20 Easy Ways to be Earth-Friendly
Some take those simple, basic truths as an excuse to do nothing. Or worse, to keep doing what they’ve been doing. But they’re missing the point. The rule isn’t just “Never push against things you don’t want.” It’s also, “Put your attention on what you do want.” And remember that just because the planet can save itself doesn’t mean the species can.
Yes, consciousness will live on. It always has. It always will. But I kind of like experiencing through this homo sapiens body, so I’d like this species to continue!
Polluted air and water instill in humankind a strong and powerful desire for clean air and clean water, yes? And just like with any other desire that’s been inspired in us, the way to see it become our reality is to live it now. To find it now. To focus on it now. To align with the vibration of a clean and thriving environment that sustains our species for countless generations to come.
How to Shift
This isn’t going to be achieved by protesting against polluters, or by boycotting them, or by “public awareness” campaigns where the focus is on the suffering of a dying polar bear. These things are well-intended, but they put the attention on the problem, and therefore make it bigger.
I know it seems like the problem is already too big. Like we have sweep leaders out of office, educate the ignorant, show everyone the dire dystopian future where the planet’s a desert and we all have to live inside bubbles made of non-compostable plastic. But there’s a better way. An easier way. A happier way.
I’m determined to be the kind of person I want others to be. I’m determined to do the kinds of things I’m wishing everyone else to do. I’m putting my focus on things that are positive, clean, sustainable, desired, and the more I do, the more of that I see. Which gives me and ever increasing abundance of hope.
Here are some of the things I do that feel better, and put my focus on the solution rather than on the problem.
I buy Compostable Trash Bags. They come in all sizes and they are the most decomposable trash bags currently available. Note that “biodegradable” plastics are not as biodegradable as compostable. Compostable is the label you’re looking for.Compostable Trash Bags
I will never buy one-use zipper bags or sandwich bags again. I wash and reuse the onesI have over and over and over while I figure out what I’ll do when they all wear out. Probably, I’ll use reusable zipper bags (but they’re still silicone so I’m not sold on them yet. So no link.) I hope by the time my current supply wear out, I’ll be able to recycle them, and also, to replace them with something not plastic.
I recycle everything that’s recyclable. I find as I do this, washing very bread bag and cheese slice wrapper and cereal box liner (all of which can be recycled with your plastic grocery bags in that bin at the store,) I get irritated with products that come in non-recylable packaging: frozen vegetable bags, for example. So that’s a nudge to me. I don’t like to feel badly about things, or to be irritated, and I care about how I feel. So I buy things in sustainable packaging instead.
Plastic wrap is not recyclable, so I get these beeswax wraps to cover up my leftovers.Beeswax Wraps
Stock up on canvas grocery bags. Most stores have them for 99¢ each. I keep them in the car, so I don’t forget them. I wash them between uses, especially if there was meat in them. The other day we took our alternate vehicle to town for errands. We had 4 small recycling bins full of stuff for the recycling center. Because we took the “wrong” vehicle, my canvas bags were not onboard when we stopped at the farm stand. But we had already dropped off the recycling, so we took the totes into the store and loaded our goods directly into them. (It was actually more convenient than the canvas bags I normally use.)Our Favorite Totes
Speaking of produce, I feel good about never using a bag from those rolls of bags they place near the produce. I have these instead:Produce Bags
I never accept straws from takeout places anymore. (And I always check the bag before I leave, because they always put them in anyway!) I use these straws, wash them, and use them again and again and again forever.Reusable Straws
Use the most environmentally friendly soaps and cleaning products available. Here’s a link to the 17 best natural cleaning products: 17 Best Natural Cleaning Products
I’ve banned sponges! I only use reusable cleaning cloths, washcloths, dishcloths. Ditto shower poufs. No more of those for us.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Soon LEDs will be the norm. YAY! More good news. We replaced our holiday light display with LEDs!
Tips that cost $0
These tips actually SAVE ME MONEY.
I UNPLUG everything. Including phone chargers. They are sucking power even when they’re not in use.
I turn off the water, don’t let it run while I’m brushing my teeth.
Buy my soft drinks in the largest possible containers and pour it, instead of buying single serving bottles or cans.
Ditto the above with juices and other drinks. And really everything we buy, buy in the largest container.
I wash clothes in cold water.
In nice weather, I dry laundry on a clothes line outside.
I’m trying to drive slower, and drive less.
I vow to make my next car the most efficient I can buy. I hope that in 2 more years, when it’s time replace my little Juke, fully electric cars will be plentiful and competitive, with charging ports are every gas station. Meanwhile, I only drive the Juke in “Eco Mode.”
As a result...
Because my focus is on reducing and reusing and recycling, I’m seeing more and more opportunities to recycle things I thought I couldn’t, such as the one at TERRACYCLE.COM where you can purchase a box, fill it with products you can’t recycle otherwise (toothbrushes, fluorescent bulbs, razor blade heads, alkaline batteries, etc.) and then send it back. It’s still pricey, but the more of us who do this, the cheaper it will get!
I keep my focus on the beauty of our planet by making my little section of it as glorious as possible. I plant trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs and vegetables year after year. And I am working toward replacing my electrical outdoor features with solar powered ones so I can feel better about that too!
The main thing to remember here is that we can all do better than we’re currently doing. I retrofitted my kitty litter genie to use compostable bags, instead of the currently available non-compostable refills.
I know I can do better than I’m currently doing. Every day, I can find a way to improve. We all can! But the reason to do it is not to avoid an impending global catastrophe. Acting out of fear and panic will only bring more things to fear and panic about.
The reason to do better is because it makes us feel better, and more hopeful, and even good about our own contributions to the physical world.
My goal is to leave this planet better than I found it. I want everything I interact with in the physical world to be more beautiful, more wonderful, than it was before it met me.
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