Caring for the Earth:
A Pagan's Duty
Below is a list of many simple things that you can
help the environment. Not only can
things save the earth and keep you healthier, they
can save you lots of money as well!
What Can You Do?
Turn Off Your Computer
Turning off your computer in the evening can
save between 2,000 and 4,000 lbs of greenhouse gasses each year. Studies
show that turning off your computer is actually better as it reduces
wear and heat stress on the computer. - From studies at the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. Organic Style Magazine
(May/June 2003) states that this can be as beneficial as planting 1,000
to 6,000 trees.
Stop Using Aerosol Products.
Many places are making aerosol products illegal. Make sure you know
what you are buying. There are safer alternatives for sale on the same
shelves as aerosol and ozone-depleting products. If it does not say that
it does not deplete the ozone layer then be assured that it does!
Keep your pets safe.
Millions of animals are killed in the most
horrible ways every year simply because owners are too lazy
to get them fixed or to keep them in the house. One male cat that gets outside can
impregnate 20 or more females in a season and result in as many as 100-200 stray,
unwanted animals. These animals suffer from tortures such as hunger,
plagues of fleas and flies, mange, diseases, and deaths related to cars,
and humans. If they do survive, the are picked up by the pound and
killed. It would be nice to think that these animals are just put to
sleep. Their tortures, however, are just beginning. Here are some things
that stray animals and pets that are picked up have to go through: Click
here for this terrible story.
Stop Using Pesticides.
Pesticides not only destroy harmful insects,
but they pollute soil and water and kill other animals as well. They pollute
groundwater and get into sewers to pollute our drinking water. They kill
beneficial insects, get into our food through plant roots and can kill
other animals such as squirrels, songbirds and even our pets. A
wonderful alternative is DE or "diatomaceous earth."
Diatomaceous earth is made of tiny microscopic glass-shelled
creatures, called diatoms, that live in the oceans. When dried, they
form a soft powder of microscopic glass particles. This glass scratches
the exoskeleton of insects and they die within a few hours of
dehydration. This is completely non-toxic and can be used in the yard,
the home and even on pets. You can usually find it at your local garden
store. For ticks and fleas, I use a flea shampoo on our pets called Bio-Guard. It is the cheapest on the
shelf, is non-toxic, safe for the environment and is safe for cats and
dogs of all ages, even newborn pets and people.
Buy Meat and Eggs from
Chickens that are raised
free-range do not contain hormones and other chemicals used by breeders
to make them lay more eggs or grow larger. These chickens are also not
as subject to diseases and are treated much better than chickens from
chicken farms where they are crowded their entire lives into tiny spaces
with less than one square foot of room per chicken!
Switch to clean energy
Not all areas offer it, but here in Dallas, a
new electric company has risen called Green Mountain Energy. Our
electricity is powered by huge windmills and are completely
pollution-free. Because they run off wind, we do not need to purchase or
burn fossil fuels. Wind is free and by switching energy companies, we
have saved thousands of pounds of pollution from our air each year.
Green Mountain Energy has also been known to get energy from the gasses
created by landfills. Though some argue that this is not clean energy,
we promote it because the gasses cannot be stopped from spilling into
the atmosphere anyway. Green Mountain takes the pollution we already
have and uses it again.
Green Mountain Energy also costs less per kilowatt hour and we do not
need any new equipment and are not charged any setup fees.
Plastic Shopping Bags
Most grocery stores have bins
either outside or just inside the door where you can drop
off your used grocery bags for recycling. Instead of throwing them away,
reuse them or take them to be recycled. I like to use them to line my
waste baskets in my home. It saves money because I do not have to buy
special trash bags just for the wastebaskets and it cuts down on waste.
Wait a few seconds
When gassing up your car, wait ten
seconds after you are finished before you pull the nozzle out of the
tank. Waiting a few seconds will allow the fumes go retreat into the gas
tank instead of escaping into the air where it can cause smog and
Pick Up Trash
Weather permitting, I like to take
walks outside around our neighborhood with the dog during the day.
I take a plastic shopping bag with me and pick up the trash that I find.
Not only is this good for the earth, but it is healthy for you as well.
Besides, haven't you been talking about getting more exercise lately?
Stop Throwing it Away!
