With Earth Day fast approaching, now is the time to start incorporating some eco-friendly ideas into your everyday life. In my search for fun ideas I came across several great ways to not only celebrate Earth Day, but keep the eco-friendly ideas going throughout the year.
- Plant a tree
- Clean up a park, lake, trail, river, beach, or other natural site
- Go for a walk
- Plant a garden
- Start a compost pile
- Make an indoor herb garden
- Implement a recycling system, or ensure that your current system is the best it can be
- Pay bills online
- Stop paper bills and bank statements
- Limit your water usage
- Reduce energy consumption
- Lower your water-heater temperature to save energy
- Visit a farmers’ market
- When shopping, bring your own reusable bags
- Ditch the plastic water bottles and use a reusable bottle instead
- Bring your own coffee mug when visiting a coffee shop
- Check your home for water leaks
- Plan a vegetarian meal once a week
- Skip the baths and take a shower
- Take a shorter shower
- Adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and one degree lower in the winter to save energy
- Eliminate excess junk mail by removing yourself from unnecessary lists
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Wash laundry in cold or warm water
- Have a picnic
However you decide to spend Earth Day, be sure to try to lessen your impact on the planet by changing one thing you do. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature!
Released in 2007, The Story of Stuff takes a closer look at the linear pattern of our economy. From our constant reaping of the planet’s finite resources to the addition of toxic chemicals to our products and our overwhelming transition to identifying ourselves as consumers, this unsustainable system cannot and will not last forever.
This video illustrates the current flow of our economy and the role that government, corporations, and individual consumers play in the “big picture.” It points out the problems with our current linear model, and the possibility of change to a more cyclical model based on people coming together to make a difference.
To learn more about The Story of Stuff Project or see more videos, visit http://storyofstuff.org/
The hot summer weather is here and it is creating a drought, making water conservation a must. This year California businesses and residents were asked to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent to help save water. There are hundreds of things that you can do to help conserve water. Here are a few ideas that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life.
- Minimize the number of dishes used throughout the day by designating a drinking glass for yourself. This eliminates the need to wash multiple cups.
- When serving dinner, serve right out of the pots and pans, as this will eliminate additional dishes.
- Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of using running water from the tap.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold water.
- Dishwashers can use less water than hand washing, especially new energy-efficient models.
- Collect water used for cleaning fruits and vegetables, drained from pasta, etc. to water your plants.
- When doing laundry, wash in cold water, as it saves water and energy while helping clothes keep their color.
- Also, when doing laundry be sure to match the water level with the size of the load.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and save up to 150 gallons per month. If your whole family did this, imagine how much water your house could save!
- Aim for 5-minute showers and you can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per year.
- Skip the baths, as a full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water.
- Turn off the water as you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
- Be sure to check all faucets for leaks, as one drip every second can add up to 5 gallons per day! Also check all pipes, hoses, toilets, and faucets inside and out for leaks.
- Run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full. This can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- In your yard, be sure to plant species that are native to your area, as they require less maintenance to flourish.
- Start a compost pile or bin. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
- Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs to be watered.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, and driveways, and save water every time!
- When washing your car, use commercial car washes that recycle water. When washing your car at home, be sure to turn the water on only when rinsing.
Try to incorporate as many of these as you can, and see what a difference a few little changes can make to reduce the amount of water you use.