… Because You Care
Buy Organic! – Keep toxic agricultural chemicals out of our environment and protect soil fertility while safeguarding the lives of birds, bees, butterflies, and frogs. Organically grown food has more vitamins and minerals, so it’s good for you too!
Go Vegetarian or Vegan! – Did you know that animals raised for meat and dairy products are the source of 34% of Greenhouse gases? That’s more than all the cars and trucks in the world put together!
Go Solar! – Stop producing greenhouse gases AND save on taxes! – http://www.colorado-solar.org/
Buy Green! Look for recycled, recyclable, reusable, biodegradable, sustainable, organic, energy efficient products.
Compost Food Scraps! – Agribusiness destroys top soil, and also releases CO2 into the atmosphere. We can help to protect soil fertility by returning organic matter to Earth.
Become “Carbon Neutral” – http://www.carbonfund.org/
Quick and Free One Click Activism
Just Click on the Banners Below and a Donation will be Made to these Causes at No Cost to You.
Honor the Seventh Generation
While You Visualize Paradise…
Here Are Some More Practical Things You Can Do Right Now
to Manifest Paradise on Planet Earth
For Clean Air and Water – Climate Stability –
Sustainable Farming – Sustainable Living!
Feel free to send more ideas. E-mail Bernadette Wulf
Think About the 7th Generation After You – Will your plastic bottles still be in their landfill? Will their forests and wild animals be thriving and bountiful? Will their rivers run clean? What you do right now can make a big difference. It matters!
Recycle Paper – Saves forests/trees that absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, as well as regulate rainfall and control erosion.
Buy Recycled – It doesn’t make economic sense to recycle unless we buy the recycled items. Simply by buying recycled toilet paper, we can save hundreds of acres of forest! If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save [an estimated] 423,900 trees.” Visit http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp to find out more.
Use Non-tree Paper Alternatives– For the same reason as above, choose hemp paper, kenaf, etc., rather than virgin tree fiber paper – but recycled is better. (Cotton is no better, because so many pesticides are used in growing it.)
Gold Coffee Filters – Spare trees by replacing paper filters in your coffeemaker with a reusable filter (usually gold colored).
Recycle Plastic & Metal – Reduce need for mining, decrease land fill, create jobs.
Buy Organic – Support Organic Farmers. Help to maintain the delicate balance of natural ecosystems. Save yourself and the birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, and other creatures from toxic pesticides and herbicides used in agribusiness.
Compost Kitchen Scraps and Yard Waste – Soil needs plant matter to replenish itself. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can return your compost to a municipal composting system, or your own backyard. Don’t let valuable plant material go to the landfill.
Garden Sustainably – Lots of tips for Earth-friendly gardening and composting. http://tigerturf.com/sustainable-landscaping-composting-and-going-green-outdoors
Use Bio-degradable Cleaning Supplies – Protect our water and soil from the multitude of chemicals that are washed down drains and flushed down toilets every day. You will stay healthier too.
Dispose of Drugs and Toxic Waste Safely – Never flush drugs or chemicals down the drain or toilet. They end up in rivers, oceans, and our drinking water!
Buy Local – Less shipping is needed. Shipping creates a large proportion of greenhouse gases. Plus you will support your local economy.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances – Using less power creates less greenhouse gases (heat and carbon dioxide).
Eliminate or Cut Back on Meat Consumption – 34% of greenhouse gases are produced by livestock!
Grill corn in its husk ~ Instead of stripping off the green leaves, soak the ear whole, then place it right on the barbecue – no aluminum foil required.
Use Alternative Energy Sources – Bio-diesel (only from discarded restaurant oil), ethanol (only if crops are not specifically grown to create it), wind, solar, passive solar building. You can often buy your electricity from “green energy” companies, even if you don’t have your own solar or wind power generator.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or much better non-toxic LED lights – CFLs cost a bit more than regular bulbs, but you’ll lower your electric bill and pay less in the long run. CFLs last up to ten times longer than traditional ones. (Worried that fluorescents will fill your house with a greenish glow? That’s no longer a problem. When we compared a regular bulb with a GE Energy Star Qualified CFL, testers couldn’t tell the difference.) You can buy CFLs at most hardware and home stores. Remember to dispose of them as toxic waste. They contain mercury which should not be added to the landfill. Personally, I much prefer LED lights. Though initially they are much more expensive, over time they will easily pay for themselves in energy savings!
