I love Earth Day, if for nothing else, it is an attempt to get people connected with the awareness that life on the planet is valuable, Earth's resources are finite and we can all do our part to change.
Handsome and I watched a program the other night called "Human Footprint" on the National Geographic channel. Wow. Basically, the show uses visual imagery to define how much the average person consumes over the course of her life. Wow. The amount of food we eat, the amount of trash we produce, the amount of diapers each baby uses, is absolutely staggering.
I asked Handsome recently if we should start reusing our zip-style plastic bags, you know, to save the planet. After giving me that look, he said no. If we really wanted to save the planet, we wouldn't be using the zip-style plastic bags at all. We'd be using aluminum foil, or porcelain bowls, for our food storage. *sigh*
So here are some of my tips for going green this Earth Day.
1. Eliminate unwanted junk mail catalogs by visiting and enrolling in http://www.catalogchoice.org/. It is a free service where you sign up, click on the catalogs you are receiving which you don't want to receive, enter the various names by which you may be receiving the catalogs (I have this issue because of the married/maiden last name thing), or various addresses where you may be receiving catalogs, and you're done.
2. If you can pay your bills online, do it. Eliminate getting paper statements from your credit card companies. This will not only save the environment from copious amount of paper trash, saving millions of trees from being chopped down, but it will also slim down your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.
3. At the office, print on both sides of the page. Our office uses a ton of paper, but we are beginning to print drafts of documents on both sides so that we are not being so wasteful. Every little bit helps, really!
4. Get a low-flow toilet. I'm sure Handsome will love me preaching about plumbing, but the toilet is the biggest water hog in your house. Handsome would tell me that some people have bodily functions that simply overwhelm low-flow toilets. For those people, they even have Dual-Flow toilets! Yep, full flush for solids, low-flush for liquids. (In college, my roommate and I had the saying "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down!" We were the ultimate water conservators.)
5. Take the bus! I could espouse all day about the advantages of riding the bus, but I'll just say that buses are becoming more alternative fueled and environmentally friendly than ever before. Never mind the fact that the 30 people who are riding with you are not out in their individual cars each day. And the books you can read, or the naps you can take, or the tunes on your ipod you can listen to, or the gas and parking costs you won't have to pay, are well worth the price of the ticket.
Happy Earth Day all, may this planet be blessed with conscious inhabitants.