Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Being Gentler to Mother Earth

"Going Green" is the new black these days, and I, for one, am extremely happy to see the attention that has been brought to the plight of our planet. Let's face it, we're ruining ourselves here.

So, in an effort to help in the fight to save Mother Earth, I am pledging ten changes to my daily/weekly routine.

1. Invest in a water filter to reduce bottled water purchases. I go through at least a case of bottled water each week. Soooooo not good for the planet, or my wallet.

2. Drive 10-mph less. With the price of gasoline these days, this will also help my budget. And, really, am I in that much of a hurry to get to work? Yeah, right.

3. Buy the squiggly lightbulbs for every single light fixture in the house. I've had them in the hard to reach places for a while now, but that's not good enough. This will also cut down on having to change lightbulbs.

4. Use only the cold setting when doing the laundry. Whadda know. I discovered that it all cleans the same way, and not having to heat the water saves energy and money. Hey, I'm seeing a pattern here. Everything so far is also a money-saver.

5. Switch to a low flow shower head. I had no idea these existed until a recent trip to Walmart's bath fixture aisle. Saves water. Saves--you guessed it--money!

6. Switch to reusable canvas shopping bags. This just makes tons of sense. Seriously, how many drawers in the house can I devote to holding those damn plastic shopping bags? And exactly when will I ever reuse the thousand I have? Why I haven't done this one already is beyond me.

7. Set my home computer to power-save mode. I actually debated this one, but figure I could wait the three seconds it takes the computer to power back up. *snort*

8. Demand that the folks at my day job stop using plastic utensils. This will be a fight. They just stopped using Styrofoam cups a few weeks ago. I kid you not. Who uses Styrofoam cups these days? In fact, maybe I can go one better. I'll tack on taking my personal coffee mug to the coffee shop when I write in the afternoons.

9. Check the tire pressure in my car and keep it tuned and running smoothly. Not only is this a huge safety issue, but who likes spending money on new tires? I want to keep those babies in tip top shape for as long as possible.

10. Shop local. Farmers markets have been cropping up all over the place. Instead of buying my fruits, veggies, and seafood from the grocery stores, where a lot of the stuff is shipped in by 18-wheelers that use $4.00 a gallon diesel fuel, I'm going to support local growers and fishermen.

So, here's your challenge. Pledge to change at least one thing about your current lifestyle that can help in reversing the damage we've all done to the Earth. I've given you ten easy choices, or how about sharing another with me!

And here's the best thing. You can treat yourself to something really nice with all the money you'll save by going green! I'm thinking chocolate.