Go Green! – Earth Day 2007

Because living green is important to me and my family, I turned on Oprah’s Going Green 101: What Your Family Can Do Today! show on Friday to see if I could pick up some more tips. While we’re already doing several of the things they discussed on the show, I learned quite a bit more that we can start doing to help save our planet Earth.

I decided to make a list (in no particular order) of things YOU can do RIGHT NOW to help save the world. Many of the things are from Oprah’s show, while some are things I came up with myself or got elsewhere.

Choose one or two to get started, or do them all! Every little bit helps. :)

Help save the world by…

– Change the light bulbs in your house to energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) – CFL’s are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents. They cost more upfront, but will save you money on your electricity bill almost immediately and they last from 8 to 10 years!

– Buy natural cleaning products like Shaklee, Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer’s. Or, make your own cleaning products – Homemade Cleaners!

– Buy organic foods whenever possible.

– Unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them. Even if items are in the off position, they are still using energy. Or buy Smart Power Strips to conserve energy and cash.

– Use cloth napkins.

– Use cloth diapers or if you must use disposables, consider buying gDiapers (which are flushable!) or Seventh Generation diapers.

– Use a reusable menstruation product like The Diva Cup or The Moon Cup or use cloth pads like Glad Rags.

– Take public transportation, carpool, bike or walk.

– Reuse one bottle for your water instead of buying bottled water.

– Bring your own coffee cup/mug/thermos when you go to Starbucks, etc. for your coffee. Starbucks even offers a discount when you bring in your own cup.

– Use cloth grocery bags.

– Breastfeed.

– RECYCLE your plastic, glass, aluminum and paper! Go to Earth911 and enter your zip code to find out what is recyclable in your area.

– Shop at second hand stores for clothing, etc., and donate, give or sell your old clothes, shoes, etc. to others.

– Keep stuff out of the landfills by Freecycling items you no longer need. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

– Take shorter showers.

– Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.

– Reduce your meat consumption, better yet – eat vegetarian, or even better still – go vegan. “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein

More Earth-friendly tips, contributed by Leigh:

– Purchase wooden toys, or at least used toys.

– Practice sustainable, green building practices for new homes or remodels (low VOC paint, renewable floors like bamboo, solar/passive solar, native planting, sustainable materials, low-water usage appliances, and so much more).

– If you can, convert your car to a bio-diesel or SVO powered vehicle.

– Compost and use in your garden

– Support businesses who invest in sustainable, earth-friendly practices

– Buy fair-trade (while it’s not directly linked to the earth per se, I believe that peace and fair living practices = respect for the Earth).

– Thank the earth daily.

Some more tips, contributed by Bazu:

– Use cold water when doing laundry. I was a little hesitant at first, but I haven’t noticed any difference in the level of cleanliness in the clothes, and it saves a good amount of energy.

– Keep your freezer full, it cools more efficiently. If you don’t have a lot of food, even ice packs or bags of ice will do.

– Convert your yard/lawn to natural native plants instead of non-local plants or grass. Lawn maintenance is a huge energy sucker.

Caroline suggests:
– Use biodegradable dog poop bags

And Erica recommends:
– Even better than vegan – eat RAW! No energy used to cook the food, and your body will thank you.

Check out these related links:

GreenDimes – Reduce your junk mail by 75-90% and have a tree planted for you each month – all for a dime/day

The Green Book – Full of hundreds of simple environmental solutions that can make a big difference in the world

Breastfeeding and the Environment – Breastmilk is a valuable renewable natural resource that is the most ecologically sound food source available. It is produced and delivered to the consumer without using other resources, and it creates no pollution. In contrast, artificial baby milk production pollutes our land, air, and water and uses up natural resources.

An Inconvenient Truth – Al Gore’s movie about global warming

Ten Tips for Earth Day: Preserving Biodiversity

The History of Earth Day

Top 10 Earth Day Tips from National Geographic’s The Green Guide

Logical Environmental Reasoning for a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Climate Teacher – Focused on helping people understand, communicate, and take action on climate change.

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Do you have more tips or sites to share about going green or Earth Day? Please share them with me and I’ll add them to the list.

Mother Earth thanks you.
Happy Earth Day! :)

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10 thoughts on “Go Green! – Earth Day 2007

  1. i’m glad you included eating vegetarian/vegan on this list, because these kind of lists often ignore it. even many vegetarians/vegans are not aware that the meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than cars (20% of the world total) and switching from an average american meat-based diet to a vegetarian one reduces your emissions as much as switching from a regular car to a hybrid.

  2. Great list! Thank you so much for taking the time to share and for being so good to our planet. It feels so good to be doing many of these things, but I don’t rest too easy on my laurels…knowing I can always do MORE.
    My additions:
    1) Purchase wooden toys, are at least used toys.
    2) Practice sustainable, green building practices for new homes or remodels (low VOC paint, renewable floors like bamboo, solar/passive solar, native planting, sustainable materials, low-water usage appliances, soooo much more).
    3) If you can, convert your car to a bio-diesel or SVO powered vehicle.
    4) Compost and use in your garden
    5) Support businesses who invest in sustainable, earth-friendly practices
    6) Buy fair-trade (while it’s not directly linked to the earth per se, I believe that peace and fair living practices = respect for the Earth).
    7) Thank the earth daily.
    XOXO

  3. cool – I’m doing many of those things already. Think I will challenge my self to eat at least 1 vegetarian meal a week for starters. DH is a reluctant vego so I doubt we would ever be completely so, but I can do 1 meal without him complaining too much. I would point out that free range, organic meat is probably a good option for earth-friendly carnivores. Many such farmers do their own butchering too.

    I would love a hybrid car… maybe when we upgrade my vehicle we could afford a 2nd-hand one… at least that is my cunning plan.

  4. These are great tips! One tip I can think of is to use cold water when doing laundry. I was a little hesitant at first, but I haven’t noticed any difference in the level of cleanliness in the clothes, and it saves a good amount of energy. Another is to keep your freezer full, it cools more efficiently. If you don’t have a lot of food, even ice packs or bags of ice will do. Oh, and convert your yard/lawn to natural native plants instead of non-local plants or grass. Lawn maintenance is a huge energy sucker.

    Happy Earth Day!

  5. Pingback: BSM - 4/23/07 « Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess

  6. Hey- thanks for mentioning GreenDimes in your post- we really appreciate your taking the time to tell people about our services.
    Make sure you check out the site (www.greendimes.com) from time to time and see what we are up to- we are always improving our services and user tools for our members…
    Thanks again for the post and for giving a dime!
    Kendra
    GreenDimes

  7. Hi Amy,

    While this doesn’t count exactly as “something to do”, I do think you would enjoy Climate Teacher, http://www.climateteacher.blogspot.com, the blog my sister-in-law writes about the search for the most effective ways to write, speak and teach about climate change. check it out, I think you’ll really enjoy her writing.
    Anna

  8. I enjoy reading your blog and am also very committed to helping the environment any way I can, but I think you should mention the biggest problem of all – too many people! Maybe people shouldn’t continue to have multiple children. Think of all the kids already born who don’t have parents to care for them. Maybe we should think about adoption, or foster parenting instead of having 3 and 4 kids……

    Just a thought

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