As most of you probably already know, it’s Earth Day! A day to say thanks to the planet that protects and preserves us, by protecting and preserving it. So save your trash for recycling, support an organic farm and eat an organic apple, hug a tree, take a deep breath of the fresh air we so often take for granted, and give thanks!
But how is the rest of the nation celebrating Earth Day? Well for one, the new climate change legislation that is being worked through Congress is the biggest political advocate for a greener future. If you haven’t heard of, or you are unfamiliar with this 1500 page bill (I don’t know many people with the time or desire to sludge through the text), it essentially gives incentives to companies that are cutting down on their carbon emissions. To learn more about it, check out this blog, http://generationbinary.com/wordpress/?p=28. He is an up and coming presence on the blogosphere and seems to know what he’s talking about considering he’s read the bill cover to cover. The stipulations that are most important though, are;
* Put America back to work
* Transition the U.S. to clean, affordable energy
* Make us safer as we lessen our dependence on foreign oil
* Help America regain the mantle of leadership as the international community negotiates a global climate treaty later this year
Climate Change Legislation said, what else can we do to celebrate Earth Day? Well there is another soap box that I would like to mount, and that is the issue of bottled water. Just stop buying it! America is one of the most fortunate nations in the world in that we ALL enjoy the luxury of clean drinking water! And it’s right out of the tap. Yet we waste millions of dollars and millions of pounds of plastic (that most don’t even recycle but trash rather) every year. In fact, some studies show that bottled water might not necessarily be any better or safer than tap water! The regulations applied to city tap water for example, are often more rigorous than regulations applied to a water bottling plant. To read more, check this out; http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/nbw.asp. So invest $10-$20 in an aluminum bottle, and if it makes you feel better a Britta water filter, and be on your merry way.
That being said, a few, easy suggestions of how you and your family can ‘go green’ and show your love to mother nature.
- Set your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter
- Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs
- Wash your laundry in cold water (85% of the energy to machine wash clothing goes to heating the water)
- Use a drying rack or clothes line instead of a dryer, give your clothes to fresh air and they’ll smell great!
- Install a low flow shower head and take shorter showers, this will save water and green when you see your next water bill
- Walk or bike to work, save gas and get some exercise!
- Eat a vegetarian meal once or twice a week, your body and your wallet will thank you I promise
- BUY LOCAL! Ever heard of the 100 mile diet? Check it out, http://www.100milechallenge.com/about.html
- Again, don’t buy bottled water and cut out container and cash waste
- Buy things secondhand, craigslist, amazon, ebay, they are a shopper’s best friend
- Borrow instead of buying. Go to the library instead of Borders, borrow a friend’s power tools or share a set, think of something you hardly ever use, isn’t it better to share the cost?
- DON”T throw away electronics, recycle them!
- Make your own cleaning products, they will be non toxic and just as effective. All you need are these four ingredients: baking soda, vinegar, lemon and soap:)
So happy earth day everyone, I hope it’s a great one. It’s beautiful and sunny here in Charleston, my hope is that it’s a beautiful day for you wherever you’re reading from. And remember to love our mother Earth!