I feel it is important to respect our planet and do what we can to sustain its beauty and vitality. Therefore, in honor of "Earth Day," which was yesterday, I'd like to, maybe not "go green," which I feel is a fad being pushed on us by media, but commit to a more eco-responsible lifestyle. I would like to do my part, as small as it may be, to conserve water, energy and all our precious resources which were given to us as a gift. Therein lies the responsibility to protect the longevity of our earth and make more sound decisions in how we utilize what we've been given.
I don't know how strongly I believe or don't believe that we are in the beginning stages of global warming, but I do know there are alarming facts about water depletion, even as close as the Colorado River which provides water for several western states, among them, Utah. Officials have recently estimated that the Colorado River will run dry by 2012. If this is true, it is a scary thought because, like many other things, nothing can replace water.
Throughout my life I have been conscious about our environment by not littering, always turning the water off while brushing my teeth, etc., however, would not consider myself an "environmentalist," although I wish I could. Those who replace convenience with eco-friendly choices, regardless of their political stance, have my respect, because it isn't easy and we all benefit.
As I stated before, resources have been given to us to use, but to use responsibly, so I have put together a few simple ways I can do my part to help preserve our planet and possibly inspire you to make a few very simple changes or continue making smart decisions as well.
Below is a list of things I either want to start doing or am currently doing. Some may seem obvious and others may require some thought.
1. A ridiculous amount of rainforests are cut down every day to support the need for paper towels only. I am guilty of using much more than my fair-share every day, so I am going to use cloths more often to dry my hands and paper towels less. (I wish I could say I won't use them anymore, but I'm trying to be realistic.) Also, only use one paper towel when drying hands in public bathrooms.
2. Always say "no" to receipts at the gas pump and never "top off" the gas like my dad taught me. Sorry Dad!
3. Only start a full dishwasher and washing machine. Both are a big energy and water user.
4.This one may be harder for some of us, (me) but can improve fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent: Driving at (or near) the speed limit, keeping tires inflated, making sure oil and air filters are clean and stepping on gas/brakes carefully.
5. Say "no" when a store clerk tries to put only one or two items into a bag. Try to reuse cups for soda, etc.
6. Always put computer "to sleep," so it will wake up at the stroke of a key. The screen saver uses full power.
7.Recycle old cell phones by bringing them to a call2recycle box found at places like Best Buy, Radio Shack and The Home Depot.
8.Reduce the amount of plastic used by reusing plastic containers as much as possible, such as washing out water bottles and reusing them over and over again. (Brock taught me this one. He's going green and he didn't even know it! haha, sorry Brock.)
9. Use "junk mail" to make "to do" lists, grocery lists or phone messages.
10. Open blinds when it's cold to warm your house naturally and close them when it's warm so your AC doesn't have to work harder than it needs to.
11. Turn off lights and t.v. when leaving the room.
These tips can also translate into more money in our pockets as well, which is always a plus!
Hopefully we can do our part in keeping our environment happy!
If you are interested in taking it one step further and making a bigger commitment, you can visit http://ecologue.com where you can find many more ways to live environmentally friendly.
Happy Earth Month!