Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day...40 years

This Earth Day is the 40th anniversary of a call to action. The EPA is asking for ordinary citizens to pick 5 things that they can do to help save the environment. It may be a simple as choosing new energy star rated appliance when replacing old, worn and inefficient ones. E-cycle used electronic appliances that are broken or no longer in use. Recycle bottles, metal cans, aluminum, plastic containers and yard waste. Or better yet, upcycle new life and use to old products. Use less pesticides...not only is it better for the land, the ground water, the air quality, it provides a sense of satisfaction to do it by hand.

Another idea that isn't directly mentioned in the link above is how about going paperless on all those bills we get each month? Paying bills online also reduces the need for envelopes, postage and the postal workers to deliver the mail. Not only will you reduce the paper waste, you will save more trees and make for a healthy environment. Betcha most of us are already doing this somewhat!

Some of the commitments that I have made this year are to replace old energy inefficient appliances...the new Energy Star rated dishwasher is going a long way to reducing my electric cost on usage of just that appliance, by half. Hope to replace the washer with a front loader and the dryer with a new gas model this summer.

I have made a stronger commitment to using less pesticides...I've invested $5 and some basic labor to keep my lawn dandelion free....yep, I'm digging them out the old fashioned way!

I have purchased reusable shopping bags for my frequent shopping trips instead of getting the plastic ones the stores supply. Sometimes I even skip the bag altogether. Using recyclable bags takes some getting use to....gotta remember to put them in the cars trunk after each use and to take them in the store with me but with each use, it's getting easier. Also some jurisdiction are imposing a bag tax to encourage using recyclable bags and to reduce the litter caused by the fact the District of Columbia just enacted such legislation.

We are growing more of our own food. And I plan on buying more local produce to reduce the costs associated with transporting food to the store. This not only will help the environment it will also help sustain local farmers and help preserve farmland by purchasing directly from the grower at the many local farmers market held in my area.

I plan to use less water by using only the water I need. We just bought a new touch on/off faucet for our kitchen remodel and look forward to seeing what kind of water savings we can get just by touching the water off and on as needed. If one was available for the bathroom, I would buy one for there too! I can't wait to try it out!

We already recycle and upcycle, turn off lights when not in use, pay our bills online and hopefully adding my new 5 picks will make a greater impact on our world or at least in our household.

These are small steps to take and I know that if everyone just picked 5 we could make a difference. So what will you pick?

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