Thursday, April 22, 2010

OK its Earth Day – Now What?

Happy Earth Day, are you wearing your environmentally-friendly hemp t-shirt, while standing on that rug made from recycled tires? Did you go out and hug a tree?

No – I didn’t think so.

You don’t have to do wild, crazy or zany things to celebrate Earth Day – a day marked on the calendar since the 1970’s to promote the environmental movement.

Little simple things make a world of difference.

Just take a stroll through your home to start. Look up at that bright thing – no not the sun, your lights. Are you using low energy florescent bulbs, or the older, more power-hungry incandescent ones? Today would be a great day to change all your old light bulbs to the newer, greener versions – and that won’t cost a whole lot, or take a lot of time.

While passing through your kitchen or bathroom, think about paper. Do you use recycled paper products for such things as toilet paper and paper towel? No? Go out and get some, if you have the non-recycled stuff you can compare the two and see there really isn’t much difference, aside from one being better for the planet and our home, the Earth.

Speaking of towels, what do you use to clean your home? Do you use environmentally-friendly all natural products, or ones courtesy of the chemical industry? Earth Day is a great excuse to change your cleaning ways, by getting all natural cleaning agents (you’d be surprised how much you can clean with a little white vinegar and some baking soda).

And while you are replacing your cleaning agents, you can take away all your hazardous waste to proper hazardous waste recycling facilities – most municipalities have these, allowing you to freely drop-off toxins so they don’t end up in our landfills. They take things like ammonia, paints and paint thinner, old batteries, some even take old and broken computers and other techno-toys which don’t work anymore, but contain heavy metals that could contaminate our world if just tossed in the trash. Contact your local government for information about local hazardous material recycling or reclamation programs today, to celebrate Earth Day.

Good thing Earth Day happens in spring, ‘cause you can do a lot of environmental spring cleaning right from your home. You could even call up a charity or two, and donate all your old clothes that you were going to throw out – lots of fabrics have been treated with dyes and chemicals which contaminate local water tables when thrown out. By donating them, you help others, while keeping your drinking water clean.

Water – it is a fundamental resource for all life to exist, just look at all those water bottles lying around. What a waste. Wouldn’t it be easier – and better for the environment to get a water filtration system, than purchasing water bottles en mass? You can install a water filter on your kitchen and bathroom faucets, or even simpler, buy a water filtration pitcher and just fill it up from the tap. Either way, you’ll have fresh, clean water, and only have to toss out a water filter every couple of months, instead of going through on average about 25 plastic water bottles per person per month.

While we’re in the wet works, take a look at your toilet – is it one of those old clunkers that takes forever to refill after a flush? You can save on your water bills, and help the planet by purchasing a low-flush toilet. Some local municipalities will even give you a rebate on your water bill when you send them a copy of your invoice showing you purchased one, so you’ll not only use less water, but get back some of the initial funds you spent to get the new toilet.

Don’t forget to wash your hands – are you using environmentally-friendly, biodegradable soaps? No?

See – there are lots of little things you can do right at home, to better your world on this Earth Day.

Happy Earth Day!

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