… And What You Can Do to Keep it That Way!
Don’t you think that it is well past time for environmentalists and economists to sit down and talk to one another? I happen to believe that dialogue is a good thing—how very naïve of me! But I much prefer dialogue to the alternative—war, famine, blockades, shouting, tear gas and scores of police shelling peaceful demonstrators with rubber bullets or worse. Our Mother Earth, which is in distress in many places (i.e. The Pacific Garbage Patch, The Love Canal, The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico) deserves a dedicated effort to find solutions together. After all, we all occupy the planet and it is the only safe home (at least at the moment) that we have in the universe.
Feeling overwhelmed? And wondering where to start? Here are a few suggestions. Small initiatives at first, but if enough of us embrace these changes, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Caring for Water
- If you have a garden or other plants that are watered regularly, purchase a rain barrel to collect and store water.
- Check your house for leaky faucets and repair them.
- Install water-saving aerators on all faucets/taps.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Install water efficient showerheads.
- When staying in a hotel, consider re-using your towels.
- Find out how local environmental organizations are working to conserve local waterways and join them.
- Reduce the use of plastic bags and bottles as much as possible, some of which have accumulated in the world’s largest landfill in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (www.greatgarbagepatch.org).
Caring for fauna and flora
- Visit a local wildlife refuge or other protected green space. Raising awareness will help you plan for protection and preservation efforts.
- Regularly trim any trees or shrubs to be sure they continue to scrub the atmosphere.
- Minimize your use of pesticides and herbicides.
- Put up a bird feeder in your backyard. Learn more about the species that visit your bird feeder.
- Start composting! Save organic scraps, turn them into compost and then use the compost to feed your plants or garden (go the www.compostguide.com for details).
Caring for creation
- Use real plates and cups, or paper plates/cups, instead of Styrofoam or plastic for family gatherings.
- Create signs to post next to each light switch in your home that reminds everyone to turn off the lights in the room if they are the last person to leave.
- Work with your local municipal department and host an electronics re-cycling day at your church.
- Start a book study group that examines environmental issues to raise awareness.