Clothes, appliances, toys, dishes
and furniture can all be used by someone. Instead of throwing them away
when you get tired of them, take them to a shelter or donate them to
Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Someone else will be able to use it. Sometimes, these places
will even pick your items up from your doorstep so that you do not even
need to leave your house. Animal shelters also are always in need of
used towels, animal toys, food dishes, brushes, and bedding.
Look out for Mercury
probably did not know it, but the tiny blinking red lights in children's
shoes contain mercury. Labels on the shoes warn against proper disposal
of the shoes, but people rarely read them. Make sure you find out where
to dispose of your child's shoes. Mercury contaminates water and KILLS. Very low levels of mercury in water and in the
soil can never be
removed and cause major birth defects and cancer!
Save containers and reuse
them. Yogurt, sour cream and margarine tubs can be used to store
leftovers. Water bottles and jars can be refilled with juice, water, or milk and
taken with you when you go somewhere. Cleaned soda bottles are great for preventing
children from spilling drinks in the car. Clean milk jugs and fill them with
water. Store them under the sinks and you have an emergency water supply
in case there is a problem with the sewage system or you have your water
turned off. Coffee cans and jars can hold children's crayons, ribbon and craft
supplies. Small cardboard
boxes can store receipts, coupons, and important papers.
Don't throw away moving boxes
are expensive and hard to come by. After you move, give the boxes to
someone else. If you are moving into an apartment, put up an ad near the
mailboxes offering your boxes for free to whomever wants them or ask the
office if you can post your ad on a bulletin board or on the door. If
you are moving into a house, you can find an apartment complex nearby
and do the same. There are always people moving into and out of
apartment complexes and they would be grateful for the help. If you
absolutely MUST throw the boxes away, try recycling them or at least cut
the tape and fold them flat before you toss them.
Turn it off when you are not using it
fuels are used to make electricity to power your lights and appliances.
If you are not using something, turn it off. Not only will this help the
environment, but it will save you lots of money. If you MUST have your
lights on while you are away, at least use a timer so that they come on
only at certain times. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Switch off
the aquarium bubbles and lights at night (fish need sleep, too). Try not
to use nightlights. There are some new nightlights that you can buy for
cheap that advertise electric cost at only 1 cent per year. Shut down
computers. This will also save on their wear-and-tear. Turn off the
television when you are not watching it.
Cut six-pack rings
Before you throw them away, cut each circle with scissors. The rings get caught on animals, such as sea lions,
sea turtles and birds As the animals grow bigger, the plastic rings
strangle them to death. Even if you do not live near the ocean, many
states will pay other countries to take the trash away. Often it ends up on
barges in rivers or on the ocean where thousands of tons of trash spill
off into the water every year.
Stop that junk mail
Write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, 6 East
43rd St., New York, NY 10017. I recycle the junk mail that we already
get. I remove plastic windows on envelopes, tape, rubber bands, and
staples and toss it all in the recycling bin.
Use phosphate-free or low-phosphate
detergents and dish detergents
Why? Because your sewage water gets into the ground eventually and then
goes into lakes and rivers. Phosphates cause algae to become fertilized to the point
that they grow out of control. The process involved when the algae dies
uses up huge amounts of oxygen. This oxygen is needed for other plants
& marine life to survive. Entire ecosystems have been destroyed by
overuse of phosphates, mostly from people using phosphate to fertilize
Use a low-flow faucet aerator
Installing low-flow faucet aerators on your kitchen & bathroom
faucets can save over 3300 gallons of water per year for just one
No more plastic wrap
Use reusable containers to store food instead of plastic wrap. Try waxed
paper or parchment paper instead of plastic wrap. It creates less
pollution during production. Use towels or rags
instead of paper towels. I can buy twelve rags at the all-a-dollar store
for a buck. White paper towels and coffee filters aren't
white naturally - they are bleached using chemicals. This gets into your
drink and into the environment during production. Buy recycled or
unbleached paper and coffee filters.
Turn down the water heater
Turn the setting on your water heater down to 130 degrees. This is hot
enough to kill bacteria and still save energy. For every 10 degrees
that you turn down your water heater, you save 6% of the energy used.
Please note that turning your water heater down to 120 degrees may pose
a health risk, as it may not be hot enough to kill bacteria.
