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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Its EARTH DAY!!

So I think I will write this post in green...

Do YOU live green? Do you know how to do it, and do you understand the huge effects of a few simple changes? Let's start with my favorite, and definitely the easiest thing to do. Reusable shopping bags. You can get these almost anywhere now. In America, we go through over a billion plastic bags every DAY. These bags clog the landfills, and never decompose. They are also made using petroleum, so cutting back would lower gas prices. Not one person reading this can claim that they wouldn't like to pay less for gas. Buy a few larger, sturdy shopping bags that will hold a ton more groceries, be easier to carry, and save the environment :) If you forget these bags, ask your store to use paper instead of plastic. One thing I do not like about Target is that there is not a paper bag option, but we did give out reusable bags on Sunday, and we give you 5 cents off your order for each reusable bag you use to bag your groceries. There are a couple of regions in the country that have outlawed plastic bags and Styrofoam take-out containers. Imagine the dramatic cut in waste if the entire country did this.
Use "green" cleaners and laundry soap. I personally like the Seventh Generation brand, they sell it at Target and Whole foods, and I promise it cleans everything just as well as chemical-filled cleaners. Everything we use to clean our kitchen, bathrooms, and our clothes will eventually end up back in our water supply. Maybe you don't think of this while you are scrubbing your sink, but that water goes back down through the sink, through the sewer system, and winds up back in our drinking water. Mmmmm, I bet it tastes good. And there is a side benefit to using these as well... they are safer for children and there are no awful fumes. Win :)
Buy a water bottle. Buy a travel coffee mug. Use these every day instead of buying bottled water and using a Styrofoam cup at the coffee place.
Stop buying single-serve portions. Packaging makes up one third of the garbage in landfills, so if you buy in bulk and portion them out into reusable containers, it will save on a ton of garbage.
Try to have one day a week be "meat-free" in your home. It is now a proven fact that the methane gas produced by farm animals is partly responsible for global warming. 9 billion animals are consumed in this country every year, and if everyone could make one day be meat free, this number would significantly reduce.
Buy organic. Organic produce is grown without the use of damaging pesticides and chemicals that filter into the soil and create poisonous conditions for wildlife. (Do you really want all that crap on your food anyway? And if the health risks aren't enough, did you know it is now proven that all these chemicals and pesticides make you FAT? I will explain this in a different post, but it's true, so think about that.)

This list is a list of things that I actually do, except for me, every day is meat free. Could I do better? Of course. I drive an SUV, and since I cannot afford a new car I will be keeping it around for a while. I love SUV's, but I will try to make sure my next one is more fuel efficient. I am known for leaving things plugged in, for leaving lights on, etc. I am working on this. The point is, if everyone made a few small changes in "greening" their lives, this planet will be around for longer, and will be a much better place for future generations.

Please let me know what you do to live green, I would love new ideas. Happy Earth Day everyone :)

5 comments:

Will Burke said...

Here in Ontario, they've started charging 5 cents a bag, and I've seen 3-4x more re-usable bags in use -- bravo!

Michelle Hoad said...

Amen, sister! Preaching to the choir.

Rachel said...

Will: Since Target started doing it, the use has gone WAY up. It makes me frustrated that if America just made certain, very small changes, (like banning plastic bags everywhere) we would be about a million times better off :(
Michelle: Your post was awesome too :)

WhisperingWriter said...

I admit, I'm not really green. I do try but I know I'll never be able to give up my Tide.

I do drive a hybrid though!

Kmama said...

Great list. My "green" goal for May is to get reusable bags.