Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: greenmail

Every week or so since April 22, my friend Kim has sent out an email with, in her words, "some little easy thing you can do to help out the environment." This week she sent the group #25. In honor of Blog Action Day, a movement set up by a few bloggers, which asks bloggers to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment - by posting about it TODAY, I'm going to post Kim's first twenty-five green tips.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

25. Don't eat Chilean Sea Bass. Here's a list of the best and worst fish to eat for the environment (and your health).
24. Use coasters made of sandstone, and other absorbent materials so you don't have to wipe down tables. You'll save lots of paper.
23. Go to the local farmers' market. The produce is better and they don't use fertilizers or pesticides which suck up more than 30% of the energy used to make food.
22. Move to Eugene, Oregon. Hydroelectric and wind power contribute over 85% of Eugene's power, the city has biodiesel and hybrid fleets, and a really concerted effort and evaluation of all city activities for environmental impact.
21. Get one organic pair of jeans. The chemical process used to create soft, stonewashed jeans contaminates the water in Central Mexico (where more than 700 clothing manufacturers sell jeans to the U.S.).
20. Use ECOTAINERS. If your company or workplace has a kitchen and stocks it with paper cups, check and see how eco-friendly they are. There are cups called ECOTAINERS that are bought in bulk by companies and that are 100% compostable and biodegradable.
19. Seek out bamboo. For furniture, sheets, whatever. It's a super eco-friendly material, the grass is renewable and very kind to the earth.
18. Buy a digital red bulb thermometer. Avoid the silver mercury bulb ones as mercury is a debilitating nerve toxin for your body and the environment.
17. Offset carbon emissions with Terrapass. It does a lot of other great things too, like funding clean weddings, car stuff, etc.
16. Search with Blackle. Powered by Google, it saves energy with a black screen.
15. Turn your receipts over and use the blank backs for notes. Then recycle.
14. Swap one product this week for a better earth-friendly product. Swap a
toothpaste, dish-washing detergent, or snack (organic licorice weirdly good).
13. Dust the little vents in your a/c, and you'll save energy and money.
12. Turn your cell phone off when you're not using it (especially when you go to sleep at night).
11. Try an activity/sport that puts you smack in the dab of mother nature.
10. Plant a tree in someone's memory.
9. Don't over-consume. Throwing away 2 aluminum cans wastes more energy than 1,000,000,000 of the world's poorest people use a day.
8. Recycle more than cans and paper. Recycle your computer/laptop by giving it to charity, instead of throwing it away. The National Cristina Foundation will hook up your old PC or Mac with a nonprofit organization. You can also drop off your old cell phone at your local Staples store as part of a Sierra Club recycling effort.
7. Say bye-bye to junk mail here and save our forests.
6. Pat yourself on the back this week for being a part of this email (or reading this far down the list in this case) and doing your bits to make our world better.
5. When ordering take-out or getting food delivered, request no napkins or plastic utensils, unless you really need them.
4. When traveling, turn off your a/c when you check out of your hotel room.
3. Send potted flowers. Cut flowers dispose quickly. A greener option is to send potted flowers because they last longer, improve indoor air quality and can be self-watering.
2. Eat one less meat meal this week. Animal farming consumes tons of energy and water, is a growing source of pollution and leads to land degradation. Eat some sushi or a veggie burger.
1. Use a front loading washing machine when doing laundry. It uses way less water than a top load.

Even if you only incorporate 5 of these 25 suggestions into your life, you are starting to make environmentally-friendly changes/choices. Little things matter, especially when large amounts of people do them. Pass it on. Thanks Kim.

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