Call your local electric and water utilities. Find out if they offer
any free information on saving energy/water. Does your local
water company offer free water conservation devices? Call
and check! Stop by your local recycling center or give
them a call. Find out what materials they collect and
where the nearest drop off centers are.
Use latex paint.
Oil based paint is not only toxic, the by-products of manufacturing
it are nasty pollutants. Latex paint is easier to clean up, too!
Dispose of your excess paint properly - call your recycling center
to see if they know where you can take your paint to have it safely
disposed of. Clean your paintbrushes in a sink inside (not outside) so that the
water will go to a waste treatment facility instead of into the earth!.
Buy the most fuel-efficient tires possible
Make sure your tires are properly inflated, balanced and rotated. Radial
tires improve gas mileage, but steel belted tires are generally the most
efficient. Support local and regional efforts to recycle tires.
Home appliance tips...
An electronic ignition system on your stove will use 40% less gas than
a pilot light, and you won't constantly be burning dangerous gas inside
your home. Clean or replace the filters on your air conditioner once
a month. Set your refrigerator temperatures to between 38 and 42
Set the freezer to 0 to 5 degrees. This can reduce your energy
by 25%! Wait to wash a full load of clothes. Use a warm water wash with
a cold rinse and save up to 90% energy! Clean the dryer's lint trap
each load. Not only will this keep the air circulating more efficiently
in your dryer, but it will also help prevent a fire. A programmable
thermostat will also help cut costs & save energy.
Turn it off
A running faucet puts 3-5 gallons of water down the drain every
it's on! Turn off the tap when you're brushing your teeth, when you're
shaving and when you're washing dishes. If you wash your car at home
with the hose, you're using up to 150 gallons of water! Try using the
self-service car wash and use only 5-10 gallons instead! If you use a
bucket and a sponge at home instead of the hose, you use about 15
Don't top off the tank
When you're filling up your vehicle with gas, don't pull out the gas
nozzle to "top off" the tank. This lets gas vapors into the
and creates smog!
Don't buy halon fire extinguishers. Avoid polystyrene foam. If you're
going to use foam insulation, make sure there are no CFCs in it. Have
your air conditioner fixed properly and only at a shop that uses CFC
recycling equipment. Read the labels to make sure you're not buying
aerosols that contain CFCs.
Keep your car tuned up
A well tuned car uses 9% less gasoline than a poorly tuned car. Don't
haul around unnecessary things in your car. An extra 100 pounds will
decrease your fuel economy by more than 10%. Keep your fuel filters
clean and don't let your car idle unnecessarily! Try to buy newer cars.
They get better gas mileage and are more economical when it comes to
Old cars are turned to scrap metal and can be used again. Newer cars
always run better, get better gas mileage and use the latest in
rechargeable batteries when possible
If it's possible, recycle alkaline batteries. Deadly chemicals from the
batteries when thrown away leak into water supplies and poison people,
plants and animals. Besides that, throwing batteries of any kind away is
ILLEGAL. There are newer types of rechargeable that hold more energy and
recharge more quickly.
cloth bag when you shop
You can buy one from Save a Tree, P.O. Box 862,
Berkeley, CA 94701. It's a large, washable canvas bagwith "Save a Tree" on the side, and it's $9.00.
String bags are also great. You can get 4 grocery
sized bags for $16.95 from Seventh Generation, 10 Farrell St.,
Burlington, VT 05403.
(my grocery store - Albertsons - Gives me a discount for each bag when I bring my own cloth shopping bags)
Here are some websites where you can find canvas bags:
Buy or make non-toxic products
Check out the books The Nontoxic Home or Making the Switch.
You'll find it hard to believe there are so many toxic chemicals in
Set your lawn mower blades high
To encourage longer, healthier roots, cut the grass so that it's
2 to 3 inches high. Leave the grass cuttings on the lawn. The
cuttings serve as a moisture retentive mulch and a natural fertilizer.
Most lawn mowers can be fitted with a recycler kit available at your
local hardware store. Most lawns only need about 1 inch of water a
week! And please do not put pesticides on your lawn. The pesticides
contaminate worms, thereby endangering the songbird population. It
also pollutes groundwater.
