July 5, 2014

31 Ideas for the Everyday Anyone to Go Greener.

earth and activisim / Natasa Dokovska

Whether we’re beginner, intermediate or advanced in Earth advocacy, here are some ideas to inspire our inner paisley-pants-and-earth-peace greenness!

The Hows:

Aside from the basic: refuse, refuse, refuse and reduce, reuse, recycle mantras, here are some specific Eco-ideas. Use what works for you. All I respectfully request is that you consider adding something (anything) to the list of what you already do.

Specifics for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Earth Advocacy:

  1. Shop local. The closer to home it started the less transport pollution. And Hello! Supporting our local economy comes back to us in cheaper property taxes. (Not really, but there are other feel-good benefits.)
  2. Choose wood over plastic if it hasn’t arrived from across country (or the globe) via transport truck. Try to go for products made with recycled plastic if you can.
  3. Reuse your grocery bags. Leave them in the car. We’ll still love you if you forget a few times! (Not that you need our love.) Just a couple items? “No bag, thanks!”
  4. Reuse the bags you store your fresh veggies in. (Have fresh veggies!)
  5. Grow a food garden.
  6. No room for your own? Try a crockpot mini garden or potted herbs or contribute to a community food garden. (Bonus: learn something new, meet new people.)
  7. Shop at the local Farmers’ Markets. Sure they truck their food items in, but only from six blocks away, usually. Consider the overall impact.
  8. Add something/anything (/all if you can) organic to your list. Even Costco has organic. One item won’t break the bank, I promise, and—Surprise! Some items are less costly than their conventional option. Like laundry detergents from stand alone soap shops. (Hang to dry whenever possible, please.)
  9. Avoid pesticides. They contaminate and kills bees and bees pollinate our crops. No bees=food prices rise. (Cliff Notes.)
  10. Buy Non-GMO labelled something/anything/all.
  11. If you eat meat, choosing closer to home is best.
  12. If you believe in humane animal conditions, try to buy from a local happy-cow/chicken/oink farmer hopefully one who buys local feed suppliers.
  13. Eat less animal products. (“Less” is not “none” for those of us who physiologically—or psychologically—need it. Or for those who are simply not ready, willing or able to give it up!)
  14. Hunt it down. Honestly, if we’re a good shot and it’s not endangered and we’re consuming all that we take and it’s not for sport, I’m okay with this. (Animal lives freely in the wild until its untimely death… Much better than most industrial farming conditions.)
  15. Avoid fast food restaurants. We’re fast becoming a nation of fatties needing more nutrition but a lot less food. Plus, there is so much take-away waste.
  16. Need your java fix? Try taking a seat and sipping from a “for here” cup—or bring our own mug along. At the very least, if we have a sip slip-up, recycle the refuse.
  17. Turn it off. Unless we want to be buying our teeth-brushing water at hair-raising prices, let’s turn the tap off when we brush.
  18. For those who really want to get carried away without Calgon® (Take Me Away!), repurpose bath water. (This is in the advanced category, but using bio-friendly bubbles means reusable water for that veggie garden.)
  19. Buy/use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. The big ones.
  20. Reduce purchase/use of small energy-using appliances. Really, do you need an electric lemon squeezer? Put some muscle in it!
  21. Lighten up on the make-up. Choose from earth-friendly companies and/or try au natural—it’s often prettier than the trowelled on gunk, anyway.
  22. Shower less, skip the soap. Yes, seriously. Chlorinated water and soap dry our skin and strip our natural oils causing us to douse ourselves in moisture-adding lotions and potions. “Sponge bath” on the off days to keep from smelling off.
  23. Turn off the lights. (We all look better in low lighting, anyway.)
  24. Turn off the heat. (Wear fluffy socks or share body heat with that special someone. The lights are dim and moody after all.)
  25. (Sing:) Go hybrid, it’s your birthday! Make your next car uber stealth. (Prius’ are so quiet they sneak up on us like a first gray hair. And for those who enjoy the finer things, the Tesla is tres chic and uber earthy.)
  26. Skip the four wheels and go with two, ride a bike, or—gasp—take public transit or—double gasp—walk.
  27. And, of course, avoid buying anything in excess packaging, especially toxic-fume-producing-factory-contaminating-our-water-supplies-fricking-fracking-earth-damning petroleum products: plastics.
  28. Before we buy, let’s ask ourselves, “Do I really need, need, need this?” Do without when we can. (Again, advanced stuff here. No shame if you’re not here. Note: it’s easier when one’s cash-limited!)
  29. “Yes, I really need (cough, want) it!” Okay, try starting with buying used, local if possible.
  30. Related to #28. Get therapy. No, really. I’m serious. The more we like ourselves, the more that translates into not needing unnecessary things to fill the void to keep up with them Joneses. Weird, but true. (Could be a way advanced move here, do not try this alone.)
  31. If #30 scares the shit out of you, do any of the other suggestions and then share the crap out of your conquest. Seriously. People are inspired by what other people just like them show they can do. Especially, if this is out of character for the doer. Someone who is already all I-don’t-wear-even-make-up is not going to inspire the Avon Lady. We need to be able to relate. So, Avon Lady, share your “I reused a bag” inspiration story. It matters! (Unless, you’ll make more profit off extra eye shadow sales from GMO-gene-mutations.)

There are plenty of other things one can do to contribute, and I applaud any changes anyone makes to help greenify our globe!

Feedback and comments welcome!


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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Natasa Dokovska at Pixoto





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