As I grew up on a farm, this “Green Thing” is second nature. Wasting resources is definitely not part of a farmer’s lifestyle. I also remember a commercial from my childhood that made a big impression. It’s the one that has Iron Eyes Cody looking at a polluted stream with a tear in his eyes.
As I now live in a suburb of a big city, it’s a bit harder but well worth the effort. Here are some of the methods I use to help keep Earth healthy:
1) Donate excess fruits and vegetables. Despite the postage stamp size of our yard, I have managed to plant quite a few trees and vines. That was great when the kids were little, but now most of them produce far more than two people can use, and I don’t have the space to do much canning. Most of my neighbors have the same problem, but we don’t want to waste anything.
The answer to this problem is to donate it to organizations that feed the hungry. Many of them will send workers to harvest the produce, so you don’t even have to pick it yourself. I have noticed that the squirrels were not really all that thrilled with the process…
2) Filtered Water: Instead of continually buying case after case of bottled water, we have installed a filtration system. It’s already paid for itself. We do have to purchase new bottles from time to time, as they aren’t washable and need replaced to avoid food poisoning. However, the expense…and waste…has been cut sharply.
3) Full Loads Only: This is for laundry as well as dishes. I’ve been known to skip the dishwasher when there are only a few things, if I know I’ll use less water using that method. With the laundry, I use cold water as much as possible.
4) Grocery Bags: I have to admit I started this out of stubbornness. The local grocery stores started charging for plastic or paper bags, and I didn’t want to pay the extra money, even if it was only twenty or thirty cents a trip. That adds up fast. Now I do it for convenience and for the planet. My husband has a set of his own for those times when I ask him to pick up something at the market on his way home.
5) Recycle Barrel: Many communities have rules about what you can and can’t throw into the regular garbage. Ours has three barrels, and we make use of all three. One is for regular trash, the second is for paper, plastic, glass and other recyclables and the third is for yard waste. Those who live in areas zoned for horses usually have multiple yard waste barrels for the horse apples. This process has saved millions of trees.
I’m not perfect at all of this, there are times when I slip up. However, if we all did our best, the planet would be a better place.
Sources: WM Corp, View the commercial on youtube