So, I woke up this morning to find an article in my Facebook newsfeed documenting how global warming will in effect make for colder and snowier winters in Europe, Eastern U.S. and from what I’ve been experiencing eastern Canada also, but this last location is purely my assumption. I spent the morning getting fired up about what all of us could easily start doing today to lighten the effects of our residence here on planet earth. So, I thought that I would pass on what we do in my household as a family to lessen to some extent some of the damage our industrialized commercial lives produce. I am no scientist, but I am passionate about this topic, ever since I knew how to say Mother Earth. I remember constantly shutting off the water while my mom did dishes and just left it running as she rinsed plates and cups. This is my own common sense after living as a green a life as my busy schedule will allow. So here is my top 10, anyone can do this starting today:
1. Purchase soaps and detergent that are certified “green”. If your detergent is blue, green or any other bright color I can guarantee you it’s damaging the planet’s water system. If it smells like a bouquet of flowers on steroids that’s another hint that it’s hurting not only the planet but your own health. And the water that comes out of our faucet and goes down the drain becomes gray water. It is no longer potable and must go through a process before it can be dumped in to your nearest river, in some cases even lakes. So, be conscious, in our community we eat what comes out of the river. I myself would rather eat a healthy salmon as opposed to a sick one because of chemicals that we’ve dumped in it’s water.
2. Reduce your trash. How many of us use paper towel on a daily basis instead of a rag that can be washed and re-used? Yes, it’s convenient, but it’s one of those double wasteful things we no longer even think about. As you use paper towel, you first off, have wasted trees, trees that filter our air and keep us humans alive. Then you lather the paper towel with chemicals most of the time, with household cleaners and then throw the chemical laden paper towel in the trash for it to go somewhere in a dump. Also, styrofoam plates and cups, convenient but are not recyclable and do not decompose.
3. Donate, give away, yard sale, or don’t buy it in the first place. Before buying something, I ask myself: 1. Do I really need this? 2. Will I be trying to get rid of it in a year because it’s adding to the clutter. 3. How much pollution was generated to make this product and transport it here to Canada? Usually the 3rd one does me in and stops me dead in my tracks.
4. Recycle! This is Listuguj is so easy thanks to Recycling pick-up. I recycle everything from price tags, to milk bags and cartons.
5. Buy local and organic produce. Obviously, this is hard to do in the winter months, so opt for at least buying organic. This reduces the amount of pesticides on the planet, and it’s better for your health. Buying locally, means there was less greenhouse gases produced to get the fruits and vegetables here. Yes, it’s pricier, but in my opinion it’s money very well spent!
6. Compost. It’s great for the planet, reduces your trash output, and it’s super easy. I’ll blog about this topic at some point in the spring if you want to know more. We compost year round, it’s like an ongoing science project.
7. Drive less. This one is quite easy also. And if you must drive everywhere all the time, then use a gas efficient vehicle. I choose a hybrid 4 door sedan. The kids love the ninja car, it’s electric while we buzz around town and uses gas when going speeds higher then 60km/hour. I shopped around until I could find a $33,000 car for $15,995, worth the purchase.
8. Learn to thrift shop before going to the store. Why shop out of town? I find it hard to believe that there is value in driving 4 to 6 hours to go shopping…after all was that deal really a deal if you had to spend extra money on gas, take out food, and sometimes a hotel, and the extras that you weren’t planning on buying but figured it was cheap so why not? And I know the reasoning behind some of it…you dont’ want to have what everyone else has. Well, sorry to break it to you but that new top you bought at A & F, I swear at least 1000 other people have the same shirt! That’s what I love about thrift shopping. I prefer walking into a place where nothing is the same. I love “hunting” for that perfect pair of jeans, or that warm hoodie that someone got bored of. And yes, we don’t have the greatest selection of thrift stores in the area, but it’s worth checking it out sometimes to shop and donate. The first store I look for when I’m out of town isn’t a mall, it’s a thrift store! I found the cooolest pieces and perfect little black dress in San Diego this past fall at a Goodwill.
9. In the summer hang your clothes out. Yes it’s time consuming I admit, I spend some of the most beautiful days hanging out clothes and taking them off the line. But they smell great, it took no energy, and I find it somewhat relaxing to do it, it’s like meditation for me. For me it’s always time well spent.
10. Plant some flowers that are good for bees this summer. Without bees there will be no natural pollination, which means crops will not produce enough to feed the all of us 6 billion people. Also, means prices of food will go up.
So, that is my list of easy ways to start a greener life…;)
Now this wouldn’t be a photography blog if I didn’t post an image. Here is one of my favorite images taken in June of 2006. My best friend with my daughter, at one of my favorite places to photograph…