SAVE THE EARTH
Many remote and rural villages have sanitation problems which cause access to clean drinking water extremely difficult. These villages are in need of urgent attention.
Unfortunately no local assistance is available. It will be a great act of kindness if we can just take one village at time and help in this worthy cause.
Things like hectic climate change, polluted air, acid rain, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, and an increase in poverty prove that the way we use things is ineffective.
Imagine this. One day you come out from your house and all you see is big puffs of black smoke and no trees! All you hear are cars and no birds! All you smell is gasoline and no flowers! What kind of life is that?
All we need to do to reduce the problem is simply to be less wasteful. Here are some ideas on how to help everyone!
Switch off anythingthat uses electricity. Stick to a routine of shutting off as many electrical appliances as possible when you leave a room. If it will be at least 36 hours before you use it again, unplug it. Even when an appliance is off, it may still use power. Just imagine. You will save hundreds of dollars and you could donate the money to a charity in need or buy yourself something nice.
Encourage your congressional representatives to support environmental issues and renewable energy One drop per minute can add up over time. Check your faucets and any other appliance that uses water straight from your source. If your faucets drip, get them fixed, or at least put a container under the drip in the meantime and use the water. To check your toilets, put a few drops of food coloring (go for a strong color) in the tank, not the bowl. Wait about ten minutes without flushing. If you see the dye in the bowl, repair your toilet.
Turn off the water when you’re not using it. As Ellen Degeneres says, “Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.” Why is the water running for so long? There is no point, is there? It is okay if you forget a few times, but if you forget a lot, put a little sticky note on the wall in front of the sink, with the reminder, “Turn off the faucet. Don’t waste water!” This goes for shaving, washing dishes, and even taking a shower.
Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries. Batteries not only take up landfill space (they can’t be incinerated), they can leak acid into the Earth. Even then, only use the appliance when you must. If you have the choice, plug in the device instead of using batteries.
Install low-flow toilets in your home, or put a brick in the reservoir (the back) of your current toilet. The space the brick takes up in the bottom of the tank will permit you to use less water, but keep the toilet functioning. Also try adjusting the water level down. Many toilets have an adjustment to lower the valve float. Be Reasonable, and care about the earth! Use only as much toilet paper as you need, and don’t use a mile of it for one little wiping. Be reasonable. Go easy on the paper towels, too.
Organize a carpool for work or school. This way, if you take a highway with a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane, this can usually save time and money on gasoline. For bonus points, use a hybrid or other car that gets high gas mileage.
Plan your errands to avoid going around in circles. This will use more gas and waste time. Group outings into fewer, longer trips. This minimizes both trips out and cold starts (starting an engine that has not been run lately). Cold starts are hard on your car and the environment. Your low-cost, low-emissions vehicle. Invest in a good bicycle and helmet. Use them when your destination is within 5-10 miles of home. You can also buy pannier racks, a bike trailer, or a sturdy basket to hold items. Get in the habit of riding your bike to local areas. Plus, you will get more exercise and feel better!
Avoid using disposable items as much as possible. Anything you use only a few times and throw away consumes resources only to spend centuries in a landfill.
Get a hybrid. If you have been looking for a new vehicle, hybrids are becoming more and more popular. There are a wide variety of hybrids on the market from little sedans to big SUVs. They not only give off less emissions into the air, they can save you money with less trips to the gas station.
Consider cloth diapers. They’ve come a long way from the things with pins and plastic covers that gen x-ers and ALL previous generations wore. You will save a fortune (especially if you have more than one child), keep potentially dangerous chemicals away from your baby’s bottom, and do a good thing for the planet while you’re at it!
Use reusable cloth pads, or a menstrual cup. It may sound gross to reuse these kinds of things, but imagine all the pads and tampons you use in your lifetime all piled up. Can you say “EW”?
