Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Love Your Mother
Lucky for Mother Earth, she is very "in" right now. When I took my girls shopping the other day I noticed how popular she, and her good friend "Peace" were on t-shirts, sweatpants, the backs of short-shorts, and every accessory known to teen-kind. While I know this is not much more than a fashion trend, I can't help getting excited because I know that any press is good press. The more people are bombarded by images of Earth, nature, green, peace, the more we will benefit, both locally and globally.
In fact, all this buzz about going green has gotten me to examine my life to see if I could be doing things a little more eco-friendly. And you know what? I found that by tweaking a few small things here and there, I can make a difference. It's a minuscule difference, given that I'm one of about 6 billion people in the world, but it's a difference nonetheless. And if the 2.3 people who read this blog can also make a small change, well then I've done something here, haven't I?
With that in mind, here is a short list of simple things you can do to make this world a more habitable, sustainable, everyone-hold-hands-and-sing-kumbaya - able kinda place:
Do Something Drastic, Cut the Plastic
Buy yourself a bunch of those canvas bags and keep them in the trunk of your car. Whenever you go shopping use these in place of the plastic grocery bags for bagging your food. Keep one or two folded up in your purse for times when you run into a department store but forgot to bring your bags with you. I estimate that by using canvas instead of plastic, I will keep about 1000 plastic bags out of our landfills and oceans every year. If you want more info on how harmful plastic bags are to our world, check this out: http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=the-dangers-of-plastic-bags-do-something-drastic-cut-the-plastic-&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#
Just Say No To Disposable Plastic Water Bottles
About a year ago I decided I was throwing my money away buying plastic water bottles when I have water flowing like water from my kitchen tap. My hat is off to the guy that got the world to fall for that one. Not only is it a waste of money, but those bottles are a HUGE problem that won't go away. Remember all the trash that Wall-E had to clean up? That's what's coming if we keep piling water bottles in our landfills. Plus now they're saying the bottles have some kind of chemical that gives you some kind of cancer of some kind of organ, and who needs that? If you're thinking to yourself that you can't live without water bottles, go back in your mind to when you were a kid. What did you do when you got thirsty? Filled a glass at the tap? You can do that again, I promise. When I was a girl, I don't remember the streets being filled with people who dropped dead of dehydration. When we were thirsty, we got a glass of water, no big deal. For times when we're out at a sports activity or we're taking a roadtrip, I have bought water bottles from Wal-Mart that are dishwasher safe. That's right, they can be used more than once! You think your kids need to drink the bottles of vitamin water you buy them? Here's a thought, give them a vitamin and a glass of water. NO MORE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES!
Buy Fresh, Buy Local
By buying food that is in season and produced locally, not only do we support local farmers, but we cut back on how much food is transported by diesel-fed behemoths across the country. So wait till spring to eat your asparagus, and then buy it from a farmer's market or look for a "locally grown" section in your produce aisle. No need to be eating fresh asparagus in January that's been imported from Chile.
Reduce the amount of stuff you buy and clutter up your home with, because eventually you'll get tired of looking at it and want to throw it away (I'm talking about impulse purchases, not spouses).
Before you throw it away, ask yourself if it can be "repurposed". Ricotta cheese and Cool-Whip containers make great Tupperware. Old school worksheets can be cut into quarters and used as scratch paper for taking phone messages. Pause before you pitch and see if you can get creative.
Recycling. Just do it. Don't doom your cardboard, paper, glass and plastic to a life in the landfill. Give them new life by tossing them in your recycle bins. Who knows what they'll be reincarnated into?
Stop the Stuff
Remember when I said you eventually get tired of looking at the stuff you buy and it ends up in the trash? Wow. You were paying attention.
That's the problem with 'stuff'. We all have way too much of it and it ends up in a landfill because it's too small, too old, too last-year, too boring or broken. So first, stop buying so much crap for yourself, your house, your kids, because you just don't need it. Second, come gift-giving time, instead of buying stuff to give someone, consider some alternatives:
*A donation in their name to a charity like Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, Nothing But Nets, etc. There are a million good causes out there in desperate need of funds and there are countless gifts we have to give throughout the year. So let's kill two birds with one stone here.
*A gift of something to do out in the wide world such as gift cards to the movies or miniature golf, a family membership to a zoo or museum, a pottery class or pony rides.
Get up. Get out the door. Live life. Discover our world.
It's a good place.