Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

If there is a day during the year when we should all take a look at the impact we have on the Earth it's today.
Here are a few things to ask yourself and a few answers:
1. Do you know how many plastic bags are used and disposed of each year by
2. Do you know how many plastic water bottles are thrown away each year?
3. Do you know what you can do to decrease that number?
STOP USING PLASTIC BAGS AND STOP BUYING WATER IN A BOTTLE. There are so many options instead of having your groceries packed in plastic bags, try reusing paper bags, buy bags made from recycled materials and keep them in the trunk of your car. Only buying a few items? Carry them! Get a reusable water bottle made out of steel such as Thermos or Klean Kanteen. When you are hosting a meeting or throwing a party
don't buy plastic water bottles!
4. Are you leaving your electronic appliances plugged in when you are not using them?
WHY? Unplug that coffee pot, toaster, television, washer and dryer, cell phone charger, DVD player, etc. Even when an electrical device is turned off, if it is plugged in it is consuming phantom usage. So turn off everything you reasonably can.
5. Do you eat meat every day or more than 3 days a week?
MODERN MEAT PRODUCTION USES ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY AND CREATES GREENHOUSE GASES AND POLLUTES WATER SUPPLIES. Don't want to become a vegetarian, than even reducing your meat intake 1 day a week will make a difference.

In the past couple of years I've made some small but important changes in my household. It's been 112 days since I've allowed plastic bags into my home. I reuse paper bags, recyclable cloth grocery bags and my Reisenthel bags (see link under the things I can't live without)for all my groceries, produce from farmers markets, items from department stores and Target etc. Sure it drives my family a little crazy but if they don't want to tote a bag into the store I tell them they can only get what they can carry. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing someone at the Walgreens or Target who is getting 1 or 2 items and allows the cashier to throw them in a plastic bag. Really? You can't carry that bottle of Coke or prescription out with you?
Anything I can unplug in my household I also pull after use. Hairdryer, lamps, kettle, toaster, cellphone charger, wash and dryer, unused televisions etc. I keep my nightstand clocks plugged in and my flat screen tv (the plugs are behind heavy furniture) but I'm trying to find an alternative to even turn those off (battery operated clocks and using power strips are an option I am considering).
Each year I increase what I grow for my family to eat. If you don't have the space for a garden then grab a couple of pots or even recycle jelly or spaghetti sauce jars and grow your own herbs in a window. There is nothing like fresh basil, chives and rosemary!
In the spirit of Earth Day, take a couple of small steps and make a difference.

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