Monday, April 20, 2009
Preparing for Earth Day
Some of you may or may not know that one issue I am very interested in and pretty passionate about is the environment and saving the planet. I know that my time in CA sort of turned me into a beginner tree-hugger, but it is really what I have learned about since then that has made this a big issue for me. We try and teach Sarah on a daily basis about things such as recycling, the importance of saving energy, and to appreciate and take care of the environment around her. If I can teach my daughters the importance of taking care of the only home we have and have them turn into Earth conscience adults, then I will be very proud. Although I wish I could be 100% green and be a perfect example to my kids, it is hard in daily life to do so. I would like to share with you all some of the simple things we do so that you might find something you could change in your daily routine. Earth Day is Wednesday, so maybe you can come up with at least one thing you can change or do to celebrate the day!
1. Electricity from wind energy: At the end of last summer I did some research and actually found that switching to wind power for our electricity was really not that much more than we were already paying. My monthly bills would be slightly higher, not drastically higher. I even found that my current electrical carrier of Reliant had a wind plan that I didn't even know about. I thought the only one was Green Mountain and Reliant was actually cheaper.
2.) Drive a hybrid car or flex fuel car: If only BMW made a hybrid!! If it were up to me we would have a Prius in the garage, but I must admit I love the Beemer. Our other car is a Highlander Hybrid. I use this one the most carting the kids all over the place. As soon as I start seeing ethanol at the gas station, a flex fuel car will be next on my list. (seriously, though, driving a flex fuel car, but using regular gas is not being "green")
3.) Use Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs: We have switched about 60% of our regular light bulbs to these. The reason they are not all switched is because they haven't made a small wall sconce bulb that is a CFL. We did see at Target the other night the CFL bulbs encased in a globe to mimic a regular light bulb. So if you don't like the crazy spiral CFL look, go buy the ones at Target!
4.) Reduce Energy use: We don't leave any lights on in other rooms when we are not in there and have our thermostats set at 75/76 in the summer and 72/73 in the winter.
5.) RECYCLE: This is the easiest one of them all. Why people I know don't do this I still haven't figured it out. The bins are free, I can get as many as I want, and they pick it up once a week. Sarah even knows what goes in the the bin and what doesn't. This is being "green" 101.
6.) Cloth Bags at the Market: I will admit that I religiously take my cloth bags when I go grocery shopping, but can't seem to remember when I run up to Target. I did calculate that at the grocery store alone, for one year, I used about 300 plastic bags. I have been using my bags now for going on 3 years now, so I have saved about 800+ bags from going in the landfill....just me alone!
There are other small/minor things we do and have in our home, but those are the biggies and the ones that I think are so easy to do. It just about making it a priority. Next on my list is to: buy a more energy efficient washer/dryer, plant a couple of more trees, try to start eating more organic and locally grown foods, maybe even start our own little garden, and try to figure a way to catch rain water to use for watering to cut down on our water usage.
In closing, I want to share with you a website to check out. www.thedailygreen.com It is a great "green living" tool. You can find information on toy recalls, organic recipes, political blogs, and many ways to live green, just to name a few. Also..please go out and rent and watch An Inconvenient Truth, regardless of your political party. It is a great, eye-opening movie. The 11th Hour with Leo DiCaprio is also great!