Tuesday, April 22, 2008

EARTH & HEART = anagram

"The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the problem." --- Albert Einstein

Thoughts of Earth Day flood my mind.

Change. Choices. Eco. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Activism. Co-op. Vegan. Global Warming. Phantom. Greendimes. Refashion. CSA. Xeriscape. Composting. Organic. Local. Sustainable. Carbon Footprint.

One thing is for sure.... Being Green is in! People are recognizing that the best chance for a healthy environment is through the everyday efforts of many people rather then the Herculean efforts of a few.

There are lots of ways to Go Green!

REDUCE ~~ Learning to do more with less can be a rewarding and challenging goal. Recently, my neighbor and her friends challenged each other to not buy anything brand-new for 6 months (other than food and basic essentials). She learned to take a moment and consider each purchase and ask: Do I really need this? Can it be reused? Can it be recycled? Can it be bought used? Can I borrow it instead? My neighbor didn't win the competition, but she did save lots of money and felt empowered by not purchasing potential junk. And by telling me her story, it rubbed off on me a little and I began scrutinizing my own purchases. (Talk about the good stuff you're doing to reap the ripple effect!)

REUSE ~~ Take your own canvas bags to the grocery store, keep them in your car, and be proud of them. Stock your kitchen and dining room with cotton rags and cloth napkins instead of paper towels and disposable napkins. Reuse envelopes to send notes to school. Reuse those fancy glass & plastic containers things come in.

RECYCLE ~~ Everything you can to save valuable resources from being wasted, and keep them out of landfills.

WATER ~~ Many of us think of water as an infinite resource, and it seems that way when the faucet is on, but the truth is that water is an increasingly limited resource. Try capturing water from the faucet while you wait for it to warm up and use it to water the plants. Use non-toxic soaps and detergents. Sweep - don't hose down driveways and patios. Refill reusable bottles with filtered water rather than buying bottled water (I want a Sigg!). Eat less meat - producing a 1/4 lb. beef patty requires as much as 2,900 gallons of water, according to Cornell University.

AT HOME ~~ Turn off lights, and replace them with energy efficient compact florescent bulbs. My friend, Wendy, has inspired me to turn down the thermostat and wear slippers and housecoat. I want to unplug & hook up all the devices such as computers, televisions, stereos, coffeemakers and phone chargers to power strips to easily turn them off when not in use to prevent vampire power drain.

Truth is, there are several things on my Green To-Do List. Bicycle more. Trade in for a Prius (or at least something more efficient). Capture rainwater from the gutters. Install solar panels. Plant xeriscape plants and replace grass. Use a clothesline to dry the clothes. The list could go on and on...

It's easy to feel overwhelmed, powerless, and even skeptical that the efforts of any one person will impact the world's environment. Just remember the message in Dr. Seuss's 'Horton Hears a Who.' It cannot be denied that the greater the number of people who resonate with an idea, the greater the impact. That's why the green movement momentum offers so much hope this Earth Day!

What are your Green Goals this Earth Day?

16 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

FABULOUS, inspiring post, Vicki!!

My Green Goals for Earth Day are to reduce the amount of time that the faucet is on, to reserve more water; and to CONTINUE reusing my own grocery bags, recycling, etc. (I've made a lot of progress!)

Happy Earth Day!!

Catherine said...

Happy Earth Day, Vicki! I'm so glad you posted your Earth Day goals, too! I have a big plan this year: I'm going to really stick it to junk mail this year, finish the CF lightbulb replacement job, buy an auto-switching power strip for my computer, conserve water (flushing less and taking shorter showers,) and do a ton of little things (carbon-offset my air travel, encourage my work to purchase soy-based crayons, refuse ATM receipts for withdrawls, buy Dan a luggage tag so he stops using the paper ones at the airport, make sure all of my cooking oil goes in the garbage and not down the drain, and switch to 100% beeswax or soy candles.)

Johanna3 said...

I do pretty well , but i need to be more strict in washing and reusing my plastic bags. I also want to make my family use more cloth napkins and rags, i like them but my husband love paper towels!!

kaivegan said...

Very inspiring post, Vicki!

We have made quite a few changes in the last few months, too. One of our favorite is abandoning the dryer for the retractable clothesline and drying rack. Now, the kids love to help with laundry! We've also committed to not buying anymore household paper products. (Also feminine products for me. TMI?)

About the Sigg, I got the kids their own bottles, since they wouldn't stop drinking from mine, (and call it an investment!) and I noticed they have been drinking more water now. They also take them (in the crocheted bottle carrier I made for them) wherever they go, so we never ever have to buy bottled beverages out.

And yes, isn't it cool that at least being GREEN is in? It is contagious.

Sanjiv said...

GreenDimes here,

Thanks for spreading the word. i see that it's working...

I'll take a shot in the dark here, but I think you like flowers :)

Happy Earth Day

Theresa said...

What a great post, Vicki! My goal is to continue on the Reducing front--buying less stuff! Making more from scratch to reduce packaging. We've also just got a worm composter, which I think falls under the recycling category... so I'm doing that too!

Veg*n Mom said...

Love both of your Earth Day posts, Vicki. Great as always.

On Earth Day I ordered seeds for a vegetable garden along with a kitchen herb garden. I'm also going to try to grow and mill my own grain (we'll see - may be too ambitious for this climate), and am going to start composting as well.

Cheers,
Katy

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Terrific post!

I'm trying to recycle more, bring my own bags to grocery shop, and ride my bike more and use less electricity.

Regina said...

Happy Earth Day (a little late). You Rock!!!

Jennie said...

Great post! I have also been trying to reduce and reuse. I bought cloth napkins to cut down on our household paper waste and the paper products I do use are made from recycled materials. We have been trying to keep the lights turned off as much as possible to conserve energy and just being more aware of all the water and electricity we do use. I love that going green is mainstream now. I went to Old Navy the other day and most of their printed T's have earth friendly messages. I picked up a couple so I can help spread the word!

"Green is the new Black"

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