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March 29, 2010

Today's the Day When One Hour Counts.

Earth Hour is today.  It's at 8pm local time.  Your local time.  Wherever you are.  Especially wherever you are. 

It's about coming together to make a difference.  It's about showing we all care about our future.  It's not about what country you're from... but what planet you're from. 

So, come 8pm, grab some candles, surround yourself with loved ones, and turn off your lights for 60 minutes.  Then allow yourself to celebrate your connection to the world... and everyone, and everything, in it. 

Show the love for your home planet....  It's the only one you've got. 

March 19, 2010

Water on the Go.

When you're thirsty, water is always a healthy choice.  But if you drink your water from disposable plastic bottles, your healthy habit could be hurting your efforts to reduce waste.  Instead of grabbling a new bottle of water when you head out the door, fill up a reusable water bottle.  But be careful what reusable bottle you use.  Over time, a reusable plastic sports bottle will contaminate your water with dangerous chemicals.  And even aluminum isn't always safe (sorry SIGG).  Your safest bet is to put your inexpensive, filtered, tap water into a stainless steel bottle.  It's the safest, keeps your water colder longer, eliminates the amount of energy that is used to make the bottles you will no longer be buying, and, you won't be throwing away any more plastic waste that clogs our ecosystem.  What a refreshing way to go-green. 

This diagram shows all that happens with every single water bottle you buy:

photo courtesy of back2tap.

In case you don't fully grasp the intensity of our plastic waste problem, you have to read this!!!...

Fate can take strange forms, and so perhaps it does not seem unusual that Captain Charles Moore found his life's purpose in a nightmare.  Unfortunately, he was awake at the time, and 800 miles north of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. 
It happened on August 3, 1997, a lovely day, at least in the beginning: Sunny, little wind.  Water the color of sapphires.  Moore and the crew of Alguita, his 50-foot aluminum-hulled catamaran, sliced throught he sea. 
Returning to Southern California from Hawaii after a sailing race, Moore had altered Alguita's course, veering slightly north.  He had the time and the curiosity to try a new route, one that would lead... continue reading.

When I originally read this story my passion for our natural world flared.  I was appalled at what we had already done.  Is it too late to make a difference?  No.  And I will do my part in protecting what's left of the purity of nature... and help that purity grow.  If you didn't continue reading the above story, do yourself (and your planet) a favor and read it.  Knowledge is power; and knowing what you're up against will give you the power and motivation to help make a difference.  Tell me what you thought of the story. 

March 5, 2010

Your Indoor Forecast

Dress for the season and your heater or air conditioner won't have to work so hard. 

Have you ever worn shorts inside when there was snow outside?  Or have you ever shivered on a hot summer day?  Then most likely your heater or air conditioner is working too hard. 
You can save lots of energy (and money) by turning the thermostat down when it's cold outside and up when it is warm outside.
Also, consider getting a programmable thermostat.  This will regulate the heating or air conditioning by maintaining a preset temperature.  A programmable thermostat contains a clock which allows you to set multiple temperatures for different times of the day.  For example, during the summer, the thermostat can be set for 78 degrees F (25 degrees C) in the morning, then, at a later preset time, set to 85 degrees F (29 degrees C) when the family is away from home for work or school.  In the afternoon, the thermostat is preset for 75 degrees F (23 degrees C) to reduce the temperature for the afternoon and evening. 

This keeps the energy level down as well as your cost.  It just makes sense not to waste so much energy keeping the air and heat blowing for absolutely no one to benefit by.

Iran Celebrates National Tree Planting Day

It's almost spring, and Iran is one of the first countries to celebrate National Tree Planting Day, or as some call it, Arbor Day. 

Let this inspire you to do something to take care of your planet.  Hopefully, if you live in Iran, you will plant at least one tree today.  Hopefully, even if you don't live in Iran (and if your ground isn't still frozen), you will still plant a tree in honor of this special day.

And to make you smile, visit The Drops of Life blog for more pictures of Iranian students planting trees.  It should touch your heart to see we all have the same goal in mind... no matter where we live. 

