Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Yes, I know … I’m a crazy tree-hugging vegetarian, but it’s really much more than that. I love Earth Day. This Earth Day is especially significant as it’s been 40 years since the first one. Even though I think everyone should focus on being eco-friendly or eco-conscious every single day, it would be most awesome if everyone would do a few things on Earth Day to make a little bit of a difference. Here at our house, we really strive to put as little impact on our world as we can. Ideally, I’d live completely off the grid, I’m just not sure I could survive without the internet … or the E! channel.
If I could encourage anyone to make any changes, that would be wonderful. Here are a few of the things we’ve done since last Earth Day … and I promise you can do it too.
Recycling at home: At first … I really didn’t want to, because I’m lazy. Jimmy persuaded me, and promised that it wouldn’t be that difficult. I gave in, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job since then. We don’t have a curbside recycling program (or at least not a free one), so we take our three plastic totes to a local recycling dumpster about once a month. That’s it! It’s easy. Since then, we’ve noticed that we have hardly any trash. We didn’t even take our trashcan out to the curb yesterday since there was only 1 bag. It’s pretty cool.
Buying organic food: Ohhhh how I love Fresh Market. We’ve been shopping there for months, and really focusing on buying organic food. We’re not quite to 100% organic (nothing tastes like JIF peanut butter), but we feel like the change we’ve made is making a difference. After watching Food Inc., we vowed to give up the huge supermarkets and focus more on smaller stores. I cannot wait until this summer to shop at our local farmers markets.
Unplugging: Ok, my husband hates me for this one … I make him unplug his computer cord every single time he’s not using it. Part of that has to do with being paranoid about our house burning down … but the other part has to do with the fact that if you leave appliances and cords plugged in while they aren’t being used, they will still use electricity. Let’s be real, it’s great to help the environment, but this one helps save money, too.
Eating Vegetarian: Google it. The meat industry contributes to TONS of gas being released into the atmosphere, and TONS of energy is used in the processing of the animals. If the demand for meat was reduced … there wouldn’t be as many animals being processed … which would help the environment. I know better than to tell anyone how to eat, but I would still try to encourage everyone to pick at least one day a week to leave meat off of their menu. It’s good for the earth, but it might also encourage you to try a new recipe or a new food. If you need any yummy vegetarian recipes, just let me know. I have several favorites that I’d be happy to share.
Other than that … you can change you light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, turn lights off when you leave the room, turn your heat down a few degrees, plant a tree, grow your own fruit and veggies at home, wash your laundry in cold water. Yes, there are thousands more things that you can do, but those are just a few that we’ve done that have been fairly easy.
Hope you all have a happy Earth Day. Remember … Respect your mother (Earth).