Happy Earth Day! What will you do?

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy earth day!  Here are some ideas to make it fabulous and effective:

  • Reduce electricity
  • Shut off the water when you brush your teeth
  • Walk, ride a bike or take the bus instead of traveling by car
  • Take faster showers or baths in just a small amount of water
  • Hang clothes on the line instead of putting them in the dryer
  • Choose products that are not over packaged
  • Recycle, reuse and reduce!
  • Compost
  • Collect  rain water to use on the plants outside
  • Bring your reusable bags to stores (I like these b/c they fit in my purse: BAGGU)
  • Plant a tree (or even flowers to pretty our planet)


  1. Erin said:

    100% agree with your statement… somewhere in all the mess I wrote below I said that. The article was interesting… I’m sorta curious to read the woman’s book now, but I don’t know if it will make me mad or push me into more action, or both.

    April 23, 2010
  2. klds said:

    I still agree little things can add up and matter- but we need BIGGER action and we seem to have moved away from that- write & call your legislative people. And the one thing I liked in my article was we need to USE less not buy more- we are a greedy people with a lot of waste- buy used or do without. Less=more!

    April 23, 2010
  3. Erin said:

    I somewhat agree, but I also disagree. I still do what I can and I believe that if more people worked together, we can make a change. Believing the opposite certainly doesn’t change anything. I’d rather improve the situation by .001% than none at all. Same idea with voting… people don’t vote b/c they don’t think it matters when it does. Sometimes all it takes is one person. All it took was for one guy to say the world was round when everyone else thought it was flat… we never thought we would walk on the moon, or (dare I even say it) clone something. Small steps over a given amount of time can make a difference… if nothing else than to spread the word and to get others on board (1 can turn into 10 which can turn into thousands or millions over time). Some day the word might pass to the right person who knows how and CAN make a bigger difference. I’ve signed environmental petitions but I don’t usually go any further because I don’t feel like I truly would be heard alone anyway (greater in numbers)… not to mention that I don’t understand a lot of politics anyway. And they are usually corrupt… one bill passes at the expense of another to suit someone else’s campaign agenda. Where I can, I do try to vote for the greener option.

    The article is right on a few account…

    1. Most (but not all) people are appeased by throwing a few cans in the recycling bin and don’t try to change other areas of their life that may contribute to the problem. I hope that over time this will change. For some, it never will. And I still don’t believe 90% recycle. That seems way high… and if they do its b/c of fines or deposits they want back.

    2. Reducing our consumption of anything (green or otherwise) does need to come first and we all have far too many things… last year’s iPod is sitting because we wanted the newer one, a computer that isn’t a flat tablet is taking up space b/c now we want the newest fad, an old TV lays around (or worse, ends up in the landfills) because we had to have a new flat screen, etc. Marketing fuels this and makes us all believe we need the newer version of this or that… or if something breaks, don’t fix it just buy a new one because it’s cheaper.

    And of course marketing is going to grab the “green” by the horns and run with it if they can. The problem is that more people don’t think about reducing first, OR they don’t try to change all facets of their life and think buying the greener laundry detergent makes up for it. The other problem is that people don’t understand that the cost of something is more than the price you pay to bring the item home… it’s also the cost of environmental impacts or cleanups, healthcare, and other items that may occur in the future.

    Quoted from the article: “When Rogers gives speeches about garbage, the subject of her last book, someone always tells her they thought “we could cure our environmental ills by consuming the right products.” Personally I think it’s about consuming LESS products, but if it is something you need anyway, how does choosing the green option hurt (unless you are totally sustainable, which most are not but some of us are striving to be)?

    Yes, I bought reusable grocery bags. Silly to some, I’m sure… but look at the staggering numbers: over 500,000,000,000 (that’s 500 billion) plastic bags annually, or almost 1 million per minute. The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store… not me. I use the same 6 every time I go. I think this is HUGE and as one person I am making a difference. I highly doubt they will outlaw the use of paper and plastic bags, so reduce where you can. I may have purchased 6 bags for about $30, but now I am consuming far less garbage and keeping them out of landfills.

