For the record, I support the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and National Wildlife Federation. The trio does admirable work against all odds (i.e. polluters and grubby politicians who shove the environment well down their pecking order of what’s important).
I am not alone in finding solace in the safety of numbers in these organizations. High volumes of members correspond to a broad reach and help these groups to achieve critical mass and bring voice and clout to what needs to be heard. That is good.
Where the rubber meets the road, however, is the line in the sand each of us has the ability to draw; what can we do as individuals to make a difference or bring a bit more environmental sanity in our little corners of the world? To leap or tiptoe over each of our lines is of no matter. It is that we cross the line that counts.
The national / regional / local environmental organizations are enormously helpful, certainly, but their power ends when each of us come up against a plastic bottle 20 ft. ahead on our path, followed some feet later by a polystyrene cup. At that moment we can decide to do something of our own volition – or take a pass and keep on moving. There’s no calling for someone else’s advice nor can you marshal a legion of environmental ground troops. It is your call and you need to make it quickly – and all too frequently.
None of us crosses the line just once. Yesterday’s line is already erased; we figuratively redraw our own lines – our boundaries? – every day. I obliterate my line every day with a single stride. I can’t jump like I used to but if that’s what it took to overcome this personal, ground-level barrier, I’d take a few steps back and get a running start.