Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

To Save the World, Walk Your Dad

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

To Save the World, Walk Your Dad

Article excerpt


As people store Easter baskets, put away Passover dishes and discuss baseball instead of basketball, Earth Day comes to mind. We really do think of time in chunks: school-year terms, holidays and commemorative days, weeks and months. Is this human beings' attempt at cosmic organization? Perhaps. Results of advertising bombardment? Maybe. For those of you who are wondering, the answer is "no." No, I have not forgotten that April is National Poetry Month. And yes, Mother's Day is on my radar. Look for material in coming columns. However, Earth Day is next, and that brings us to today's selection.

Some budding environmentalists succumb to bouts of hopelessness. The voices in their heads whine: "I don't know how or where to start. It seems overwhelming." If your child expresses frustration, pick up "31 Ways to Save the World." In the introduction, editors help young readers overcome disenchantment. They suggest keeping in mind that "small actions multiplied by lots of people equals big change." For example, "In those few minutes when you turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth, you could be having an effect that lasts, well, forever." To reinforce the one-person-matters theme, a rhyme introduces suggestions.

"They are small. They are strange. But do them with others, and things will change."

Amid the predictable - but totally doable and useful - ideas about recycling paper and showing restraint at the thermostat, readers will find some witty suggestions. "Walk Your Dad" is among them.

"Like dogs, grown-ups get cranky when they stay inside all day long. Unlike dogs, who walk an average of 676 miles a year, dads walk just 197. Keep them off the furniture. Take a grown-up for a walk."

I'm not sure why editors singled out Dad, but despite lack of statistics, the "grown-up" part in the last sentence of the suggestion really is all-inclusive. …

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