Earth Day — the one day we’re supposed to make an effort to do something for the environment. It’s serious business.
So serious, the Environmental Protection Agency is challenging all of us to “own the environment” and “commit to environmental protection as one of your top priorities.” Oof. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to own the environment. Sounds like lots of money and work. In my crazy world, I want SIMPLE.
Turn off the TV, lights, and appliances when not in use.
This requires just a flick of the wrist when you leave a room. If you’re not using something, turn in off. Unplug it. You’ll conserve energy and keep money in your wallet.
Shut off the water when brushing your teeth.
Again, this is a turn of the hand. You just have to remember. The water doesn’t need to run when you aren’t wetting or rinsing your toothbrush.
Wash your laundry in cold water.
According to Energy Star, heating water uses 90% of a washing machine’s energy. Which means you can save 90% of the cost of running your washer by changing one setting. You can get more facts on cold water washing from the Alliance to Save Energy.
Throw your recyclable plastic in recycling bins instead of garbage cans.
Recycling bins are popping up everywhere — in offices, schools, even train stations. (I spent the weekend in Chicago; they were all over Union Station.) This makes it easy. If you’re tossing out that plastic bottle, there’s probably a recycling bin right next to the garbage. Turn and throw it in the box with the circular arrows.
Pick up litter you pass when walking.
If you’re out and you see litter, pick it up and toss it in the nearest trash bin. Within reason, it’s smart to use gloves or tools to pick up some pieces.
See, you can easily start down the path to environmental ownership. Why don’t you consider one or all of these acts if you don’t do them already? As for my Earth Day pledge – I’m pledging to take shorter showers. I may even put a timer in the bathroom to hold me to this goal. What are your plans?
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