Earth Day comes once a year but as inhabitants of Earth we have a year round responsibility to be guardians of our home. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to care for our fragile planet. As the world population grows Earth’s precious resources will be continually strained.
We are all aware of the discussions on global warming, green house gases and water pollution but are sometimes stymied on ways we as individuals can make a positive impact on the environment.
I have been using some tried and true simple methods of doing my part to protect the environment and my pledge is to continue to do them rigorously.
Frankly, we need to consume less and by this I don’t mean we need to lower our lifestyle; we need to use our resources wisely. Americans particularly believe more is better and is one of the reasons we have a national obesity problem.
Recycle, Reuse, Reclaim
I rigorously recycle; I don’t want any of my recyclables winding up in a landfill. This is a no brainer and it is simple to sort the metal, paper and plastic for recycling.
Use Less Energy (Automobiles)
Automobiles are one of the biggest energy hogs and polluters we have; reducing personal automobile usage has a tremendous impact on the environment and your wallet. My plan is to reduce my personal auto mileage by 10% this year. I have found walking and bicycling for short trips to be a viable and healthy alternative. Public transportation and car pooling are alternatives for longer journeys.
Use Less Energy (At Home and in the Office)
I do and will continue to turn off unused lights and appliances. In the cooler months I open the blinds to allow sunlight in for additional light and heat. In the summer, I open the windows and us a fan to avoid turning on the air conditioner. In the winter, I keep the thermostat a bit low and wear a sweater.
Plant a Garden and Compost
I love to garden and have been an urban composter for years. Leaves, grass clippings, coffee grinds, fruit rinds and other organic compostable items go in my bin and not the landfill.
Turn the Water Off
When doing the dishes and brushing your teeth don’t let the water run unnecessarily. I am a bit lax on this one and my pledge is to be diligent with water waste this year. When doing the laundry do full loads and don’t over use detergent. An old fashioned clothes line is ecologically friendly and an energy saver.
Litter often winds up in storm drains and impacts the water system; put the trash where it belongs. I never litter and strongly endorse heavy fines for littering
It is clear that we all benefit from reductions in air and water pollution. Conservation and recycling allows for less drilling and mining. On a personal level less trips to the gas station is more money in my pocket, less electricity consumption is more money in my pocket, less water usage is more money in my pocket. Vegetable gardening and composting is less money spent at the supermarket and garden supply store.
I plan on doing my part to care for and preserve our home Earth. One person can make a difference. I would love to have you share your ideas on preserving the planet.