Save the Planet

The older I get, and I’m not that old yet, the more I realize how important it is to do what we can to preserve this planet we live on.  I watch my 3 year old son play, and I wonder what Earth will be like when he is my age.  When he is middle aged.  When he’s ready to retire.  And I realize that every little thing I can do to make the world a better place for him is important.  Every can or bottle I recycle is like putting money away into a bank account for him to use later.

Friday is Earth Day, so I thought I should definitely dedicate a post this week to the environment, and what we can do to help make the future bright for our children and grandchildren.

Do you recycle?  I think recycling is the first and easiest thing we can do to help save this planet.  If you don’t recycle, why don’t you?  You can pick up a blue box anywhere, and they don’t charge to take away your recyclables.  You can cut down on your garbage, which is money back in your pocket if you pay for garbage collection like I do.  It’s so easy to do.  We keep our blue boxes in the garage, and I have one under the sink in the kitchen.  Just a smaller one that while I’m cooking I can put the rinsed out containers into so when it’s full, I just have to take that container out to the garage to empty into the blue box.  It doesn’t get easier than that.  I totally recommend that you find the website for the municipality that you live in and find out what can be recycled and what can’t.  You will probably be surprised at what can skip the garbage.  By knowing this, you can also reduce waste right at the supermarket by buying things that have little or no waste associated with them, and that are packaged in materials that can be recycled later.

I’ve also tried to help out where I can at work as well.  All the paper that used to get thrown away now gets shredded if necessary and put into clear plastic bags.  I take them home once a week or every other week and put them out to the road at my house.  It doesn’t cost me anything and it makes me feel so much better knowing I’m making a difference in that way.  I also make sure that the paper products that we buy come from recycled material.

I also do not buy bottled water.  I’m quite passionate about this one.  Nothing makes me angrier than the bottled water aisle at the supermarket.  All that waste.  There are so many people around the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water.  People who are dying due to water related diseases.  You can find out more about that here.  We are so fortunate to have safe drinking water, right out of our taps, and yet we purchase it, and the plastic bottles it comes in, all for the sake of convenience.  I have a few stainless steel and glass water bottles that I reuse with (Brita) filtered water from the tap.  I also always try to remember to take a re-usable coffee mug with me when I’m going to be out and know I’ll be buying a coffee.  Most coffee places will take 10 cents off the price of your coffee if you bring your own mug.  I have a ceramic coffee mug at work and have purchased some for the office, encouraging my co-workers to use them instead of Styrofoam or to bring their own from home.

I don’t know a lot about composting, but I’m learning.  I’ve asked for two things for Mothers Day this year.  A composter and a green cone.  I’m sure you know what a composter does, but I didn’t know about the green cone until recently.  You can read about it here, basically you put it in your garden and it takes all cooked and uncooked food waste and breaks it down.  You can even put pet feces in it.  Used diligently, it can reduce your household waste by up to 33%.  And when you think about it, your garbage won’t stink nearly as much either!

I try to do all the other little things to help reduce energy consumption, turning off lights and electronics when I leave a room, I have also decided to put in a clothes line this year to help reduce the use of my dryer.  The nice thing about these things is that you save money by doing them as well.

What do you do to make the world a better place for future generations?  Do you have suggestions? Comments? Please let me know.  I’ve included a list of links that you make for interesting reading and might help you to look at things differently.

Earth Day Canada

Greenpeace

Earth Hour

Earth Care

Environment Canada – Composting

Environment Canada – What you can do to make a difference

On Earth Day this year, Friday, April 22nd, don’t forget to hug a tree.  Also, don’t forget to make it last beyond Earth Day, to make saving this planet a part of our daily lives.

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

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