There is so much I want to accomplish beginning now and in the year 2017 that I don’t know where to begin.
Of course, at the top of my list is health and losing weight. Those are tough, considering that I’ve tried many times to lose some weight only to gain it back again. Another resolution is saving money. I’ve told myself, many times, that I don’t need a certain gadget, a new dress, or something that I can’t live without, only to succumb and buy it. I promised myself next year will be different. If I put forth my best efforts, time will tell.
But what if I try a different approach? What if instead of buying a material item, I put my money toward an intangible? What if it were a cause bigger than myself? What I mean is: what about the environment?
What about it? I hear an echo in my mind. There are many wishes I have for this new list. Certainly, the environment is a greater cause to pursue.
To begin with, I will use less water, less electricity, and less gasoline. I think I can master that easily. But what if I have a bigger wish? How can I contribute and help the environment just by myself? Obviously I can’t do it all by my little moi. I need to hear from all of you: what have you done to help our planet? Remember we only have one Earth. There is no other that can sustain us, nor can we find one in our time.
Here are some suggestions for 2016:
Cut out bottled water. Subscribing to a water delivery easily does that. The saved bottle deposits can go to pay for the water delivery. Additionally, you can purchase several, wide-mouthed, plastic bottles that are dishwasher safe, and refillable at the water cooler.
I will stop using plastic bags and use inexpensive cloth bags instead. All the plastic dumped in the oceans trap many fish who can’t use their fins to free themselves.
I will use less water when showering than I used to. Those of you who prefer daily baths, think about the wasted water. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) a bathtub full of water takes seventy gallons as opposed to a five-minute shower that uses ten to twenty-five gallons. You can still luxuriate by taking one bath per week without breaking your water budget. While shampooing your hair, turn off the water and save another two to three gallons. There is also something called a low-flow showerhead that uses less water, click here: http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/about_us/watersense_label.html
When it comes to electricity, there’s much we can save by turning off lights in other rooms when not present. When you travel, pull the plugs from the walls at home, because appliances still use power when turned off. Cell phone chargers and appliances drain electricity when plugged in but not in use. See more at www.gogreeninyourhome.com/how-to-save-electricity/appliances-still-use-power-when-turned-off/
We can drive less by using public transportation, especially those lucky ones living near subways, busses, and railways. Consolidate your errands by choosing one day per week to do your shopping. Each time we go to the supermarket we unintentionally buy more even while having a shopping list. I say “away from the eyes, away from the pocketbook!”
Contributing each day toward this cause will also help the planet. If you can afford it, put away one dollar or fifty cents per day into a piggy bank especially for this purpose. When filled, you can donate half of it to environmental causes and leave half for yourself. After all, that’s what saving is all about.
All these suggestions can and will help reduce our carbon footprints and help the environment at the same time. So let’s help ourselves and in the long run our planet.
So you ask yourself, what can I do to help? After all, I’m just one individual and powerless at that. The truth is we’re powerful when it comes to numbers. If each of us can join hands and link to the various organizations in our own communities already fighting this fight, we can make a difference. By already economizing on our own usage of water, electricity, and gasoline, we win a foothold into saving the planet. After all, in this holiday giving season, we can certainly gift the Earth with our goodwill and rejoice that we have done our share to promote a better tomorrow.
Here are eight agencies I’ve culled from this list of governmental and nonprofit agencies, http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2008/09/24/25-environmental-agencies-and-organizations/
Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/
National Audubon Society http://www.audubon.org/
Green America http://www.greenamerica.org/
World Business Council for Sustainable Development http://www.wbcsd.org/home.aspx
Friends of the Earth http://www.foe.org/
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change http://www.ipcc.ch/
My best wishes for a productive and healthy 2015!