Use a reel (push) lawn mower
When buying, they are incredibly cheap. Ours
cost around $75.00 but most are around $80-$100. Contrary to popular
belief, they are not any harder to push than motor-driven lawn mowers.
They are very lightweight, are easily adjustable, and store easily in
the garage. You don't need to buy gasoline for them and you never have
to worry about it not starting up. Because the blades work in a
scissor-like motion, they cut the grass instead of tearing it. This is
much better for the health of the grass and does not make the ends
ragged and brown. They will not throw rocks and sticks against your bare
ankles and are quiet as can be.
Don't use styrofoam
Why not? Because it's completely non-biodegradable. It also takes
up a lot of space for it's weight, which means it's using up huge
amounts of space at our already full landfills. Polystyrene foam
is deadly to marine life. When sea turtles eat styrofoam, its buoyancy
keeps them from diving; it clogs their systems and they starve to death.
Help clean up our beaches
The next time you go out for a day of fun in the sun, take along a
trash bag or two. While you're walking, pick up any litter you can
find. Just a few minutes of clean up can make a difference!
Know what you're buying
Don't buy ivory or any other products from endangered animals or
Get rid of those flea collars!
I checked with my vet and according to him, they don't really work
anyways! An estimated 50 million flea collars are thrown away every
year. The pesticides and chemicals used in the collars can cause
cancer, nerve damage and birth defects in animals. Brewer's yeast
and garlic added to your pet's food works great. Products that
contain methoprene, a growth inhibitor that interferes with flea
larvae development, work well too. Check your local feed and garden
center or with your vet for chemical free alternatives. I buy flea collars for our pets from Whole Foods.
They look like normal flea collars, but contain no chemicals. Instead,
they contain oils from plants that bugs hate and are quite safe.
Use a toilet dam
Soak off the label on a small juice bottle. Dishwashing soap bottles
or laundry soap bottles work well too. Fill the bottle with
water, put on the cap and place it in the tank. You can put a few
stones in the bottom of the bottle to weigh it down if necessary.
Make sure the bottle doesn't interfere with the flushing mechanism.
You may have to experiment with different bottle sizes. You can save
1-2 gallons of water per flush! If you install a toilet dam, which
is available at your local hardware store, you can save 1 gallon
per toilet dam. You can install two dams per toilet.
Use a low flow shower head
Low flow shower heads are available in two types: Aerated mixes
air with water to maintain a steady spray at pressures equal or
higher than a standard shower head. Non-aerated maintains heat
and gets a good, forceful spray, but the flow "pulses". This
good if you like massage shower heads. You can cut shower water
use by about 50%!
Recycle your motor oil
Have your oil changed at a gas station and make sure they will
recycle it. If you do change the oil yourself, make sure you
take the oil to a center that will accept the oil and recycle
it. Do not pour the oil into the ground or into the sewer!
A single quart of motor oil poured into the ground will pollute
250,000 gallons of drinking water and that includes the water you drink.
One pint of oil can create
a poisonous oil slick an acre in diameter when you pour the
oil into a sewer.
Keep your furnace tuned up
A simple tune-up can increase a furnace's heating efficiency by
5%. This means an annual savings of 8,000 cubic feet of gas!
Also don't forget to change your furnace filters once a month.
Try using compact fluorescent
They're readily available now, and produce no flicker or hum.
They're more expensive than regular (incandescent) bulbs, but
for 10,000 hours of lighting, it will take 13 incandescent
lightbulbs to match 1 compact fluorescent! During this 10,000
hour period, incandescent lightbulbs use about $40 of
electricity; compact fluorescents use $10!
Keep balloons on the ground
Helium filled balloons can find their way to the ocean when
released into the air. Once they've found their way into the
ocean, they're swallowed by marine life, which can kill them!
Mylar helium filled balloons can get caught in power lines and
cause power outages.
Recycle your newspapers
If you have curbside recycling, bundle your newspapers and place
them in your recycling container. If you don't have curbside
recycling, take the newspapers to your local recycling center
or a designated drop-off center.
Recycle glass containers
All glass bottles and jars can be recycled except for window panes,
Pyrex and light bulbs. Glass produced from recycled glass instead
of raw material reduces related air pollution by 20% and water
pollution by 50%! It also keeps unnecessary
waste from our landfills.
