Saturday, April 19, 2008
Saturday was my town's Earth Day celebration. The weather was cold and intermittently snowing. But myself and a few tenacious neighbors hung our laundry in protest of local restrictive covenants. And so far so good - no wild complaints from the neighborhood association.
We also walked to the Earth Day Festival. There weren't many people out and about. My husband postulated it was too cold for those concerned about global warming. He's probably right. Go figure.
In Honor of Earth Day Here Are Ten Things We Can All Do Now To Save Our Planet:
1) Let it all hang out - your laundry that is. Did you know that your electric dryer uses as much energy as a refrigerator and consumes more than six percent of the household energy? That's the scoop according to this article in the New York Times.
2) Change incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents. Flourescents have a longer life span and use 60 to 80% less energy according to TreeHugger.com.
3) Start a compost pile. Don't have room? Consider a worm bin. My worm bin, made from a $5.00 plastic storage container, sits in the garage outside the kitchen. And, honestly, "this poop don't stink."
4) Ride a bike or walk to work, the store, the mailbox (yes Dave and Michelle, I am talking to you. No one needs to drive one block to mailbox). The exercise is good for you, environmentally friendly and you'll save on gas - seems like a no brainer to me.
5) Recycle. Freecycle. Keep things out of the landfill.
6) Unplug your appliances and turn out lights when not in use. You could save as much as 25% on your electric bill. Check out this article on reducing standby waste. Eliminate this waste with a product such as Buy Buy Standby.
7) Conserve water: Set sprinklers to a timer, water only when necessary, fix leaky faucets, use low flow shower heads, wash only full loads of dishes, capture tapwater and on and on.
8) Turn down the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and turn it up to 78 degrees in the summer. Install a programmable thermostat and decrease the temperature even further at night. Nothing beats snuggling up with a warm blanket on a cool winter's eve.
9) Buy some candles and have Earth Hour once a week: perhaps a romantic dinner or Scrabble by candlelight. Or use the time to meditate, slow down and appreciate the simple things.
10) Garden organically. Use the soil from your compost or worm bin to fertilize. Avoid pesticides and herbicides. Organic mulch makes great weed control. And a little hand weeding? Why that is good for your soul.
The remains of the day ...
Check out this great new flickr group called the Remains of the Day. It's a place to photograph your kitchen remains, seriously. You know, the things going into the compost pile (or the chicken coop. Yes, yes, I'm dreaming here. Are you listening hubbie? Our neighbors won't mind. Really they won't. )
One person's trash is another's treasure. Here are yesterday's remains from our house:
So, raise your glass. Here's to conservation, saving both money and energy, healthy living and exercise for the body and soul. Here's to Mother Earth and all her progeny. Happy Earth Day!