Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

While every day SHOULD be Earth day, today's the official one. Here's to thinking a little more about our human footprint and thinking about how what we do effects everyone on this planet.

In honor of Earth day, I didn't want to make another list of the same things that everyone says we should do--compact fluorescents, check; turn off the computer at night, check; filtered water instead of bottled, check. We know we should, and we try, right? Instead I wanted to share with you the little things that I'm doing to try to live better, saving energy and MONEY in the long run. Despite what the Al Gore-haters say, the little things do make a difference (but I'm not discounting the need for big things too...)

Anyway, here goes.
Kim's list of her own environmental efforts:

1. Read Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Reflect on how much of our modern life is built specifically to be unsustainable and make a conscious effort to support products that adhere to the Cradle to Cradle philosophy.

2. Don't idle. Ever. Well, maybe for stoplights, but that's pushing it. It really does take less energy to start your car again than let it idle for anything longer than 30 sec. Forgive me that I don't have the data for it, but believe me it's true. Nothing irks me/feels more ironic than people idling behind another car waiting for a GAS PUMP! Hello?!?! Oh, and the idling that takes place in the line for the emissions testing is the most asinine thing I've ever seen. So I don't do it. (Oh wait, the info is here)

3. Recycle even when it is not convenient. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, you just have to get a bottle of water or a take out container, or you have papers to get rid of but there is no bin nearby. I carry that crap home and recycle it! Oh, and there is no excuse for throwing trash out windows. Why do people still do that? Were they born in a barn? Hold on to that junk for 5 min and put it in the trash can outside of wherever you are going... Phew, done ranting! :)

4. Try to ditch the car whenever possible. I'm fortunate to live just over 3 miles from work, which is a decent bike ride (except for the fact that it is uphill all the way to work) so I'm working on getting these thighs in shape so I don't arrive a hot mess every day. And I'm taking the bike to the local Target (and soon a new Publix grocery store) for errands. Hey, this is just economics cause gas isn't getting cheaper anytime soon!

5. Bring back the concept of a Victory Garden and actually grow food. And herbs--do you know how expensive fresh herbs are?!? Okay, the boy mostly does the gardening, but I help! Oh, and we're joining a CSA to support our local organic farmers and supplement our veggie load. Do you know how much "food" is grown that isn't edible? Watch King Corn and you'll know what I mean...

There's my top 5 everyday lifestyle changes that I'm doing to try to help my body, help my community, and help my planet. What are yours?

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