Aluminum cans, aluminum foil, pie plates, frozen food trays, window
frames and siding can be recycled!
Buy products made of recycled materials
This is called "precycling"! Buy eggs packaged in cardboard
instead of styrofoam. Look for the recycled logo on cereal boxes and
other grocery items. Buying in bulk sometimes pays off, check it out
to be sure. Avoid plastic containers when possible. If you have a
favorite product but the packaging isn't exactly
write, call or e-mail the company and ask them to change it!
Use cloth diapers
This is for those who are truly dedicated! It's hard to give
up the convenience of disposable diapers. If you can, try a diaper
service or alternate between using cloth and disposables. If you read
the packaging on your disposable diapers, you'll notice the manufacturer
recommends that you wash out disposable diapers before you discard them,
but only about 5% of us do! If you truly can't give them up, at least
start washing them out before throwing them away. Thanks!
Help out at work
Bring a coffee cup to work instead of using a disposable cup. Reuse
manila envelopes by putting gummed labels over the old addresses.
Set up a recycling area for newspapers, glass and aluminum. Try
substituting paper cups for styrofoam cups at the coffee pot or water
cooler. Use old memos or other letters you don't need for scratch
Check with your local recycling center to see if it will accept plastic
soda bottles, plastic wrap, water bottles, coffee can lids, clean milk
bottles and laundry and dish soap detergent bottles. Also ask if they
accept corrugated paper, kraft paper and stationery.
Provide wildlife with food & shelter
No, I'm not saying to ask them to move in...just give them a little
birdseed! Set up a hummingbird feeder or a heated birdbath. Animals
that are active in the daytime, such as squirrels and rabbits, will
be more likely to visit if you have some type of shelter in your yard,
as in shrubs or some type of wall. Check with your local feed &
store to find out what types of wildlife you have in your area and for
the best ways to attract them. A pinecone stuffed with peanut butter
and rolled in birdseed is a good way to feed birds during the winter.
Support the rainforests
Consider alternatives to tropical hardwoods in furniture, lumber, and
plywood. Write to the Rainforest Action Network for a list of woods
you can substitute for tropical hardwoods. Their address is:
The Rainforest Action Network
301 Broadway, Suite A
San Francisco, CA 94133.
Support organizations involved in rainforest conservation.
Insulate your home
If there's no insulation in your home, you're costing yourself and
the environment a fortune. If you do have insulation, check to see
if you have enough. Even add-on insulation pays itself back in about
2 years. Check for energy leaks everywhere in your home. Caulk and
weatherstrip your windows.
Plant a tree
If you do plant a tree, don't just stick it in the ground and ignore
it. Trees need a little care for the first 2 years. Check with the
nursery or feed & garden store. If you don't have a place to plant a
tree, get involved with your town or city's beautification program!
Try alternatives for pesticides
I've been told Pennyroyal oil, mixed with 70% alcohol and sprayed on
your clothes, works wonders against the mosquito population! Beats
using DEET! You can also use vinegar as an insect repellant. Just spray
it on the skin and let it dry. It will smell horrible at first, but
after it dries there is no smell. Bugs hate it and it is harmless to you
and your children.
Don't dump hazardous waste!
This sounds like a no brainer, but it's surprising what materials in
your home qualify as hazardous waste! Paints and paint thinners, car
batteries, oven and drain cleaners, mothballs, floor and furniture
polish, brake or transmission fluid, antifreeze, rug and upholstery
cleaners, pesticides, furniture strippers and even some toilet cleaners
are hazardous! Keep these things in their original containers with
the label intact. Recycle whenever possible, such as motor oil and
car batteries. Check with your city or town hall to see if they have
a local collection program.
Ride with co-workers to work. Gather up a group of friends if you're
going out. It makes a difference!
Start your own compost pile
The easiest way? Just start a pile of leaves, grass clippings and
weeds in a corner of your garden. If you want to really try your
hand at composting, build or buy a small enclosure to create the
compost. Sort your garbage to separate the organics from the rest.
Learn how to stack and layer the compost and turn it occasionally
to avoid odors and to allow the air to circulate. Check with your
local hardware store or feed & garden store for more information,
or send a self addressed, stamped envelope to:
The Berkeley Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702
Ask for their "Composting" fact sheet.
