Do you know that if each of us adopted just one new "green" habit, what an impact it would have on the environment? It would be greater than if one person does a dozen things, not that we shouldn't aim to change as many as possible habits to "green ones." What about if we each did two or three? The impact could be amazing. Of course, we need to pressure big manufacturers, etc. It can be done.
What follows is a collection of articles, ideas and cartoons about thinking green, living green. Or if you don't care to peruse this post, just google "Earth Day," and chose your own.
Here are some things I do already:
- I take my own cloth bags shopping. I'll confess, I sometimes fail to put them back in the car and beat myself up when I bring home the store bags. But I recycle those, too, using them for storage here at home, giving them to places who recycle them, using them over and over. I decline a shopping bag when I but just one or two thing such as milk or bread.
- My vet uses little cardboard "six pack" carriers for canned food. I kept two from almost a year ago, and I use these to carry new supplies home.
- For food storage I avoid disposable items as much as possible. I use my own containers, not plastic bags.
- When I get in the car to go anywhere (and that is almost anywhere except for a nature walk in my neighborhood), I think about how many errands I can accomplish with one trip, and I plan my route so that it is as efficient as possible.
- When possible, I carpool with others. Since this community is largely rural, we each drive to a central place, leave all but one car in a parking lot, and go "into town" in just one care with a path choreographed to save gas.
- I purchased new appliances when I moved in this house a year ago, and I made sure they are all high efficiency, using less water, less power, less detergent, etc. I didn't realize that powdered detergent was more efficient until recently, so I will be trading my HE liquid for HE powdered as soon as this is gone.
- I air dry laundry as much as possible.
- I do not leave the water running when I brush my teeth.
- I'm planning to plant some herbs and tomatoes in planters. My soil is too rocky to effectively plant much more in the yard, but I will enjoy having some of these from planters on my deck.
- When I add some plant life, I pick as much indigenous flora as I can find. As soon as the wind slows down enough that I can do so, I will be planting wildflowers. I bought almost two pounds of seed that as types that will do well with little extra care and watering.
So what are you planning to change in your living habits to protect and improve the environment?
Enjoy the following!
Nature.org Earth Day Site
Earth Day Trivia Quiz
EARTH DAY: Tips that can help environment, save money
by Gazette Staff Tuesday April 22, 2008, 8:18 AM
Twice as Nice
There are some aspects of our lifestyles that we can easily change that not only are good for the earth, they have other benefits: they're good for our pocketbooks or other aspects of our lives. Here are five changes you can make that will be both good for the earth and for you.
Buying powdered instead of liquid laundry detergent
Making your own laundry detergent
ALSO: Hang your clothes out to dry this summer instead of using a dryer.
SAVES THE EARTH: Powdered detergent is easier to rinse away than liquid and is more efficient for your washing machine, making for less energy used and cleaner water.
SAVES YOU: A lot of money. Making your own detergent is more cost-effective than buying it. Find recipes for both liquid and powder homemade detergents with a simple Google search for "detergent recipes." Save on your energy bill by not running the dryer in nice weather and hanging clothes out to dry instead. Another bonus: They usually smell great. Check out www.laundrylist.org, a site devoted to air-drying clothes, for more information.
Planting a vegetable garden this summer
SAVES THE EARTH: You'll get food directly from your porch or back yard that ordinarily would be transported to your nearest supermarket using fuel.
SAVES YOU: Money -- Food prices are rising by the day. Vegetable and herb seeds are only a couple dollars for a whole summer's supply of each. If you replace part of your lawn with a garden, you'll also save lawn-care time and lawnmower fuel.
Using cleaning products with natural, non-toxic ingredients in your home.
SAVES THE EARTH: Using non-toxic cleansers means less hazardous materials make it into the water and into landfills.
SAVES YOU: For households with children, using non-toxic products on surfaces is safer and healthier. Making your own cleansers from ingredients like vinegar and baking soda is much cheaper than buying a pre-made product as well. (Check out www.vinegartips.com for more ideas).
Bringing a reusable cloth bag to the store instead of taking paper or plastic bags at the checkout.
OR TRY: Re-using your plastic store bags as garbage bags for the small garbage cans in your home, rather than buying separate garbage bags.
SAVES THE EARTH: less plastic in a landfill, saves recycling costs, production costs and emissions used to make paper and plastic bags, prevents litter.
SAVES YOU: money (some stores give a discount for bringing your own bag), the annoyance of having too many plastic bags in your cabinets and closets; your groceries shifting and rolling out of their plastic bags in the car as you drive home from the store.
Instead of driving, walk or ride a bike for short trips around the neighborhood.
SAVES THE EARTH:
Using foot power for short trips means less carbon emissions from your car.
SAVES YOU: Gas money, and you can burn a few extra calories.
If you didn't see them already, the cartoonists were on the band wagon today, too!