March 4, 2010

Air Dry

(photo courtesy of Project Laundry List)

Try air drying your clothes.

Clothes dryers use up lots of energy.  They are the second biggest household energy user next to the refrigerator.  You can save energy if you occasionally skip the dryer and hang your clothes someplace where they can air dry.

Project Laundry List is a non-profit organization that is working "to make air drying and cold-water washing acceptable and desirable."  They believe that all citizens everywhere should have the legal right to hang out their laundry.  Check out ways you can help

March 3, 2010

On the Road Again

Sometimes getting where you need to go doesn't have to mean buckling up. 

Cars help us get where we need to go fast!  But sometimes there are better ways to get where you are going. 
For short trips, you might be able to walk or ride your bike.  Not only will you be saving gasoline, you'll be reducing pollution, too.  And for an extra bonus, you'll get some exercise on the way. 
For longer trips, you will probably need some gasoline - but you can still go green.  Carpooling is an easy way to use less fuel.  More people in the car means fewer cars on the road.  And you can join a really big carpool when you ride the bus or subway.  Check with your local metro transit; some buses are now running on clean energy. 

How does saving gasoline help the environment?

Motor vehicles are responsible for over a quarter of annual emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary global-warming gas.  Too much CO2 in the air weakens the ozone layer which is supposed to protect us from too many infrared rays from the sun.  Infrared rays are necessary for life on Earth, but too many heats up the planet.  This gradual increase in the Earth's average annual temperature causes things like certain vegetation to die off and the ice caps to melt.  This in turn causes habitat loss for some wildlife resulting in their eventual extinction. 

Down the Drain

Clean water is one of our most basic and essential resources.  Let's not waste it!
How much water do you think you use each day?  A gallon?  Twenty gallons?  Believe it or not, the average person uses 100 gallons a day!  We use 2-5 gallons a minute just to take a shower.  That means that taking shorter showers is one easy way to save lots of water! You can save even more water by remembering to turn off the faucet while you are brusing your teeth.

How does conserving water help the environment?

Water is essential to life on earth.  We need water to grow food, keep clean, provide power, control fire, and, most importantly, we need it to stay alive.  People use up our planet's fresh water faster than it can be naturally replenished.  Depleting reservoirs and groundwater aquifiers can put water supplies, human health, and the environment at serious risk.  Lower water levels can lead to higher concentrations of natural contaminants, such as radon, and arsenic, or human pollutants, such as agricultural and chemical wastes.  Using water more efficiently and wisely helps maintain supplies at safe levels, protecting human health and the environment.

March 1, 2010

The Power Switch

If you turned it on, don't forget to turn it off!

One simple way that we can conserve the Earth's resources is by not using more electricity than we need to.  Remember to turn the lights off when you leave the room.  Turn the TV off if no one is watching it. And your refrigerator will use less energy if you know what you want before you open it.  That way you can close it again before too much cold air gets out. 

How does this help the environment?

The energy to power the lights comes from somewhere.  That energy is most likely derived from a coal powered plant that converts the heat from the combustion of coal into electricity.  The burning of this coal releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  So, the more electricity you use, the more pollution you add to the the environment.

Welcome Spring - Go Green

"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." - Audra Foveo

Springtime is on its way!  For some of us it's still pretty darn cold.  But, cheer up.  Springtime is on its way!

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." - Henry Van Dyke

Spring is a fresh new start; a new beginning.  It's the perfect time to "go green."  Of course, if you're already doing so, just add more to what you're doing. 
Now, I know the actual first day of spring isn't until March 20th, but why wait until then to start making a difference?  Consider what you do this month a practice round, so that when spring gets here you'll be well on your way to creating a beautiful world. 

"And spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Taking care of the environment is one of our most important responsibilities.  But sometimes trying to help the planet can feel overwhelming.  That's when it's important to remember to take it one step at a time.  And when it comes to being green, little things can really make a big difference.  You can try one small thing, then add another... before you know it, those little steps will add up to a lot more green!

"The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring." - Bern Williams


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