Use a trigger nozzle on your garden
This can save you at least 20 gallons of water when you wash your car.
And don't forget, you can wash out those plastic baggies and reuse
Use alternative transportation or car
Doubling up with some friends on your way to work or shopping not
only saves on gas, it also gives our ozone layer a little break.
If it's possible, why not try the bus, subway or train? If it's a
nice day, walk to the store if it's nearby or ride your bicycle!
Consume less meat
To produce 1 lb. of beef, we need 16 lbs. of grain & soybeans, 2500
gallons of water, and the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline.
If Americans reduced their meat intake by just 10%, the savings in
grains & soybeans could feed approximately 60 million people - the
number of people who starve to death worldwide each year.
Grow what you can
Try growing things you can eat in your own garden. Even apartment
dwellers can grow plants in pots or start a community garden. Support
your local farmer's markets. Locally grown produce is fresher, cheaper
and has less pesticide residue than produce that has been shipped long
Buy organically grown produce
If you garden, do it organically. You'll love knowing that the food
you've grown is safe & pure! Check your grocery store for organic
produce. If they don't carry it, request it!
Read the newspapers, watch the news broadcasts. Stay on top of what's
happening in our world.
Keep in contact with your local government officials in regards to what
they're doing for our environment. Join an environmental group, whether
it be local or nationwide. Spread the word to everyone you know!
Distill Your Water
Instead of buying a water filter (which
creates more waste when you throw the filter away because they are not
recyclable) try buying a countertop water distiller. These clean the
water completely of chemicals (unlike filters) by heating and
evaporating it. Small pitcher-sized distillers can be purchased for less
than $100 and clean water better than filters. You can also buy
distilled water at the store and recycle the plastic gallon containers.
Glass jars can be cleaned out and reused. If
you can't get the food smell out, try using vinegar with baking soda -
just swish it around in the bottle, but DON'T put the lid on while you
do it. Dry it off, stick on a label and use it to store herbs. You can
also use them for leftovers, craft ideas or containers to hold safety
pins, cotton balls, buttons, spare change, etc. Empty juice bottles can
be refilled again. Large glass and plastic bottles can be filled with
tea. Small plastic bottles can be washed again and again and put in
picnic baskets, box or sack lunches, or take them with you when you go
somewhere for a handy drink. You don't need to buy expensive leak-proof
containers from the store. Wash out milk jugs and fill them with water.
Put the cap on tight and store them under the sinks in case of
Reuse or Rcycle Printer Paper
In our home, we take paper we have already
printed on and keep it in a pile for Cambria to color on the back. We
also use 100% recycled printer paper. It is the exact same color as
regular printer paper. You won't be able to tell the difference. If you
don't have children, recycle your used printer paper instead of throwing
it away. Start a recycling program at work and recycle old boxes and
printer paper. Urge your company to purchase recycled paper.
Use rechargeable batteries
They keep landfills free of harmful chemicals.
Always remember never to throw away batteries when you can recycle them.
Many batteries such as cell phone and cordless phone batteries are
extremely toxic and should be recycled at the proper facilities. Most
electronic stores will take and recycle old batteries. Discarding toxic
chemicals is not only hazardous, it is unlawful.
Buy Recycled Products
This is called "precycling." Many products can
be purchased from recycled materials such as printer paper, napkins,
shampoo bottles, and toilet paper (from recycled paper).
Use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs
These can be kept for your entire life, washed
and washed again. They keep waste products from littering the streets
and filling up our landfills.
Use lunch boxes or reusable lunch totes
Small handmade cloth bags work nicely. If you
don't like them or won't use them, at least buy recycled lunch bags and
reuse them as often as possible.
Use cloth for removing makeup
Instead of using disposable cotton balls or
tissues, use washcloths, rags or pieces of cloth that you can was and
reuse again when removing make-up, nail polish, or applying alcohol.
Practice Green Living
Green living is living organically. It
produces very little waste and is a very healthy change for you and your
family. Green living means practicing everything you can in order to
preserve our environment. It also means using natural substances instead
of chemicals and buying organic products.
