Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day and Every Day


What do we do every day to give back to the Earth?

1.  The Outdoor Hour - something relatively new (and weather dependent) is that I'm requiring my kids to go play outside for one hour a day.  They spend the time doing a variety of things, but mostly they are connecting with our back yard and (I hope) nature.

2.  Green power.  I pay slightly more for our electricity to know that we are getting it from all "green" sources.  It's not perfect - hydro is a big part of our "green power" and dams still effect rivers - but it's a lot better than coal.

3.  Conserve power.  Turn the heat down, only run full loads in cleaning appliances, line dry clothing, turn off stuff you're not using, drive less, consume less stuff (because it used power to make it).

4.  Be careful with the chemicals.  We don't use herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers, and we use simple and safe home cleaning recipes.  I also properly dispose of light bulbs, and we use only rechargeable batteries.

5.  Reduce waste.  When I'm shopping, I try to avoid packaging and trash. I carry my re-usable shopping bags and re-use tubs and bags for produce and bulk bin foods.  I wash out and re-use sandwich bags, bread bags, etc when I do end up with packaging.  I keep a bag of plastic tubs in my car so that when I need a carry-out container from a restaurant I use one of my re-usable ones and not styrofoam.

6.  Buy used.  Buying used books, clothing, and anything else you can saves waste and all the energy that would be used to make something new.

7.  Eat local, organic, and as sustainably as we can.  We're not vegetarians, but we try to eat less meat and to mostly just eat what we raise ourselves.

8.  Support conservation organizations and laws.

9.  Convey an appreciation of nature and ecology to others.

10.  Consider the impact of each action.

It's not perfect, and I still want to improve our impact, but for today this is my love letter to our Mother Earth.

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