Earth Day 2004, It’s all about choices

This Thursday April 22 marks the thirty-fourth annual observation of Earth Day. What choices will you make this year that will effect our planet home? Or do you still feel what you do on a daily basis does not effect the earth? We all seem to understand cause and effect but we don’t seem to think it’s up to us individually to make changes.

We are a consumer driven society and some of that cannot be changed, but we can make choices based on the facts. Please remember when you make your choices you are also making choices for the future generations that will inhabit the earth including your children and grandchildren.

Learning to live and tread lightly upon the earth should be everyone’s goal. One study showed that families that practice earth friendly conservative measures have saved enough in power, fuel, consumer and durable goods over a ten year period to send one child to college.

Recycling is still the best way to get started taking care of our planet. We have wonderful curbside programs locally that make recycling easy, and each year the list of acceptable items lengthens.

Don’t stop with just paper, cans, plastics and glass you can recycle clothing and durable goods to any number of charities and receive a tax credit up to $500. Or if you’d just like the cash, try a garage sale or try your hand at selling it on e-Bay or one of the other online auction sites. It’s amazing what people will buy and put to good use. I had a woman tell me she made $5,000 in six months on e-Bay selling yarn and other unfinished needle work projects she had purchased over the years.

Entire companies are springing up around recycled old computers. Not only are the chips reused but the hard plastic cases. Old computers are valuable to charitable organizations as well for simple use such as data base storage and informational literature.

China is buying up every scrap of iron and steel for the construction of new airports, highways and trains. Because of this America’s scrap yards are paying premium price for all metals, especially steel and iron. Old cast iron radiators are now worth quite a bit, or sell them to the local antique store for a homeowner’s renovation project.

Even if you’ve never considered yourself a conservationist, wouldn’t the money be nice.

Other tips:

  1. Do all your laundry in cold water- large loads only.
  2. Buy products that have minimal packaging.
  3. Use plants and trees that grow naturally in your area. They will require less of your time, water and chemicals.
  4. Use natural products for cleaning such as baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil and salt. They save money and they won’t poison the water.
  5. Turn the faucet off when brushing your teeth or in between when rinsing dishes.
  6. Replace your showerhead with a higher pressure lower volume head.
  7. Encourage your state and federal representatives to support measures that spare the environment. They need to do their part as well.

These small changes can make a huge impact. If each of us does our part no one will be deprived of the luxury of clean air and water and a warm house.

Till next time, Rebecca.