    I live my life the way I feel is correct and I try to do the most amount of good that I can. Maybe it does appease me, but I continue to make more changes in all areas of my life to try and be part of “the greater good.” I’m certainly not going to sit on my lazy butt and wait for someone else to do it (and I think that’s what they are saying that too many people do). I try to make changes in all areas of my life where it can make a difference… riding my bike, reducing the amount of bags, drinking my tap water instead of bottled, making my life more sustainable with gardening and composting, supporting my local farmers and agriculture through my CSA, and consuming almost no meat (which by the way, feedlots contribute to more CO2 than all the cars put together according to the books I am reading… what is government doing about that?!!! They’re making corn cheaper to feed to cows on feedlots, and then they shove hamburgers into the mouths of children daily at rates that are killing them, but I digress…).

    It has to start somewhere. Baby steps might not get us there fast, but at least we’re traveling in a better direction. I don’t think writing a letter to anybody is going to make a difference until I start first by doing these things myself…

    Anyway, this is making for good discussion! Thanks!

    April 22, 2010
  4. klds said:

    It is easy being green. Too easy. From adorable reusable shopping bags and organic clothing to hemp shower curtains (no nasty petroleum-based vinyl liner!) and “natural is now fun!” beauty products for girls, the proliferation of green products makes doing our bit for the planet a blast, since Americans can combine environmentalism with their favorite sport, shopping. Indeed, a Gallup poll released this month finds that large majorities of Americans are shopping for the good of the planet: 76 percent said they’d bought a product specifically because they thought it was better for the environment.
    Shopping for the planet is just one manifestation of how green activism has gone seriously off course as it has spread a gospel of personal change rather than collective action. Of the Nature Conservancy’s five recommendations for Earth Day, four—figure out your carbon footprint, time your shower, go for a walk (!), and find a farmers’ market—involve individual behavior. Only a single suggestion, “speak up on climate change” by letting lawmakers know you support the energy and climate bill that Sens. Kerry, Lieberman, and Graham plan to introduce this week, gets at the only kind of change that has been shown in the 40 years since the first Earth Day to make a difference.
    Every example of major environmental progress—reducing acid rain, improving air quality, restoring the ozone layer—has been the result of national legislation or a global treaty. We reduced acid rain by restricting industry’s sulfur emissions, not by all going out and sprinkling bicarb on sensitive forests and lakes. Leaded gasoline was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1996, not by everyone choosing to buy cars that run on unleaded. Ozone-chomping CFCs were banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol, not by everyone deciding to forgo spray cans and air conditioning.
    All environmental progress has come through national- and international-level regulation—to be blunt, by forcing people and industry to stop doing environmentally bad things and start doing environmentally good things, not by relying on individuals’ green good will or even the power of the marketplace.
    Yet as the same Gallup poll shows, the numbers of Americans engaged in environmental activism that leads to such laws and regulations is a small fraction of the number switching to reusable grocery bags (70 percent). Twenty-eight percent of us worked for candidates because of their environmental positions, and 17 percent belong to an activist group or contacted an official about a green issue. But 90 percent of Americans, Gallup found, say they recycle. And what good has it done? Some, to be sure. But we are producing 38 percent more garbage today than we were in 1970. There’s a reason the mantra goes “reduce, reuse, recycle”—in that order.
    Just to be clear: recycling, using compact fluorescents, cutting home energy use, and the rest of the “what you can do” propaganda is better than their opposites. The problem with the emphasis on changing individual behavior is this: it makes too many of us believe we have done our part. As evidence, just look back at the Gallup numbers on recycling (90 percent) and doing something as simple as dashing off an e-mail to tell our senators to support a climate bill (17 percent).

    April 22, 2010
  5. Erin said:

    To lessen our impact on the environment and to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel, David and I bought mountain bikes this week (this was also an early birthday present to each other). We have been riding to the stores close by, although I am still too nervous to ride on many of the roads and probably will avoid all major highways or places I feel are unsafe. And I sport my silly helmet to keep my noggin safe.

    And I always try to recycle… our newest recycling endeavor included wooden fence posts that our development replaced. We called the pres. of the homeowners and he said we could take them… so I brought a bunch home and made a new garden for more veggies. I also recycled the screens that we removed from our back porch and created a little makeshift hoop house for my veggies that like a little shade (plus it keeps my garden organic and the buggies off).

    And of course, I always try to bring my reusable shopping bags… plastic bags are nasty to our our planet and the ones I mentioned fold up nice and small and fit in my purse so that I am almost never without them.

    April 22, 2010

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