Earth Day, The Human Footprint…and Me.

It is today, the day that we hope and expect more people to care…just this one day, more than any other.

We mark it on the calendar, Youtube has a custom logo, Madonna has another magazine cover, my kids have a project at school… What about tomorrow? What about Yesterday? What about each single day of our life?

I apologize for the very personal space I am taking today on this blog, but… in this exact moment, instead of a burst of energy, wishful thoughts and good attitude, well, I sit down and feel such a small creature of Nature. I do remember when I was a kid, and the weather was different, I remember the fluctuation of seasons,the changing colors, the muffled sounds of life when everything was covered with snow, right before spring “used to come”… We all feel the same way, to a degree…maybe people with kids care just a bit more; if we do not act for our sake, well, at least let’s try to think about our children!

I grew up in the country, and to a degree, I saw it dying…day by day, succumbing to industrial farming, not being able to perform under such pressure. It made me sad, and made me feel helpless…I was young. Now it’s different. I am a husband and a father, I am  older and just a bit wiser…well, at least wise enough to realize that now, finally and for real, I am running short of time. And even if I have been conscious about these issues for many years now, something happened last Sunday that shook me very hard: I came across this Article on the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Nothing really new, to any of us that are informed about the health condition of our planet…but for the very first time, I asked myself: “What am I waiting for?” It is not anymore a matter of switching light bulbs around the house or start timing my showers. Things are getting more serious and more complicated by the day. As of now, we consume 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of organic vegetables, our (the world) need of meat is responsible for a massive carbon footprint that will lead one day to a dead end, we are still highly dependable on oil…I do expect vegetables from life, I will never stop eating meat, and like everybody else I will keep on driving my car and heating my house.

If two and a half years of diapers for each one of my kids equals to 5 cut trees, I am responsible for 10 trees in the past four years (plus about 1.400 Lbs of plastic and about 2.000 pints of crude oil) …only in diapers…what about all the rest? What about the toilet paper they will need for the rest of their lives?  The catch here is that We Can Not Stop. We do need energy, we do need to live and survive, and keep on moving forward, we need to keep on cutting trees, pollute and produce an incredible amount of garbage. These days, unfortunately, there is basically only one choice left. Try to be responsible for yourself, Do Not Depend. And this is very sad, because not all of us have to opportunity to choose this way of life.

Let me explain,

I decided that my Earth Day resolution is to go back to my land and live by the most natural principles I know. Today, early this morning everything got finally very clear…not easy, just clear. Today I decided that I will ask my wife to leave Los Angeles and all the associated glitter, and trade it all in for a life in Tuscany, with a vegetable garden, a few animals, the olive threes….and some good work to do, finally fix our house. We will trade our two cars for one small car, a goat and a cow!

You might have read before in these pages about our little pink house in Tuscany, and “our dream” of moving there…well, for me the dreaming is over as of now, it is time to roll up my sleeves, pack my family and ship our lives on the hills of Florence. My children need to know. They need to grow in respect of our earth, our first and final resource. I have been privileged and lucky enough to have a visionary grandfather, that invested everything he had in land and olive trees… Now all that is available for me and my family. It will require years of sweat and hard work, a lot of sacrifice on everybody’s part. But really, when the mud will finally hit the fan, where do I want my family to be?

Me, I want to make sure they have a solid roof over their head, fresh food daily and “energy” available throughout the year…no matter what what!