Hadley (ewlyn) wrote,

Happy Earth Day!

So, I just realize it's Earth Day... which means you all get to read my annual post about things you can do to be green.  If you do nothing else today, please read this because each and everyone one of us is individually responsible for our planet.

They estimate that the first person to live to be 150 is in their 50's right now.

It's possible that if serious actions are not taken to get the climate under control and stop polluting our planet, our planet will not be able to sustain us and the population boom longer lives will cause.  As it is, parts of the world are already screwed. It is very scary.

So, if you're not all getting your act together and being green, here is a list to get you started:

1) Use eco-friendly products for both your home and your body.
- If you use it, please stop using bleach.  It's literally killing the planet. 
- Good old white vinegar and baking soda disinfect and work just as well... and cost almost nothing. 
- If you feel like you need something tougher, look for brands like Seventh Generation or Ecover which truly are eco-friendly.
- The Body Shoppe and Lush both sell environmental friendly bath and beauty products if you can't find them at a store near you.
- This also goes for dish and laundry detergent.

2) Be mindful of your electricity usage.
- Switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs if you have not already.
- Lower your thermostat in the winter and wear a sweater.  Even a few degrees makes a huge difference.
- The same goes for your A/C.  Your house doesn't need to be an ice box to feel cool.  Keeping it a little warmer make a huge difference.
- If possible, rely on ceiling fans or open windows in the evening to cool your house.  (That's what we do.)
- Turn off and/or unplug lights, televisions, appliances, etc. when not in use.  Did you know most chargers draw electricity even when they're not charging anything?  Same with things like your toaster.  Just because it's not in use doesn't mean it's not using electricity.
- Wash your laundry in cold water whenever possible.  They make detergent specifically for this which fights stains and odors just as well.
- When possible, air dry your clothes.
- Buy energy efficient items and appliances as you need to replace things.
3) Conserve water.
- Take shorter showers.
- Install low-flow shower heads and toilets if you haven't already.
- Don't plant a garden you need to water constantly.  Regional, drought resistant plants can be just as beautiful.
- Fix leaky faucets and running toilets ASAP.
4) Conserve gas/petrol.
- If you can walk there or bike there or take public transportation to get there or carpool... do it.  Carbon emissions are way out of control.  Ry and I have two small kids and we hoof it by foot or public transportation with them in tow whenever we possibly can. If we can do it then most of you have no excuse not to do it as well. 
- Make sure your vehicle is as fuel efficient as possible.  This includes changing the oil on time, etc and taking all the crap out of your trunk so you're traveling as lightly as possible.
- When it's time to get a new car, buy a hybrid or an economy car with good gas mileage.
5) Reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Buy a water filter and bring your water with you in a reusable bottle.  You'll save a small fortune.
- If you must buy a bottled drink, make sure the bottle gets recycled.  Don't just throw it out.
- Bring reusable shopping bags with you to the store.  Most stores offer a discount for this.
- Bring a reusable tumbler for your coffee.  Most coffee shops offer a discount for this.
- Recycle or compost everything you possible can.  This includes batteries, light  bulbs, old computers, etc.
- Give old clothing, books, household items, etc. to charity.  Only throw away what you absolutely cannot recycle or find a recipient for.
- Buy second hand or swap with friends.  Take advantage of freecycle.  Take advantage of borrowing from your local library.

6) Think about what you eat.
- Buy local when possible.
- Avoid processed food with lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives.
- If you eat meat, try to go vegetarian at least one meal a week.
- Buy humanely treated, locally raised, organic meat, eggs, and dairy when possible.
- If you eat sea food, be especially thoughtful about what you eat and how it might be effecting our oceans.

To learn more and to get more ideas, please take some time and visit these links:

World Watch List
365 Ways to be Green
Planet Green List
Got2BeGreen Site
How to Go Green @ Treehugger.com
The Green Guide @ National Geographic
Leonardo DiCaprio's Eco-Site (which has been up since before this was a hot topic)
Find out how much carbon you create and how to lower it.

Be productive peeps.  Make me proud.  Remember that eletricity, our various modes of transportation, running water, refridgerated food, clean water, etc. are all luxuries.  They're not privledges.  It is up to each of us to be responsible for our actions and our planets.

If you are not already being responsible, today is our 40th Earth Day.  Even if you only start by doing one of the things listed above, there are almost seven billion humans on this planet.  Think of the changes which could be made if even just a fraction of them did one thing on this list.

I'll end this post with some food for thought: a plastic bottle takes approximately 450-1000 YEARS to decompose.  In America alone, 2.8 BILLION plastic bottles were recycled in 2008... but that is estimated to only be 27% of the bottle purchased... so just from the year before last we have put enough plastic bottles in our land fills that it will take approx. a combination of 37,800,000,000,000 years - if they only take 450 years each - to decompose.  This is ONE year worth in the US.  Seriously, if you do nothing else, either recycle your bottle or buy a reusable one.

And now I am off my soap box.
Tags: go green

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