You can celebrate our incredible planet by making a change in your daily life that will lessen, even if just a little, humanity’s burden on the planet.
I have put together a list of 10 things you can incorporate into your daily life for greener living. I invite you to choose one or two and commit to them.
Please think positive. It’s better for Mother Earth–and for you–to make one or two lasting positive changes than to beat yourself up for all the things you’re not doing for the planet.
1) Buy in bulk whenever possible. You’ll cut down on packaging and may save money as well. Go even greener by bringing your own plastic bags for the nuts, grains, or whatever you’re purchasing in bulk.
2) Suggest to your employer that s/he can take a step toward a healthier planet by making it possible for you and your fellow employees to work at home from time to time. Even just a day at home every month will reduce carbon emissions associated with commuting. And once a month could later become once a week. While some jobs probably cannot be done at home, most probably can, at least from time to time.
3) If styrofoam cups are the norm for coffee drinkers at your workplace, bring in your own ceramic mug. You might even bring in a few extras that you don’t need at home and encourage your co-workers to do the same. That way visitors to your workplace can also drink out of reusable containers. Saying no to styrofoam (polystyrene) matters because its manufacture is harmful to the environment and difficult to recycle.
4) If you have an old cell phone that you no longer use, or batteries that you’re ready to get rid of, recycle them. Find the nearest recycling drop-off site by calling 1-800-822-8837.
5) Grow some of your own food. You will be making a dent, even if a tiny one, in the fuel-intensive food distribution system. If you’re not a gardener, then start small. Even a couple of tomato plants in a sunny spot are a good start. My friend Gail who grew two tomato plants last year inspired me, saying she got “a ridiculous amount of pleasure” out of the tomatoes produced by her two plants. There’s nothing like home-grown tomatoes!
6) If you are pregnant or planning to be, a decision to breastfeed will be better for the earth as well as for your baby, than formula. When you nurse your baby, you can bypass all the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping associated with formula. And you’ll save money besides.
7) Save water in the kitchen. Instead of rinsing dishes before loading them in the dishwasher, keep a bowl in the sink to catch the water that’s unused when you turn on the faucet for kitchen activities. Then rinse dishes in your bowl of water before loading them into the dishwasher. And refrain from running your dishwasher until it’s really full.
8) Revive the timeless art of sharing. Major household items that aren’t used on a daily basis, like a lawn mower or an upholstery cleaner, can easily be shared. Propose to a neighbor or two that you buy certain items together and use them as needed. You’ll save on money and storage space, and there will be a little less ’stuff’ in the world.
9) Buy and sell used. Whether it’s furniture, appliances, dishes, or just about any other household item, you can find practically anything you need on Craigslist (www.Craigslist.com). By the same token, you can likely make a little money on items you no longer need by advertising them on Craigslist.
10) Most commercial poultry ‘farms’ make a big carbon footprint. And they are extremely cruel to chickens. Most of the birds spend their lives confined in cages so small that they can never spread their wings. If you live near anyone who sells eggs from free-ranging chickens, that’s the place to buy your eggs. If not, speak to the manager next time you’re in the grocery store, and ask him/her to begin stocking eggs from free-ranging birds. Some grocers are already doing this because they know that many consumers are willing to pay a little more for such eggs.
Happy Earth Day! Enjoy celebrating it by adopting one or two more earth-friendly habits!–April Moore