Organic products have very little effect on
the environment. Most things can be purchased organically such as
cereals, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables, and even some meats. Organic
products are free of harmful pesticides, chemical additives,
preservatives, dyes, and excess sugar. Animal products that come from
organically raised livestock prevent cruel conditions in which
mass-produced animals live. Organic products are better for you and for
Drive less often
If you can walk, walk. You will experience
life more, see more and get some exercise. Walks provide you with a
time, place, and reason for idle thought. Gas is expensive. Walking is
free and better for your health.
Teach your children to respect the Earth
All you do for the earth now will mean nothing
unless we teach our children to care for it after we are gone.
Buy fewer things
Television would like us to believe that we
need to always have new clothes, shoes, purses, cars, and jewelry in
order to be accepted by society. No one is going to notice if you have the same
shirt for 5 years. If you outgrow something, donate it to charity or
give it to someone else who could use it. Buy organic clothing and try
to cut down on the amount of junk you consume.
Buy a small car with good gas mileage
I have a 1991 Honda Civic that I purchased for
$4,000. It gets 40 miles to the gallon and, except for a small scratch
is in perfect condition. I save lots of money on gas and was able to
commute two hours out of Dallas to go to college every day for a year.
Avoid buying useless gifts
Things like singing catfish, cheap jewelry,
gag gifts, and disposable items should be avoided. A gift should be a
special thing. Before you buy, think about it. Is this item going to be
a priceless heirloom for years to come? Will it be enjoyed for many more
years? Is it something that will last? Will it bring pleasure to the
person you are buying it for? Some good gifts are things like books,
food, appliances, clothing, chocolates, and handmade items.
Don't buy children stuffed animals as gifts
They are not very stimulating, take up space and
children rarely play with them. A doll, a teddy bear and maybe one or
two more stuffed animals is reasonable, but don't buy one for every
occasion or for a friend's child. You should be especially wary of toys
that are holiday-oriented such as a Valentines bear or a Christmas Bear.
These theme-oriented toys do not give them much use outside their
Instead, buy books, craft kits, coloring books, or give an experience
such as a trip to the zoo, fair or an arcade.
Spend more time with your family
Spending time with those you love means adding
years to your life rather than spending them at work, in front of the
television or the computer. These things will, in turn, save energy and
money. Instead of consuming, play games together or take a trip to the
park on your bicycles.
Just like spending time with your family,
reading books keeps you from consuming by watching television or playing
video games. Get outside, go to the park with a nice book and enjoy!
Television and video games are a waste of time, electricity, money, and
Some of these ideas were taken years ago from: http://www.angelfire.com/wi/rowanstreeoflife/enviro.html
Please visit her wonderful site!
Pets Sold as
It may be hard to stomach, but pets suffer
horrific fates when lost or allowed outside. There are many people who actually make a
living "hunting" pets off of the streets. These animals are sold for their parts
and not for pets. These people are in every neighborhood in the country. Your
loved one may go to a research facility where unspeakable horrors will be
inflicted upon them. Even animals with tags are not safe as tags are simply
ignored by the "hunters." Below is only a small list of what each parts of your
pets are used for. This happens every single day. This
information was obtained from PETA.
Eyes are stitched shut to simulate blindness.
Chemicals such as shampoos, detergents, drain cleaners and other household
poisons are injected under the eyelids to observe reactions.
Forcibly stopped so that medical students can practice
resuscitating it again and again.
Lungs are filled with cigarette smoke to forcibly
induce cancer in cancer prevention and treatment studies. Animals are gassed
with toxic chemicals and observed for reactions and death.
Animals are force-fed poisons and observed for
reactions and death.
Brain and Nervous System:
Constantly activated with chemicals for use in sleep
Animals are drowned and skinned and sold to local
schools for dissection. Remember dissecting cats in junior high? Those cats were
taken from the streets and may have been the pets of your neighbors or their
Animals are burned for the study of skin
grafting and skin replacement.
Go here to see more facts on animal experimentation:
Environmental Health News
Defenders of Wildlife
ENN: Environmental News
The Petition Site
Please click on the links below to make free land donations
to worldwide nature conservancies:
The websites below have pages of written petitions and letters
senators and the president urging them to take action to preserve
different aspects of the environment. All you have to do is fill in
your e-mail address and it is sent. Please take action here: