Mark your calendars for Earth Day next Tuesday, April 22, a day to commemorate the earth, celebrate green acts, raise awareness and work towards a more sustainable future. If you read my blog regularly, I imagine you already practice green acts. Earth Day is a good time to commit to adding new green habits.
What else can you do?
- Adopt “meatless Mondays”. The meat industry is responsible for nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
- Spring is a good time to start composting your kitchen waste. This time next year your compost pile will have turned into dark, rich compost with which to pot your spring plants or to spread on trouble spots on your lawn. By contrast, when food goes into the landfill, it rots and emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
- In addition to your reusable water bottle, bring along a reusable mug when you buy a coffee or tea (Many coffee shops charge you a reduced price when you do so.) Paper cups are less toxic than polystyrene cups, but they still use a significant amount of resources. Twenty million trees (a renewable resource) are cut down annually to manufacture paper cups, most of which are coated with a fossil fuel-derived plastic, and 8,095 gallons of water are used to make 10,000 paper cups with sleeves.
- Think about the amount of electricity you use every day – the coffee maker, blender, hair dryer, hair straightener, electric toothbrush, iron, computer, printer, tv, air conditioning, lights, etc. Try and reduce your usage by unplugging your appliances when not in use; consider power strips to help control vampire energy. Encourage your family and friends to do the same.
- Test drive a hybrid or electric car when you are next in the market for a new car. I drive an electric car and feel so good driving my carbon emission free car and love not paying those high gas prices! (It doesn’t significantly increase your electricity bill.)
- Start an Earth Dinner tradition serving local, organic foods, using real cutlery and cloth napkins, and eating by candlelight to save energy. Find out who grew your food and the history of the recipes you are cooking from. Connecting to your food makes the experience more meaningful. Of course you will be washing your dishes with non-toxic detergent, right?
With every passing year, I notice greener living becoming the new way of life. That’s encouraging!
Want to know your ecological footprint? Click here to find out (and how to reduce it).
Some information compiled from earthday.org.