Save on lighting – Use timers, indoors and out.
Drive a hybrid or fuel-efficient car, or take public transportation, walk, or ride a bike – Obviously to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Limit family size – Over-population creates a huge burden on planetary ecosystems.
Grow House Plants ~ Certain plants can help remove indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. Golden pothos, English ivy, and peace lilies are all easy-to-grow toxin fighters.
Plant Natives – Plant flowers and shrubs that are well suited to your climate (the staff at your local nursery can help). The benefit: use less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
Adjust fridge and freezer temps – Refrigerators eat up the most electricity in a household. Maximize energy efficiency by keeping the fridge at 37°F. and the freezer at 0°F.
Use a laptop – It uses considerably less power than a desktop computer, with the added advantage of being portable. (But don’t put it on your lap unless you are also using grounding technology – http://www.groundology.co.uk/)
Print on Two Sides – Configure your printer so that it prints on both sides of the page. You know those extra pages you get when printing out one simple e-mail? Turn them over and put them back in the printer for reuse.
Mow With People Power – Today’s non-gasoline-powered reel lawn mowers are easier to push than the old models. Their eco-benefit: zero emissions (plus, you’re getting great exercise). If you prefer a power mower, consider a quiet, battery-operated model from Black & Decker.
Green Kids – Give your little ones responsibility for your family’s recycling and match whatever they make in refunds at the store. They’ll learn about handling money and recycling at the same time.
Links to More Eco Information & Products
Go to http://www.ecofuture.org/pk/pkaction.html – for a list of many more practical things you can do.
Support local farms – At eatwellguide.org, you can plug in your zip code and find suppliers of organic and sustainably produced vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, eggs, and more. If you buy locally, you won’t have to rely on farms that ship food nationwide, which helps to decrease our dependence on oil and cut back on gas emissions.
Natural DIY house cleaning supplies – Safe and inexpensive ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, borax, lemons, alcohol, and cornstarch can be used to clean just about anything without toxic chemicals:
Tote your own grocery bag – Available at most stores, or (http://www.ecobags.com/) or the ACME Workhorse Style 1500 (http://www.reuseit.com/), which crunches into a tiny pouch that fits in your purse.
Water-efficient shower heads – With low-flow models, a family of four can cut water usage by as much as 280 gallons a month-and yet not feel much difference in water pressure. Two good choices: Waterpik EcoFlow (http://www.waterpik.com/shower-head/ecoflow.html) and Niagara Conservation’s Earth Massage (niagaraconservation.com).
Recycle rechargeables – Cell phones, digital cameras, and camcorders have made these batteries more popular than ever. Wherever you live, you can find a nearby store that will recycle them for you; just go to http://locations.call2recycle.org/. Do not dispose of these items in the land fill. They contain toxins.
Recycle Everything – When you want to dispose of an old item, don’t make the dump your first stop. Two sites with alternatives: freecycle.org and earth911.org. The Freecycle Network describes itself as “a place to give or receive what you have and don’t need or what you need and don’t have – [to keep] stuff out of landfills.” The http://earth911.org web site offers community-specific resources, with a focus on recycling. Check out the home page to find out where you can recycle your computer, your cell phone – even used motor oil. http://www.goodwill.org also does and excellent job of recycling everything from old televisions and computers, to rags.
Picnics and Parties – At your next outdoor party, ask people to write their names on disposable cups so they’ll use only one (put out markers to make it easy). If you use disposable dinnerware, buy the kind that won’t clog landfills or kill trees. (http://letsgogreen.biz/pages/utensils/utensils.html).
