You know when you have one of those never-ending dreams, that finally awakens you with a start? And you wonder, where the heck did that come from?!? Last night my dreams were filled with images of the end of the world. People banding together to channel the finite resources to those who needed it most. Slowly watching as the natural landscape dwindled, until the day turned to night, the earth slowly faded to black and gently spiraled away into the universe. It wasn’t violent or apocalyptic, just very sad to say goodbye to glorious Mother Earth.
Then the dog jumped on the bed and woke me up-first time I was happy to have her smiling face staring at me at 5am! My final thought before I was so rudely roused from my sleep was, ”I have to do more to save our planet, I want to make a difference.” Upon awakening, my first thought was, “No more pepperoni pizza before bedtime…”
So I found this great article from Wire and Twine: “50 Ways to Help the Planet”. It is filled with simple ideas that will preserve our finite resources, make us healthier and happier and keep Mother Earth spinning for the next millenium.
A few of my favorites, simple and effective:
1. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT
If every household in the United State replaced one regular lightbulb with one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.
2.TURN OFF COMPUTERS AT NIGHT (I am sooo guilty of this one!)
By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14 per year. If you don’t want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work, or boot up while you’re pouring your morning cup ‘o joe.
4.RECYCLE GLASS, PAPER, ALUMINUM, PLASTIC
Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. If it isn’t recycled it can take a million years to decompose. Twenty recycled aluminium cans can be made with the energy it takes to manufacture one brand new one. Every ton of glass recycled saves the equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make glass from virgin materials.
5.WASH IN COLD OR WARM If all the households in the U.S. switched from hot-hot cycle to warm-cold, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day. Only launder when you have a full load.
6.USE ONE LESS PAPER NAPKIN- OR USE CLOTH!
During an average year, an American uses approximately 2,200 napkins—around six each day. If everyone in the U.S. used one less napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year. Same goes for paper towels. I have started using my cloth dish towels to clean the countertops with vinegar and water- not always, but I am making an effort. Switching to cloth will save a bundle! And you can do such creative things : )
You can reuse gift bags, bows and event paper, but you can also make something unique by using old maps, cloth or even newspaper. Flip a paper grocery bag inside out and give your child stamps or markers to create their own wrapping paper that’s environmentally friendly and extra special for the recipient.
8.SAVING WATER: BRUSH WITHOUT RUNNING & TAKE A SHORTER SHOWER
You’ll conserve up to five gallons per day if you stop the running water while you brush. Daily savings in the U.S. alone could add up to 1.5 billion gallons–more water than folks use in the Big Apple. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water. If everyone in the country saved just one gallon from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from the Great Lakes every day
9.SECOND-HAND DOESN’T MEAN SECOND-BEST
Consider buying items from a second-hand store. Clothing. Toys. Furniture. Second hand stores often sell these items in excellent condition, or sometimes requiring a bit of TLC. A little elbow grease goes a long way towards saving our resources! So much fun to refurbish, recycle, re-love an old piece of furniture.
10.RECYCLE OLD CELL PHONES
The average cell phone lasts around 18 months, which means 130 million phones will be retired each year. If they go into landfills, the phones and their batteries introduce toxic substances into our environment. There are plenty of reputable programs, like Cell Phones for Soldiers where you can recycle your phone, many which benefit noble causes.
For loads of other great planet-saving ideas, go to The Mother Earth News. And remember to follow the Three R’s: Re-Cycle, Re-Purpose, Re-Love. Pledge to make every day Earth Day. Hope you have a great weekend, and don’t forget to turn off your computers when you leave your office Susan