Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: How are you celebrating Earth Day?

It's Earth Day today: what are you doing to celebrate?

If you haven't yet, think about joining in on the Earth Mosaic. All you need is a camera and upload a photo (your absolute best) of your surroundings - today.

Check it out: here, here and here, too!

And, from the Simple Mom blog:

40 Easy Ways to Go Greener at Home - Besides Recycling

1. Plant an herb garden. It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates. We will do this again this year in the container plants on the deck.

2. Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few). We converted every lightbulb - inside and outside the house last summer.

3. Create a home made compost bin. We received a kitchen bin and large one from the town and it is collected every Tuesday morning.

4. Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label). Every appliance in the house had the energy star label when purchased.

5. Stop using disposable bags. I shop using green boxes for groceries, a burlap bag for wine and small cloth bags for quick convenience store runs.

6. Buy a reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles. We have one stainless steel bottle for each member of the family.

7. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot. As often as possible, the only things washed in hot are things that need to be sanitized - like Cole's hockey uniform!

8. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Always.

9. Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can - open your curtains and enjoy natural light. Even on rainy days there is light.

10. Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip. Okay, so I think the speed limit is a suggestion, but I do combine all of my errands for time efficiency.

11. Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer. I live in suburbia, nothing is less than 2 miles. But I would if I could.

12. Support your local economy and shop local farmers markets. Since our growing season is limited I can only support part of the year but I always support local businesses before big chains.

13. Turn off your computer completely at night. Done.

14. Research whether you can sign up for "green power" from your utility company. Can't but would if it were available.

15. Pay as many bills as possible online. Done.

16. Put a stop to unsolicited mail. While you’re at it, go ahead make sure you've been added to the "do not call list" just to make your life more peaceful. Have no idea how to stop unsolicited mail, but we are on the do not call list - not that it works!

17. Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper. Done.

18. Conduct a quick energy audit of your home. Did it last year when we changed all the light bulbs.

19. Subscribe to good eco blogs. My favorites are The Daily Green, No Impact Man, and TreeHugger. You can find many more at Best Green Blogs. Hmm, interesting, will have to check it out.

20. Before buying anything new, first check your local Freecycle or Kijiji. I know a number of friends who do this, and maybe that's the best way to rid myself of the oodles of Creative Memories albums I have in the storage room! FREE to a good home :)

21. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally. If only my favourite local restaurant didn't close! Now eating locally is my kitchen.

22. Fix leaky faucets. Done.

23. Make your own household cleaners. I’ve got quite a few recipes in my e-book. I downloaded the e-book last week and have used some of the cleaners. Quite effective.

24. Line dry your laundry. If it weren't against a local bi-law I would!

25. Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills. On the list!

26. Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world. We do this regularly.

28. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Done.

29. Unplug unused chargers and appliances. Done.

30. Repurpose something for your baby. Or save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts. Our egg cartons are plastic and sent to school for those exact purposes.

31. Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden. I have been meaning to do this. I should head over to Lee Valley to pick up a rain barrel.

32. Switch to cloth diapers - or at least do a combination with disposables. (Simple Mom has a Cloth Diapering 101 week coming soon.) Those days are long gone, thank goodness. But the amount of money and time saved using disposables rather than cloth is a valid argument.

33. Switch to product with the “Fair Trade” label. Trying, seeing more and more product all the time.

34. Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles. Um, no.

35. Make rags out of old towels and t-shirts, and forego buying paper towels. Done.

36. Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper. On the list!

37. Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed. Then join the Book Club, while you’re at it. Will have to check this out.

38. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage. Done.

39. Five-minute showers - make it a goal for yourself. Done. Now if I could only get my kids and especially husband to get on the bandwagon!

40. Donate to - and shop at - thrift stores such as Goodwill. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy. I donate to both Goodwill and the local diabetes association.

Which of these do you already do? Which ones are you going to focus on this next year? And what can you add to the list? Everything we do here in this house is listed above. I'll focus on what we don't do already!


Jack said...

Today is the first day Loblaws has put in place pay per bag. We have purchased some recycled grocery containers and re-usable shopping bags a long time ago and hardly ever have anything purchased put into a plastic bag... if everyone did just this one thing, how great for the environment would that be?!

Ps. I'm sure Loblaws cashiers who are working today are taking a lot of abuse from some customers today.

Thank for the green list :)

Martha said...

I spent Earth Day cleaning my BFF's house. We laughed as we cleaned: but we did use "green" cleaning products and microfiber cloths (vs. paper towels).

(she's older and has had some medical worries that has kept her from getting to the details of cleaning so I was SO grateful she finally agreed to my offer to help!)