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This site is wonderful. I have a challenge for EVERYONE on this site. Next week is Earth Week and I am sure everyone on this site recycles......unfortunately IT IS NOT ENOUGH. Next week do more......choose a buddy or make it a family adventure. Do more by watching water consumption; picking an area in your community that needs help; watching closely what you purchase and how it is packaged and produced; watch closely the items you throw away in your trash-can they be reused/recycled/or even eliminated by smarter purchase choices. What I mentioned is minuscule compaired to the VAST options we have to be "green".
MY CHALLENGE TO ALL THIS WEEK:
Educate yourself, check the web, read, ask...what you can do to make a difference.
Do more this week to help the environment.
Be conscious and think green DAILY about everything you choose.
One person can make a difference, so be that one person.
Choose a buddy or make it a family challenge; educate each other.
When you see the impact at the end of the week that you make; do it EVERY day.
Feedback to help educate all of us so we can make a change.
I would love some feedback on this posting now and even more at the end of next week. I would love to see suggestions from everyone on what we can do next week. In addition, I would love to read the results from everyones efforts at the end of Earth Week-someones story may inspire us to continue to make it an Earth Year...not just a week. Think out of the box, you will be amazed! Wishing you all great vegetarian/vegan/super hero health and healthy living happy on our beautiful earth! Pam
Pamela - I totally agree. I think we all need to go back to the old slogan -REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Recycling is great, but it should be the last option when the other two are no longer an option.
A scary statistic about water bottles (to me, anyway) - it takes two gallons of water to make a one gallon plastic bottle!
Small things add up:
Don't use plastic water bottles, use a reusable bottle.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator (saves energy and is good for your health).
Carpool or ride your bike to work, or try public transportation.
Turn off a light if no one is in the room.
Unplug those vampire electronics when not in use.
While running your electronics might seem counterintuitive, there are some great documentaries out there for educational purposes:
Blue Gold: World Water Wars, Flow, Addicted to Plastic, An Inconvenient Truth, No Impact Man, even food docs like Food Inc and The Future of Food. I'm sure there are more. There was a doc done about a guy who kept all his trash for a year, while reducing everything he could. I haven't seen it, but heard it was thought-provoking.
A lot of people I know have expanded to celebrate Earth Month, but if we no longer had to use the term 'green,' because everything is, that would be truly awesome. Living the kind life can make it easier, I throw away much less since I buy so few packaged goods. What do you guys do?
This is great & what a reminder that there is always more we can do for our planet. I just ordered reusable produce bags (so I can stop reusing the plastics ones--they only last so long, so ultimately, I eventually create more plastic waste); she is also custom making bulk item bags for my grains & such, & I'm getting her cool everyday cloth napkins.
For those who can't buy produce bags just yet, keep in mind you don't always need to bag your produce--most fruit & veggies do just fine sitting in your cart or hanging out in your (reusable) grocery tote at farmer's markets. Buying in bulk is also a great way to reduce waste. It's these little things that add up.
My major commitment to the earth this week is to get back into the swing of bike commuting Everywhere again.
I'll continue posting other changes I make this week, & can't wait to see what others are doing. :) New ideas are the best!
Hazel and Allie, Thanks for joining me and for the awsome information. I hope more visit this forum this week. LETS MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I think it will be great to hear the results at the end of the week and we can hope that it made such an impact on someone that they continue not only for the week but for a lifetime! EVERYONE...keep sending web links, ideas, stories, etc... to make keep our earth beautiful and healthy.
Allie is so right. Reusable bags are the way to go. If you think about shopping, especially grocery shopping, just stop and think about how many bags you bring home every week. And then what? A lot of people just throw those away instead of reusing them as well.
Anyone reading - there are great reusable bags out there to buy, and they can be really cute, but if you don't want to spend money, take some old t-shirts and sew them up into little produce bags. Even if you don't sew very well, it's only holding produce, so they don't have to be perfect.
I also take my old glass jars, from sauerkraut, jams, nut butters, spices, and use them to buy bulk as well. Just make sure to have a cashier at the store weigh them so you know the tare (weight of jar) of each jar, so you're not charged for that weight.
