Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010!

What are your plans for Earth Day?  Did you even know it's today?

Earth Day is not just for the Hippy Greeney folks.  It's for everyone!

To be Green is to be Socially Responsible.

Would you hold the door for a woman pushing a stroller?

Would you tell the man at Target that his ID fell out of his wallet?

Would you help the old lady pick up her dropped purse?

Those are all things we do as Socially Responsible people.  They are also things we do because we are polite.

Being Green is not really much different.

Pick up the napkin that dropped on the ground.

Put the soda can in the recycle container instead of the trash.

Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth.

So, what are you going to do for Earth Day?  If we all do our part and just pick up after ourselves or turn off the water or the lights or the TV the Earth will be around for may more generations.

Here are 6 very simple ways to be Socially Responsible (or Green):
1. When you are out walking the dog you are already carrying a bag to clean up after the dog.  Grab one a little bit bigger, like a plastic Target bag, and pick up trash that you see along the way.  Before you know it you have saved an entire bag of trash from ending up in the river and it didn't cost you anything.  Plus you can count the bending over as squats!

2. Dump extra water on the lawn instead of down the drain.  I am not talking about catching the water that comes out of your washing machine or even hauling the 5 gallons from the dehumidifier up a flight of stairs.  I am simply talking about the dog bowl, what left in that glass from last night, what you over measured cooking dinner.  Just step out the door and dump.  A little goes a long way!  I dump mine on my letuce right out the back door.

3.  Don't simply by an appliance just because it says Energy Star.  I recently learned that what it takes for an appliance to be certified Energy Star may also mean the life expentancy of that appliance is much shorter.  Make sure to look at the energy ratings on the appliance and talk to someone who knows about that Washing Machine.  It's better to spend $5 more a year on energy then to add a washer to the landfill every 4 years.  My point? Do your research!

4.  Turn off the lights and TV every time you leave the room.  Myth Busters busted the myth that it takes more energy to turn on a light then it does to leave it on for a few minutes.  BUSTED!  Hit the switch on the way out.

5.  We do not have a dish washer.  When I wash dishes (sometimes 3 times a day!) I fill the sink with hot soapy water.  I fill the sink with dishes.  I wash all of those dishes and place them in the other side of the sink.  Once that sink is full of clean but soapy dishes I rinse them all.  This way the water is not running the entire time to do the dishes.  It cuts the run time from 10 minutes down to 3 minutes.  And it's a simple change!

6.  Now, I realize this is not an option for everyone but it is one of my favorites.  Hang your laundry to dry.  At least hang your towels.  This saves me about 3 loads in my dryer very week.  That's a ton of gas and wear on my dryer.  If you just need to have fluffy towels, throw them back in the dryer on steam or fluff for 10 minutes and they are good as new.  But they smell a million times better when dried on a clothes line!

What did I do for Earth Day?  Well, I practice all six tips above on a daily basis.  This year, so far, we have planted 3 new trees (2 in our back yard and 1 at Dad's house).  And I plan to help clean up a park on Saturday.

Enjoy Earth Day everyone!  Leave a comment on what you are doing to celebrate!

And remember, the Farmers Market in Minneapolis opens this week - the Nicollet Mall Market is open today and the main market opens on Saturday!!  Enjoy!!

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