods 4 Girls. I'll admit that, while I am aware of this campaign, I have not been involved in it or even donated to it . . . yet. Crunchy ended her post by begging for help. The demand for her "goods for girls" has far outstripped her supply such that she needs help spreading the word and gathering more donations. That she is pleading for help got my attention. This is a woman who appears to easily juggle working outside the home, two young children, a husband fighting an incurable form of cancer, while churning out insightful, entertaining daily posts, orchestrating Internet-wide environmental challenges and creating an organization designed to help girls half way around the world. This is not a woman who asks for help and, if she is asking for my help (and yours), you bet I'm going to give it to her.
Barbara Kingsolver wrote that the "cure" to global warming "involved reaching down into ourselves and pulling out a new kind of person." (Animal Vegetable Miracle, p. 345). I've wondered for some time what Ms. Kingsolver meant by that and what kind of person we would need to pull out. I'm thinking it needs to be someone like Crunchy. A doer. Someone who sees a problem and sets about trying to fix it. Someone who doesn't stop to doubt what impact they might have or whether it will be too hard or too tiring or take too long. Someone who will take a risk and speak up. Someone who lives according to their ideals. A twenty-first century super hero.
We don't all have to go out and start a foundation to help African teens. But let's not let Crunchy take all the glory! As far as I can tell, she is not gifted with great wealth, access to the Oval Office, the I.Q. of Einstein (though her graphics do show a touch of genius), or even x-ray vision. There is no reason that we cannot, like Crunchy and other green super heroes, get off the couch and write a letter to the editor about a city's ban on recycling or ask for filtered water at work or advocate a no idling zone at our kids' schools. Even packing a waste free lunch, biking to errands, being the only person on your block to rip out their grass, or convincing a reluctant spouse to turn down the hot water heater are heroic actions. Are we up to the challenge? Can we pull out that new kind of person Ms. Kingsolver envisioned?
Kindly hand me my cape. There's a phone booth with my name on it and carbon emissions to be saved.