Guest Author - Aimee Wood
Earth Day is celebrated each year in April, but the choices we make should benefit the planet each and every day. You are probably already doing a huge part in creating a greener earth, but it is great to learn new and different ways to live a little lighter on the planet.
Water usage. Curbing water usage is one thing you can continue to work on each daily. Make a conscious effort to use less water each day, make it your challenge. Take shorter showers by turning off the water while you soap up. A four minute shower uses roughly 25-40 gallons of water. When you brush your teeth, only use the water while rinsing. Run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher. Wash your dark clothes in cold water, it will make them last longer. If you wash dishes by hand, do not leave the water on to rinse. If you have a garbage disposal, consider composting instead. Garbage disposals use an enormous amount of water to run and create problems with septic systems.
In your yard, plant only native plants that could withstand a possible drought. Plant drought resistant grasses or consider replacing grasses with ground cover that does not need mowing and watering. Position your gutters to water plants instead of sidewalks. A rain barrel could be used to water garden plants. Go to: www.wateruseitwisely.com for the home challenge video.
Stop being a consumer. Stop those unnecessary or impulse buys. If you trying to "keep up with the Joneses", maybe you need to switch your priorities. If something has an expensive upkeep, maybe it is not worth having around. In 2007, the mini documentary, "The Story of Stuff" came out and the information still holds true today. Go to: www.storyofstuff.org to see what happens when we buy and consume too much "stuff".
Rely less on your car. Utilizing public transportation, carpooling, or walking when you can is more preferable than using your car to get around. Some cities have carpooling websites such as www.gocarma.com.
Shop locally and buy as much organic/non-GMO foods as you can. Voting can be done in the way you spend your money. It is slowly catching on in the USA that consumers are demanding more organic foods. Organic foods are better for the environment and your health. Better yet, seek out a local farmer who uses organic practices. If you can, grow your own food for your family. You would be amazed at how much can be planted in small plots or window boxes, all you need is a little sun.
Do something fun on Earth Day and celebrate what a beautiful place we live on! Make it a challenge to do something new each day to protect our great green Earth, you will be setting an example for generations to come!