Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

One of the cool things about living where we do, is we are nestled between two major cities that each have their own PBS affiliates, so we have lots of opportunities to see all the neat shows they do. One of the sucky things about living where we live is sometimes we have to choose which PBS show we’d rather watch. Tonight I face that dilemma. All the channels are featuring Earth Day relevant shows. Anyway, I've been thinking...

I love Earth Day - I love that we have a day to focus on the Earth and what we can be doing to make it a better place. I always try to think of something cute for my girls to do for their classmates - we're giving them each a packet of seeds. Plus, lots of my favorite eco shops have Earth Day discounts - love when you can combine greenin' it up with saving some dough! ;-)

Anyway, while I love Earth Day, I'm also saddened at realizing that we need to have Earth Day at all. Shouldn't it be a priority of everyone everywhere to take care of this place we call home. This only place we can call home? Why do we have to mark it on the calender to take care of our home?

I know in my life there are so many things I could do to be greener. At the same time, I know we do an awful lot - more than most people I know personally. I don't say that with judgment or a feeling of superiority. But, in knowing that we do so much, I'm able to talk myself out of feeling guilty when I use the occasional ziploc bag or throw out a package from a food product I know I could've made myself but didn't take the time to do. That's a bad habit, talking myself out of feeling guilty - I'm still being wasteful, and in the end, I'm still contributing to the problem instead of the solution.

I guess Earth Day is relevant because we still need it to be relevant. Until every single one of us is committed to solving the problem and focused on no longer contributing to the problem, we need Earth Day to remind us to take care of our home. And, unfortunately, there are lots of us that still need to figure out that taking care of our Earth is not some hippie-dippie trend for those just trying to be cool - it's a responsibility we each have.

No matter what's going on in your life, chances are you can do more. Please think long and hard about what more you can be doing, and let's work together to make Earth Day irrelevant.

Some things I will be trying:
- switch completely to cloth wipes - no toilet paper at all at home (except a roll tucked away for guests)
- hang my clothes out to dry every load (when the weather doesn't allow for hanging outside, use my indoor drying rack)
- bake 1 loaf of bread a week (with a goal of soon baking all our bread - with the help of my bread machine)
- unplug more unused appliances - this will involve some rearranging and investing in power strips to make it possible - I will not move the 6' buffet every time I need to plug in or unplug the tv!
- be organized enough to go to rummage sales
- eliminate ziploc baggies

Some things I will be continuing:
- cloth menstrual pads
- stainless steel water bottles for the family
- bringing our own bags shopping (and work harder at remembering the cloth produce bags we have!)
- recycling (though reducing our use of recyclable materials is the greenest option)
- baking soda and vinegar to wash hair
- combining errands so trips to town are minimal
- buying local eggs and produce, as well as growing my own veggie garden (this is seasonal at this time in my life)
- check Goodwill for what we need before going to Kohl's or Target
- no paper towels - use kitchen towels instead
- composting kitchen scraps and yard waste

What are you doing or willing to try?

(image courtesy Sacramento365)


  1. I've been trying to unplug our appliances at night, sometimes I'm better than others (depends on when I go to bed!). I've also cut way back on paper towels and I wash and re-use ziplocs that are re-usable.

  2. well i think we should treat EVERY day like it is Earth day! my big challenge is eliminating unnecessary waste.

    you are an inspiration!


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