Monday, April 19, 2010
Earth Day Every Day!
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!
The first (and I think, most important) step is to REDUCE!
The others are great! Reusing items is a great habit and recycling cuts down on the waste that lands in landfills. But if you can reduce the amount of waste you start with and reduce the amount of resources it takes to make new items, then you will have a larger impact. Unfortunately, we are in an age where more is better; everything has a cute single serve packaging and we are so busy that "to go" packaging is everywhere!
-Food packaging makes up to 20 percent of our solid waste
-The average American produces 4.6 pounds of trash a day!!!
-32 million acres of woodlands gets chopped down each year to make paper towels, paper cups, to go boxes (most things which we use for less than 5 minutes). DO we not want trees?
-Between San Fransisco and Hawaii, there is a floating trash island twice the size of Texas IN THE OCEAN! It contains 80% plastic and is over 3.5 tons! This effects fish and our water!
-1 billion people in the world do not have clean water!!! Americans FLUSH 2.5 trillion gallons down the toilet a year!
-It is predicted that by 2050, clean water to drink worldwide will be a "rich man's" commodity!!! (Without water, we die)
-More than 1/2 of our water consumption on the earth is used to keep the meat and dairy industry functioning. So, if we were all vegetarians, we wouldn't have billions of people without water and dying! It's a win win!
So what can we do?
-Reduce your packaging:
Pay attention to packaging that your food comes in at the grocery store. Buy from bulk bins when you can.
Bring your own Tupperware to restaurants when you know you will have leftovers. Choose restaurants that have great conservation techniques.
Do not buy bottled water or drinks! Invest in good reusable bottles and coffee mugs. Buy more than one, so you always have them available. Plan ahead for trips and outings.
Always have your reusable bags ready! Plastic bags are being eliminated from some grocery stores already! Reusable bags are a tiny investment to help reduce waste!
-Think before you buy paper products:
Napkins and paper towels are made from an actual tree. Then we use them for less than five minutes and then throw them away! Try using dish towels or old shirts instead! If you do use paper towels, buy recycled! Please don't support the companies that only use new trees to make products!
-When it's Yellow, Let it Mellow:
People are dying everyday because they do not have clean water and we flush ours down the toilet! It is perfectly sanitary to not flush the toilet every time you use it! You can save 20-40 gallons of water a day!
These are just a few ideas to help reduce our impact on the Earth! Remember that our actions affect everyone. If you want your grand kids and great grand kids to enjoy walks in the park or swimming in a lake or ocean, act now! I would love to hear your ideas as well! How do you celebrate Earth Day everyday?
If your interest is sparked, check out:
No Impact Man by: Colin Breavan (book and documentary)
World Peace Diet by: Will Tuttle
Sleeping Naked is Green:How an ecocynic unplugged her fridge, sold her car, and found love in 366 days by:Vanessa Farquharson