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I've Done Horrible Things: My Confession

I haven't always been environmentally conscious. Between not knowing and not caring, I've done some pretty horrible stuff to our planet over the years. Dumping stuff in places they didn't belong, burning things and releasing harsh chemicals into the atmosphere, and even worse - tossing stuff in our oceans. 🙈

Yeah, I know. I'm a literal (and figurative) dumpster fire. Slaps hand. Bad, Joe, bad!

Photo by Amanda Mueller as seen in the Riverfront Times.

Looking back, I feel terrible. Most of those things were done when I was a kid or during my time the Army when, like I said, I either didn't know better or didn't care. No excuses though.

Ironically, my time in the service was when I also learned the most about being eco-friendly too. More on that later.

But, while we were deployed, we always abided by the host countries environmental standards; and many times, there wasn't any.Wait, what?

Yeah, many countries don't have environmental standards like we do, or they aren't nearly as stringent or enforced. I remember Iraq smelling like a mix of burning oil and tires. Stung the nostrils.

Ahhh. Memories.

Anyways, when we were in a country where that was the case, we did what was most field expedient or logistically necessary. Usually that meant burying, burning, or both. We didn't have much of a choice with the resources available. Stateside we'd do a lot to ensure we weren't polluting; ten times more in my experience than any commercial or industrial company that I worked for after I got out. The smallest of oil spills were dealt with quickly and absorbent materials were contained and processed -- not thrown in the trash defeating the purpose cleaning it up in the first place. It was the complete polar opposite of how we dealt with things in other countries. We have it pretty good in the United States, comparatively. The problem is, we're just a small portion of the rest of the world.

After I got out of the Army, I began to learn even more about our environmental impact and how our culture and way of life has been effecting the planet. I'm not judging. Like I said, I've done some pretty horrible things. But, now I've made it my mission to do better and help others do the same.

I look forward to documenting this journey through this blog and I hope we can learn something a long the way, and maybe be entertained at the same time.

Remember, just because we've always done things a certain way, doesn't mean we can't change. It takes just one little thing at a time.

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