Trade in your dryer for a good old fashioned clothesline. It makes your clothes smell nice and fresh, and, it’s environmentally friendly! If you do use a dryer, make sure to keep the vent clear. These new light bulbs look like this. Switch to compact florescent light bulbs. While these cost more, they are also longer lasting than conventional light bulbs, and they use only one-quarter of the energy. They may cost more money, but last much longer.
Coordinate with your neighbors and friends. If the local recycling depot is at some distance, make a single drop-off spot in your neighborhood, where people can bring their recyclables, then use just one car to drive them to the depot. A garage is a good place to store things until they are taken. You might have different neighbors responsible for different kinds of recyclables, such as paper, glass, metal, etc.
Take shorter showers or fill the bathtub only 1/4-1/3 full. Run your dishwasher only when it is completely full. Reuse water, if at all possible by boiling it. If you wash your own car, park it on your lawn and use buckets and sponges. Use the hose to rinse. Use pool covers to reduce evaporation and keep leaves out. Try installing eco-friendly faucets, such as Grohe faucets which are equipped with low-flow fittings to reduce wasteful water consumption. It may look yucky, but it’s a whole lot better than gasoline! Compost. Designate an area in your yard to put your yard waste, fruit peels, and uneaten food. Find some worms who can break the waste down and produce a very rich soil that works great with your landscaping. Keep your compost heap as far from a water source as possible, and if you can, put a couple layers of concrete blocks or bricks around your heap to avoid a mess on your lawn.
Buy secondhand clothes, or if you have a neighbor with a child a year or so older than your child, ask if they can send their old clothes to you. You can also find many ‘organic clothes’ at common department stores. These clothes are made with organic cotton in a more environmentally friendly factories. They are in style nowadays.
STOP YOUR JUNK MAIL
If you get several catalogs which you do not need, then call one company each day or each week and ask for them to stop sending this to you. This will save trees, and will use less oil, as something you do not need will not have to be made and transported to you. There is sometimes more paper in the local newspaper that you would use in 2 months. Remember to recycle the old newspapers, or the ones that you do not need anymore. You can get a nice view of the clouds, too! Get skylights. These windows go on your ceiling to provide more light, reducing the electric light you use. Some types can even transfer sunlight into electricity.
JOIN YOUR LOCAL CHAPTER OF www.freecycle.com
These groups offer unwanted or unneeded household “stuff” for free to each other, usually through a Yahoo! Group. Keep your unwanted “stuff” out of the landfill and in the hands of someone who will actually USE it. You will make someone happy, and the earth happier too!
DON’T USE PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES, OR CHEMICALS
Pesticides kill hundreds of birds and other animals per year. If you have unwanted weeds, pull or hoe them out yourself, clip them down, plant a ground cover in their place, or use mulch to control weeds and limit evaporation.
REUSE GLASS BOTTLES
Buy a glass bottle and use it for a long time! It will not rot or go bad like a plastic bottle will. You could decrease the amount of water bottles in the garbage dumps if you use 1 glass bottle instead of 30 plastic water bottles per week. Glass bottles are also healthy! Plastic is not. All different types of chemicals get released into your water from the plastic, and even more if you squeeze it!
Turn useless junk into something fun and cute, or fresh and funky! Jewelery! You can take a look around wikiHow and find tons of articles about how to make different things.
Stop reading newspapers if you can look up the news on your computer, it takes up less energy than cutting down the trees, making the paper, and transporting it to your house.
USE A THERMOS INSTEAD OF MAKING TEA OR COFFEE IN CUPS
You will use less tea bags or coffee, and you will have more for the next time you wish to make tea or coffee! For more taste, don’t add more tea bags. Add lemon or honey to your tea.
Buy or make a few reusable fabric bags, and bring them with you whenever you go shopping. Or, reuse your old plastic bags. Just imagine all of the plastic bags in the world added up. Isn’t that a lot of garbage?
RECYCLE OLD PLASTIC BAGS
There are a lot of things which you can do with old plastic bags. Don’t throw them away! They will come in handy! You can reuse them when shopping. Check out how to recycle old plastic bags.