Being green doesn't have to cost money. What else do you guys find ways to reuse?
Yesterday I traveled from PA to SC to visit family. Instead of driving or flying I took the Amtrack train. I realized I did not use two tanks of gas because of public transportation. I purchased one cup of tea on my trip and used the same cup for the next two. It was great, another passenger observed me reuse my cup and mention that I reuse to the man behind the counter. I later observed her do the same thing with her coffee cup. Together we made a difference. I am keeping that same cup for my return trip next week (yes, I will wash it). Something so simple yet makes such an impact. That was just one simple reuse story. I can't wait till the end of the week to share all the choices we made this week. We can possibly use the ideas we swap on an every day basis.
What a great idea with the shirts! Perfect for rad screens or favorites, way past their prime, that you just can't bring yourself to throw out or turn to rags. I save jars as well for bulk items. Some jars are really cute & unique once you get the labels off (which usually happens easily after one go in the DW). I think wine & olive oil bottles make great vases; or, you could use them to make your own infusions. I've been making shampoo & giving it away as gifts in vintage bottles--oh, & the other day I finally found a use for this rad old old "blue velvet lotion" glass bottle I found discarded in a field years ago: I put a pump in it & now it's an adorable vintage soap dispenser.
I want to write thank you cards to family & friends for wedding gifts we've recently received. I want to use recycled paper, old books or something similar, but still have them look really nice & chic. Ideas?
I LOVE that you took Amtrack. I wish we had a transcontinental commuter system like Europe; that's how I thought we should have invested bailout money, but what do I know? Great tea cup story. It's often the simple things we do that make the largest impact on those we meet...it's more likely people will make these small changes as well...& pass those along, which adds up.
Allie - I love making cards when I have the time. If you have a base for the card ( and you could easily use and old card or even a page from a no longer useful book, etc), just pull together scraps from other things. I've used scraps of fabric, old wrapping paper, bits of ribbon, etc. If you have simple fabric scissors with that triangle edge, that can make scraps look nice.
Cut and glue a piece of fabric or wrapping paper to the front of the card. If you want to get more creative, you can paint a really basic sort of natural or abstract image on the scrap (branch w/leaves, really simple).
You can dress it up with scraps of ribbon ans wrap it through the card and tie it on the outside or cut two small holes and run the ribbon through it and the n tie it on the outside (does that make sense?).
If the inside is something you want to cover (has writing on it or whatever), glue another piece of paper or fabric to write your note on.
You can also take any old cards you might have with pretty pics and cut them out to place on another card., collage style is always nice.
Depending on how crafty you are they can come out really nice. I have lots of beads and things, so those can be added, but a simple ribbon and prett fabric or paper scraps look really nice.
I like to make cards using what I have on hand, so I'm not wasting stuff. But for things like birthdays e-cards can be nice, too.
Happy Earth Day !
Today I'm working on handmade, recycled thank you cards. Thanks for tips Hazel. I love making cards, I've just really been trying to reuse rather than buy more "scrapping" supplies. What is everyone else doing? I want to do more to emphasize today!! It's raining, & I've been sick this week :( biking might not be happening today. Any fun local "celebrations" going on? Whole Foods is doing something today, & my favorite local, community radio staion (meaning no commercials if you can imagine!) has local environmentals guest dj-ing.
I was just listening to the radio; the guest DJ was talking about this rad group that formed in response to the Cuyahoga River catching on fire in the late 60s, because it was so polluted. This group set their sights on the "dirty dozen" (extremely corrupt congressman with loyal ties to corporations responsible for vast environmental damage). With much public support & activism, they were able to remove 7 of these men from office.
His emphasis was that Earth Day should not necessarily be about what we buy or don't buy for the earth, but what we DO. The point of Earth Day is to stimulate public action. This really grabs me, because recently I've been wanting to become more active in my community. I'm not really sure how just yet, but I'd love to join a group that really does things. Anyone have anything like this going on they could share?