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Going Green For Earth Day

April 22, 2011
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Maybe it’s my inner hippie speaking, but I wish every day was Earth Day.

hsj.org

It’s the one day of the year when we have conversations about going green that aren’t tinged with political rhetoric, the one day people are encouraged to recycle publicly and perform acts of environmental stewardship.

I try to live in an eco-friendly way every day. No one is perfect but I’m of the mindset that every little bit counts. How do I go green?

  • Why drive when you can walk? Grocery store, library, movie theatre, gym, restaurants, public transportation–I’m lucky to have a lot within a couple miles’ distance. If you live in a rural area, consider walking once you’re at your destination. I’ve seen people exit one store in a large shopping complex, get into the car and drive across the parking lot to the next store. Walk.
  • Use recyclable shopping bags. It’s a fractional financial investment to reduce plastic bags in landfills. It still takes energy to recycle plastic bags! If you live in DC, you’re taxed 5 cents for every non-reusable bag you use and that can add up; some stores even offer a credit for bringing your own bags.
  • Recycle. Think recycling takes too much time?Where I live, all of your recyclables go in one giant bin (paper, plastic, glass) without sorting by type. The recycling bin is right next to the trash can so it’s a split-second decision to recycle or trash.
  • Carry reusable water bottles. BPA-free, baby!
  • Telecommute. Not everyone has this option but more companies should encourage telecommuting as gas prices continue to rise. Why waste time and energy commuting?
  • Pick up trash. See an empty soda can on the grass or a big piece of cardboard blowing in the wind? See a trash can or recycling bin nearby? You know what to do.
  • Turn off the lights. Don’t sit in the dark, but why does every light in the house have to be on if you’re just in one room?
  • Don’t eat factory-farmed animals. This is the controversial one but I had to say it. Factory farming is killing the planet. According to the UN, factory farms are responsible for 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and 37% of pesticide contamination in the water supply. A German study found that ‘a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for more than seven times as much greenhouse gas emissions as a vegan’s diet.’ I’m not vegan and don’t intend to be — in fact, I’m considering adding a limited amount of meat into my diet soon (more details later) — but eating factory-farmed animals is hurting your body and hurting the planet.

How do you go green?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2011 8:04 am

    In addition to reusable grocery bags, I also use reusable produce bags. Before I got them, I would use a ton of little plastic bags at the grocery store. The cashiers are always really confused when I use them, but it’s still worth it.

    • April 22, 2011 9:07 am

      Where did you buy them? I usually try just to NOT use produce bags but it can get annoying with apples, etc. so I end up using some plastic.

      • Marie permalink
        April 22, 2011 10:13 am

        I just keep reusing the same plastic produce bags that I get at the store until they get dirty/holes, then I recycle them. My boyfriend thinks I’m weird, but he already knew that 🙂 Where DO you get reusable produce bags though?! Sounds way better.

      • April 22, 2011 10:27 am

        She told me she bought them on Amazon — totally checking that out!

  2. April 22, 2011 8:21 am

    I also do earth day every day – taking mass transit to work, where I help utilities effectively produce low-carbon emission electricity!

    • April 22, 2011 9:08 am

      Using public transit is definitely the way to go! Awesome! 🙂

  3. April 22, 2011 9:23 am

    Great tips–my favorite is turning off the lights. It’s such an easy thing to do!

  4. Marie permalink
    April 22, 2011 10:14 am

    Great post! I’m big on the reusable water bottles and cloth grocery bags, too.

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