Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Mom

This year Earth Day has prompted me to think a lot about our Earth. My best friend and I had a conversation a while back about recycling. She said she doesn't recycle because she does not believe that it will be long before we are with Jesus in the Rapture and the Earth won't be out home anymore. I agree that the return of Jesus is probably a lot closer than we realize, but I also believe that when God created Adam and gave him dominion over everything in the garden of Eden, he also charged him with the responsibility of taking care of the Earth and all of His creation.

I wish that I were better about living green, but I am trying. Here are some ways I do my part to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
  • I use reusable grocery totes. I bought several large totes at Save A Lot and I use them everywhere. At first I felt bad about using them at Publix or Kroger but once the baggers commented on how much they like the larger bags I felt better. They hold the equivalent of about 4 plastic bags and are much easier to carry. 
  • We recycle. Our city does not offer curbside recycling so we take our recyleables to the city recycling center which is less than a mile from our house. My husband and daughter load them into the back of our truck about every 2 weeks and take them to the center. We recycle aluminum cans, office paper, tin cans, glass, plastic, cardboard, magazines and newspapers.
  • We reuse things. We recently planted our garden seedlings in empty yogurt cups and applesauce containers. 
  • We shop at thrift stores. We find great deals on clothes and household items there and save money as well as reusing perfectly good items that someone else had no use for anymore.
  • We use Freecycle. We have gifted and received some really good stuff! This is a great way to keep stuff out of landfills!
  • I purchase a stainless steel water bottle for my daughter's lunch to limit the use of bottled water. 
  • I keep a clean dish towel hanging on my oven handle to use for drying my hands instead of using paper towels. 
  • I only wash full loads in my washing machine and dishwasher.
  • I dry my clothes on a short cycle, then check them. I am usually surprised to find out that the items dry in much less time than I thought. This saves money and energy over automatically setting my dryer timer for 60 minutes.
  • We use ceiling fans in every room. I read a study recently that shows that using a ceiling fan can lower the temperature in a room by as much as 6 degrees. In the hot humid summers of south Georgia, this really helps!
There are ways that I would like to improve in my Green (or sometimes not so green) life:
  • I would like to purchase new energy efficient appliances and low flow faucets and toilets. (I do have a large jar of water in my toilet tank to save water.) Unfortunately this is not a financial possibility right now.
  • I would like to be able to use public transportation but it is not offered in our city.
  • My biggest dream would be to have solar panels on my home to generate clean energy
  • I would like to eliminate paper napkins and paper towels completely in favor of cloth versions but I am too lazy.
  • I still take long hot showers. I enjoy them and find them relaxing. I really do not want to give up this simple luxury.
  • I would like to make a compost bin and make organic compost for our little veggie garden and my yard plants. I would like one of those kitchen counter compost pails as well. I found direction to make my own from a large plastic coffee can and a charcoal filter, but have not tried it yet. Just can't justify one of those spiffy $50 stainless steel numbers.
So what do you do to keep our planet clean? What are your thoughts on reducing waste, reusing things or recycling?
Happy Earth Day!!!!!
(image from Google image search)