New Year, New Earth

With the new year here, we are supposed to make new years resolutions.  Most people say that they’re going to lose 20 pounds or stop eating chocolate, but why not resolve to recycle more?  It would be the easiest resolution ever and you’d be helping everybody else and the world out with you.  I know this is on my list of resolutions.

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Did you know?

*Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually.  To put this in perspective, that equals about 850 million trees.

*Energy saved from recycling 1 aluminum can is enough to power your TV for 3 hours.

*Large areas of South and Central America have been cleared to bring cheap beef to producers in the U.S.  Much of this land being cleared was originally rainforest.

*Rainforests are extremely important to our health.  1 in 4 prescription medications have ingredients that come from our rainforests.

It’s really amazing that more people aren’t doing more for our environment when they can see that this:

Turns into this:

The biggest thing that you can do for the environment is not forget about it and don’t ignore what you see.  When we, as humans, forget that the environment is what supports life, we destroy what we have.  Remembering and caring about the environment is the first step in reparing what we have done.

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Consumerism

Consumerism in the United States has gotten way out of hand.  We have started to care more about our personal wants; rather than our global community.  Here are some quick facts and photos that may change your mind before you go out and buy something that you don’t need:

*In one year alone more money was spent on make-up than gaining reproductive health-care for women, on perfume than gaining world literacy, on ocean cruises than clean drinking water for the world, and on ice cream in Europe rather than immunization from deadly diseases for children

*the top 7 boycotted businesses in 2005 were Nike, Coke, McDonalds, Nestle, Adidas, Gap, and Burger King because of their impact on the environment

*Heinz ketchup eaten in California is made from Californian tomatoes shipped to Canada for processing just to be returned to California in bottles.  

*In one year, the port of New York City $431,000 of Californian almonds to Italy and imported $397,000 of Italian almonds to the US.

*In 2004, the UK imported 17,200 tonnes of chocolate-covered wafers and exported 17,600; imported 43,993 tonnes of potatoes whilst exporting 85,652; and imported 25,720 tonnes of milk and cream, only to export 27,125 at the same time.

It’s time for us as a society to start thinking about where our food comes from, where our clothing comes from, and where our energy sources come from.  However, it is also very important to know where everything goes once you throw it out.  A few very important decisions to make before buying ANYTHING are: ‘Do I need this?’  ‘Can I live without it?’ ‘Can I reuse something at home to serve the same purpose?’ and finally ‘Can I make this for myself?’  If you answered no to the first item, and yes to the rest, do NOT buy the item.  Instead, think of what you could be doing for the world. 

National Geographic photographers do an amazing job at showing us how beautiful the world can be.  But what if we could see this beauty any time, not just in photos?

Nature is beautiful, and we need to protect it however we can.  Always think before you act.  More than what you know has an affect on the environment.

Green Tip of the Week #3

Pack Waste Free Lunches:

1. Use a reusabe water bottle instead of a plastic bottle

*U.S. citizens discard more than 2.5 million plastic bottles EVERY HOUR

2. Do not use anything made from aluminum or tin cans

*In the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than 50,000 tin cans were made

3. Use a lunch box and a washable napkin rather than paper bags and paper napkins

*It is estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper

4. Make your morning coffee at home rather than buying it at a fast food place in styrofoam

*U.S. citizens throw away 25 billion styrofoam cups EVERY YEAR

If you are interested in more facts like this, visit PLANET FORWARD, Committed To Living a Sustainable Lifestyle

Green Tip of the Week #2

Here are some Green Tips for hotel stays for the upcoming holidays:

#1  Reuse your towels- if you’re staying for more than one night, reuse your towel.  They don’t need to go through the wash every day to get you dry

#2  Conserve extra water- just because you’re not paying for the water when you take a shower doesn’t mean the environment isn’t paying

#3  Take the stairs-save the electricity of running the elevator

#4  Bring your own food- instead of eating fast food or getting vending machine food with all of the extra wrappings, bring your own food.  There is a refridgerator and microwave in the room for a reason

#5  Don’t have the bedding changed every night-the bedding from one hotel room can take up an entire washing machine by itself.  Save the water and electricity

#6  Bring a reusable mug-the styrofoam cups in the room are not only individually wrapped in plastic, but styrofoam also takes up to 2 million years to fully decompose.  Use a little bit of water and wash your own mug instead

Green Tip of the Week

Earth Share is one of my newly discovered websites that I love as far as ‘going green’ goes.  As a new part of  this blog, we are adding a green tip of the week that will be posted sometime on the weekends.  We will try to make the tip as relevant to the time of the year as well as the season with our green tip.

Turn Your Blue Jeans ‘Green’

Fall and winter are coming up and as I’ve noticed, most people’s go-to outfit during the colder seasons include blue jeans.  Here are a few ways that your blue jeans can be good for the environment.

Go Vintage: instead of going to a big box store for your blue jeans, try a thrift store in your area.  This will also be much cheaper than buying them 100% new, and I’ve found they fit better because they’ve already been broken in for you

Go Organic: cotton that is not grown organically is responsible for 11% of the pesticide use!  Go for organic cotton jeans to reduce the use of pesticides, which harm the environment

Hang Your Jeans Out to Dry: this will reduce energy usage in your house and cut down on your energy bill.  If there’s free wind energy outside, why not use it?  Also, sparing the jeans from the heat of the dryer will help them to last longer, helping to save you money (again!)

Denim Crafts: this is a wonderful way to put old denim to good use.  Make bags, jewelry, and home decoration out of your old denim.  Have fun making a craft and save money on something that you would have had to buy at the store for a higher price

Keep Someone Warm: if your denim is too worn out to do crafts with it, send it to the ‘Cotton from Blue to Green’ denim drive.  Your denim will end up being a green alternative to regular insulation and will help keep someone warm in the winter