Happy Earth Day. Hey, rhymes with birthday! Do we get cake? A round one, maybe?
My most environmentally friendly good deeds to date have been collecting litter (which I find I’m doing more often now – a particularly nasty, but ultimately worthwhile, habit I can’t seem to shake) and caring for a small cedar tree that, when I last checked, was standing straight and tall and green.
My carbon footprint is probably just as Sasquatch-sized as everyone else’s, however, so today I tried to do something extra for the Earth’s big day.
In honour of the occasion, the lobby of the building where I work was giving away packets of seeds. By the time I saw them, however, all that was left were green beans, beets, Swiss chard and dill. I picked two (beets and dill) and I will be giving them away to a gardener neighbour who has an amazing green thumb.
Here’s the list of “Top 10 Things to Do for Earth Day” from the earthday.ca website. I’ve italicized the ones I did today … the rest I’ll have to work on … gee, there seem to be a lot of those….
1. Smart shopping
- Buy what you need, not what you want [Do TicTacs count?]
- Consider renting and borrowing things that are seldom needed
- Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores
2. Simple savers
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs [OK, but why do they have to be so funny looking? Liked a whipped-cream swirl hanging from the ceiling….]
- Use aerators on faucets and shower heads
- Weatherstrip windows and doors [If I knew how, I would, I swear]
3. Transportation alternatives
- Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
- When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
- Consider car sharing programs or renting [If anyone has a Porsche they’d like to share, please let me know]
4. Food choices
- Choose local and organic foods that are in season [Are peanut butter cookies in season?]
- Eat less meat
5. Washing and drying
- Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry
6. Heating and cooling
- For summer air conditioning, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
- For winter heating, set your thermostat to 19°C or 20°C
- Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats
7. Close to home
- Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible [Um, is vacationing close to home really a vacation?]
8. Bathroom basics
- Take short showers instead of baths
- Close water taps while brushing your teeth [Will work on this one]
9. Careful cleaning
- Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
- Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water
10. Don’t discard
- Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
- Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers
Happy Earth Day to you! Happy Earth Day to you! Happy Earth Day dear planet, Happy Earth Day to youuuuuuuu!
P.S. Here’s Michelle Kaufmann with an amazing eco-friendly craft project that not only looks cool but gives you the perfect excuse to have a glass of wine. Enjoy!