Happy Earth Day - How Do You Do It?
Posted 22 April 2008 - 01:02 PM
Does your work place contribute?
For example, I work from home = no commute, saves on gas. There are other side benefits, such as being here when the kids get home from school, being able to get them to their sports activities which are often held just after school, helping with homework and otherwise being "mission control" from home rather than stressing about missing kids or not being an involved parent, which I did when I worked outside home.
We grow our veggies and herbs.
The community has several free recycle centers, which we are big into.
The light bulbs were switched over to the squiggly ones a few years back.
Have an economy car. My car, the SUV, is the one that fits us all and the dog, but stays home the most.
All the junk mail is burned in the wood stove in my office, rather than contributing to the trash.
We don't subscribe to newspapers. Read online instead.
These are some ideas...what do you do or do you have new ideas to share?
Posted 22 April 2008 - 03:45 PM
Here are a few more.
1) Vinegar and baking soda will clean almost anything in your home. Windows, bathroom, stove, fridge...you name it. These 2 non-toxic ingredients and natural soap (not detergent!) do the job without poisoning the planet.
2) Baking soda makes a great toothpaste and lacks carcinogenic saccharides and SLS that are really bad for you, but are in most toothpastes. Just a sprinkle of baking soda on your toothbrush will get you teeth incredibly clean. And, if you miss that minty taste, grow a little mint plant and simply take a leaf and chew.
3) Eat organic - There is more than enough evidence now to link habitat destruction, wildlife devastation and human fatality to pesticide use. The U.S. is responsible for 20% of the world's pesticide use. This addiction to toxins began after WWII when profiteers tried to find a use for all the war chemicals they'd been creating. Prior to that, humans had farmed for thousands of years and all food was organic.
4) Eat local - decrease gas used in shipping by buying from local farmers. Or, better still, grow your own food!
5) Go vegan - U.S. meat and dairy industries hog the world's grain supply and fill our atmosphere with seriously bad stuff that is a main contributor to global warming. A vegan diet in the U.S. could literally end world hunger and save our planet.
Happy Earth Day, all!
Posted 22 April 2008 - 05:11 PM
I go human powered where possible.
I now walk to the grocery store most of the time. For both practical and selfish reasons, I found a place to live that is up against a greenbelt, on a dead end road, a few level blocks from groceries. For me, getting into middle age means a daily awareness that more exercise will keep me alive longer. The environmental benefit has been a nice added virtue.
I use a push mower on my lawn. I hate-love it, AND, every time I use it on my little lawn instead of a gas mower, I don't make the equivalent of a 50 mile drive worth of air pollution. I also get to burn a few calories and yack with my neighbors. Neighbors don't talk to you over the noise of a gas mower, but even after two years they're still coming out to wonder why I'm using a push mower. :-)
The last time a hair dryer gave up the ghost I didn't replace it. Choice: make and pay for pollution vs time to dry and brush. No brainer.
Wear more layers indoors in cold weather. Another hate-love: I hate being cold. One side effect of working at home is heating the house for myself, as opposed to heating an office for several people. Electricity is interesting. When I was little we kept electricity use low because the older houses were not wired for heavy loads and would blow fuses, and thrifty was also nice. Today I see environmental applications for wherever I also do thrifty. It fits.
I recycle and re-use.
I bring my own grocery bags.
I sew, a little. Old Tshirts are becoming a cool rag rug for my bathroom. Old sweatshirts and other bits are sewn together between a layer of old flannel sheets, becoming a "blanket" that is buttoned to the inside of a duvet cover.
I compost kitchen waste. I started before I had a place in the yard, by layering peels, etc., into the bottom half of large planter pots. With care, shallow-rooted annuals like spinach and even peppers can be grow in the top layer. After a year, the contents can usually be turned out and used as fresh dirt.
Posted 22 April 2008 - 06:39 PM
Here's one you don't hear too often. When you brush your teeth, is the tap running? Measured it once. That is a lot when a million people do it.
I use CFL bulbs too but that's a disaster waiting to happen. (mercury)
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