ASK FOR ANY LEFTOVER MEAT WHEN YOU GO TO YOUR MEAT SHOP
If the meat is OK to feed to dogs, feed that to your dog instead. Maybe even your cat! They may even give it to you for free. You will also save money by not having to buy dog/cat food. Also, at some super markets, they also give dog bones free with whatever purchase.
REUSE CLOTHING AND FIND SOMETHING SNAZZY TO DO WITH IT
You can reinvent wearable pieces or donate them to charity. You could use an old t-shirt as housekeeping rags, make mop tie out of them, or sew patches onto things. Be creative! Did you know you can make construction paper out of denim jeans?!
Start a neighborhood clean-up that will clean up the neighborhood, every week or so. Get the whole neighborhood involved! Try and get the community involved with the projects, and even do a public park clean up – this is everyone’s home.
Recycle all you can. In many countries, recycling is taken seriously. They have one trash can for bags, one for glass, one for cans, one for boxes, one for plastic, one for paper, even one for decomposed food. Try disciplining yourself to recycling the necessities we use when done.
Put timers on lamps that will turn off lamps at the same time on a daily basis. Timers like these can be found in hardware stores and they can be plugged into your lamp.
BUY LESS STUFF
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Besides saving money and not cluttering up your house, not buying things in the first place means never using the resources (materials, energy, labor) necessary to create it. Could you borrow something, get it used, or simply do without it?
CLOSE DOORS AFTER YOU LEAVE A ROOM
When you leave the house, or even when you have dinner downstairs, try to close the door to all the rooms you don’t normally use or need. Doing this often will save a lot of excess heating that is needed to make your home warm. Something simple anyone can do
LIMIT YOUR SHOWER WATER
Use less water when showering and don’t take longer than fifteen minutes. There are also devices there days that can limit the amount of heated water used per shower, such as Grohe faucets, equipped with low-flow fittings.
DON’T USE TOO MUCH FERTILIZER
Do you know what happens to all the fertilizer that is washed off lawns and gardens? Some way or another, it ends up in a body of water. Stop this indirect pollution! Organic fertilizer is better than chemical fertilizer. So next time you buy fertilizer, buy organic or even make your own!
DON’T USE ELECTRONIC EXERCISE MACHINES
Instead of using treadmills and similar, use a bicycle or a unicycle maybe. Walking and push-ups work as well.
Plant a tree in your neighborhood or near your home; They suck up harmful CO2 gases. If you can’t plant one, try potted plants.
When you’re not too dirty, plug up the shower and use the remaining water to clean your dog.
CRANK IT UP!
At many electronic stores, they sell flashlights or radios powered by cranks. They’re a tad expensive, but they’ll soon pay for themselves, as they don’t need batteries!
Turn it off Buy a power strip, and plug your TV, computer, lights, etc. into it. At night, when you’re not using them, turn off the power strip, because even an appliance that is off sucks up energy if there’s nothing stopping it. Not only does it save electricity, it shaves money off your electric bill.
USE CANVAS TO CONSERVE
Using canvas bags help the environment because plastic bags take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Also,using canvas bags is a very cheap way to help out planet.
CREATE A FROG POND IN YOUR BACKYARD
Frog populations are dwindling, If you create a habitat for them in your backyard, they may breed there, which will help because their breeding areas are disappearing.
EAT LESS MEAT
The production of meat is one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, including global climate change. Meat production is highly resource intensive and inefficient. Meatless Monday is a national non-profit public health campaign that encourages people to give up meat one day a week. Attempting vegetarianism or veganism is definitely one of the best things you can do for the environment and also for your health. Check out the site for some meatless recipes.
NEVER EAT FAST FOOD
Many fast food restaurants have grassing lands for beef cattle where rain forest used to be. Not only does eating from these places cut down the rain forest, it uses CO2 to ship the cows, or whats left of them, up in to wherever the restaurant is.