Monday, April 14, 2008

Earth Day is Coming!!

Well, I have been pondering the little things and not so little things I have learned about how to be a steward of this environment we have been given. I tend to believe that the Earth is a precious resource that has an amazing ability to heal itself, renew itself and bring forth wonderful things to eat, see and experience. But, I realize that our ability to pollute and defecate this gift has and continues to be complicating things at a rate that both the Earth and our bodies cannot keep up with or create enough coping mechanisms for.

So, as I ponder, I thought I would share some learnings I have had over the years. I cannot prove that my logic is fail safe, but I believe that if we all do at least some of these things, we will be doing a service to this said earth and our bodies.

Take what rings true for you, throw the rest out the window (but only if they are biodegradable, of course).

1. Recycle. It is no longer difficult to do this, yes it takes an extra step or two, but gosh darn it, it feels good. In Columbus, most anything is recyclable and there is a handy dandy guide here. A large item of note is that all plastic bottles are recyclable. No longer to we need to identify the triangle on the bottom of the container, just throw it in. As I drive past my neighbor's houses, I see there multi trash cans on trash day as I carry my 1/2 can or less out to the curb. My neighbor right next door usually has 2 cans each week and they only have 2 people living there. We have 5 people contributing in our household and guests.

2. Buy organic milk, peanut butter and ketchup. In this day in age, it is difficult to define which things to go organic with and organics are more expensive- hands down. It is my belief it is good to do as much organic as possible. But, if your budget is a concern, I think these items are good places to start.

3. Organic fruit is a healthy contender for buying organic as well. The issue with this is the pesticides placed on the fruits. Peaches have the highest number of pesticides per item (average of 9). See this website for more information.

4. Start a compost pile. This is not hard to do and it makes really nutritious soil for gardens and flower beds. Go to this site to learn the ins and outs for composting. Anyone with a small patch of land can do this and you can reduce your waste tremendously.

5. Replace your regular light bulbs with the curly-q fluorescents. There is some controversy about this since they are a bear to clean up if broken. Precaution should be taken since they have mercury in them. But, by far, they are most energy efficient- by a long shot.

6. Use your dishwasher- if you can fill it and as long as you can go without rinsing each dish prior to use. This has been proven to be more water efficient. If however, you have to rinse, it may be better to just wash them by hand. There are supposed to be new dishwashers with garbage disposals in the bottom.

7. Speaking of appliances, buy Energy Star ones if you can. I bought a washer dryer set that was the cheapest Energy Star I could get and I am hoping for long term results.

These are just a few of the ideas bopping around in my head. If you have thoughts that you have pondered in this area, please add them on.

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