Sunday, April 22, 2012

Make Everyday Earth Day

Earth Day 2006
My first job as a kid was going door to door collecting donations for PennPIRG and their reduce reuse recycle campaign. I was 17, and at the end of that summer I went off to college. Its funny how you are so often formed by the experiences of your late teens. I'm still a vegetarian because a reading of Anne Lappe's, Diet for a Small Planet. I just never learned to cook meat.

So,  I'm a life long greenie, but Earth Day often goes by unnoticed.
Actually, this post is a bit late because I totally forgot about it this year.I try to respect the earth with lifestyle choices instead of one-day efforts. Not to say that I don't occasional buy a bottled of water, or forget to recycle a yogurt container.   As the my friends and neighbors celebrate Earth Day 2012 I'll leave you with a list of the things that my family does everyday to make the earth.

1) I live in the city. Dense urban lifestyle with walkable communities are good for the earth. Leaving green fields green. We also have always lived in old houses, instead of new-build. While it would it work for everyone, think of it at reusing & recycling on the building scale. If you are looking for a zillion reasons to ditch the cul de sac read my favorite Cities Without Suburbs by David Rusk, the environment is probably the least of his argument, but its part of the reason I love city life.

2) I share a car with my husband. Not always the most convenient, and only possible because we live in a city. It means we have to plan our trips a bit more carefully, and use public transportation. The sad part is that because of urban sprawl and rising fuel cost our local transportation authority, like many, are faced with raising fares and reducing service.Ultimately, we may need a second car, but I'm holding out as long a possible!

Kids know where food comes from.
3) I to eat local and organic food whenever possible. I'm voting with my belly for sustainable agricultural practices. We use Porter Farms CSA here in Western NY and they are real people growing real food. In the end I love the connection that my family has to the actual farm that their food comes from.

Garbage picked play structure
has given us 4 years of use
instead of going to land fill
4) I'm cheap. If I can buy it used or fix something we already have, why throw away when you don't have to? Sometimes its as easy as shopping your own attic, passing down clothes or glueing a wheel back onto a favorite toy.  While I haven't continued the practice I made handmade gifts for everyone for an entire year, and this Easter I even recycled crayons.

5) I breast feed and cloth diapered my children. At the time I didn't even know how 'green' I was being. I was just being cheap and lazy. But as it turns out bottle feeding saved me from having to sterilize any bottles and make it to the store for formula but breast is best for  environment too! As far a cloth diapering, I'm cheap and really hated shelling out money every week for the throw away kind. If you thinking of making some Everyday Earth Day changes in your nursery Kelly's Closet* has Free shipping today with coupon code: GREENDAY.

Old technology saving the earth
6) I try to think of the big impact of the little things I do. I do not have a perfect recycling or composting record, and I do not think that I will be raising my own chickens anytime soon. Instead I try to make sustainable choices when decide what to eat, wear, buy and most importantly the values I teach my children. Those little things will have huge global impact in the long run.

I didn't plant any trees this year, but I still feel like I'm celebrating Earth Day, because it is part of my life everyday. This by no means suggesting that you should make all of the same lifestyle choices that I have, because what we do wouldn't work for everyone. However, there are a million ways that you can make everyday Earth Day in your household. Actually, I bet you already do. What do you do every day to make the Earth a priority in your lives?
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