Paint – Most paint emits VOCs (volatile organic compounds), the same kind of chemicals found in gasoline and nail polish. But manufacturers like Sherwin-Williams have developed water-based products that perform well but give off virtually no VOCs. Krylon’s H20 paint is the first low-VOC latex spray paint that can be cleaned up with soap and water. Made from 99 percent food-grade ingredients, Anna Sova’s Healthy Wall Finish (annasova.com) leaves your rooms smelling vaguely like vanilla. To be at least minimally organic, use a water-based latex paint, not an oil-based alkyd paint-and remember, exterior paints should never be used indoors.
Roofing – Replace old shingles with a Classic Metal Roofing System (classicroof.com). It’s made from recycled aluminum cans but resembles traditional shakes or tiles. Installing this type of material can qualify you for a $500 tax credit.
Energy-efficient appliances – Look for the Energy Star label, awarded to fridges, washers, and other products that exceed government efficiency standards by using less water or electricity. For Energy Star appliances visit –
Eco-chic clothing – Lara Miller’s Melissa tunic is 100 percent bamboo, yet it’s as soft as silk. (For stores, go to laramiller.net.)
Organic Undies – Wearing 100 percent organic-cotton panties and bras reduces your exposure to chemical pesticides in sensitive areas. Try Blue Canoe brand (http://www.bluecanoe.com/).
Natural Make up – The following products have been recommend in terms of both performance and purity (as quantified by the Environmental Working Group’s amazing Skin Deep Cosmetics Database).
Organic Cleaning Supplies – Pangea Organics soaps, which are made with organic and often Fair Trade Certified ingredients, are scented with oils like lavender and lemongrass. They come in a biodegradable carton that will start disintegrating within 48 hours if you plant it in your garden. Available at Whole Foods Markets. (pangeaorganics.com)
Cutting Down on Meat – Growing vegetables saves more energy than raising animals. Log on to vegweb.com to find tasty, meatless recipes (try the lentil burgers).
Composting – Instead of trashing food scraps, toss them into Gardener’s Supply Company Kitchen Compost Crock, a ceramic counter top composter that’s perfect for first-timers – gardeners.com.
Bamboo Products – This plant is a far more sustainable natural resource than wood because it grows very quickly.
Get off junk mail lists – Register with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service (dmaconsumers.org) and you’ll see a significant reduction in mail after three months.
Conscious Investing – Environmentally conscious mutual funds are increasingly available through 401(k) plans, especially if employees express interest. To learn more, log on to http://www.ussif.org/; then talk to your benefits administrator.
Organic Baby Clothes – Hanna Andersson makes her children’s clothing from 100 percent organic cotton – hannaandersson.com. Every fabric, button, thread, and zipper is tested for over 100 potentially harmful substances.
Solar energy – Go solar! Save energy with solar yard lighting, roof panels, and fountains.
Driving Efficiently – 2006 saw climate change take center stage as one of the biggest potential challenges facing the modern world. Automobiles are one of the biggest contributors.
Read Labels – Know what they mean:
USDA Organic – Seen on: Food products – Food is produced without antibiotics, genetic engineering (GMOs), or most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Be AWARE – the USDA is allowing more and more non-organic products under the “organic” label. Check to find out if all ingredients are really organically grown!
Non-GMO – Seen on food products – What it means: Foods so labeled are certified free of genetically altered ingredients (which have been shown to cause serious health complications in livestock and laboratory animals) –
Rainforest Alliance Certified – Seen on: Coffee, chocolate, bananas – What it means: Companies harvesting the food practice soil and water conservation; they also reduce the use of pesticides.
Green Seal – Seen on: Napkins, toilet paper, paper towels – What it means: they must meet recycling and bleaching standards.
Fair Trade Certified – Seen on: Coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit, rice, sugar – What it means: Food is grown on small farms; farmers receive a fair price.
Certified Humane – Seen on: Eggs, meat – What it means: Animals raised for dairy, meat, and poultry products are treated humanely. Growth hormones are prohibited, and animals are raised on a diet without antibiotics.
EWG Verified – Seen on: Cosmetics and body care products. An EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health™ mark on a product, means that the product goes above and beyond its green rating in EWG’s Skin Deep® because the company has disclosed more about its formulations and manufacturing processes.
Feel free to send more ideas. E-mail Bernadette Wulf
More to come. Be sure to stop by again…
and keep focusing on Paradise.
It’s already here