Simple Steps to a Cleaner, Greener You

April 22 is Earth Day.
Every year as Earth Day approaches, I think about our world, and wonder what we have done.

Thick pollution fills city streets.
Garbage sits in dumps, filled with materials needlessly purchased.
Dying animals suck in plastic bags.
Garbage floats in the sea.
Forests are eliminated for our own selfish greed.
Poisons are placed on plants and food, sink into the earth, damaging it, damaging us.

It makes me wonder, am I doing all I can to make this world a better place? Click To Tweet

Like many, I recycle. But recycling has its own set of problems, amounts of energy and water used. Recycling isn’t an answer, but a band-aid placed upon an open wound. It is a way of ignoring what is really happening in our world. And yet, I still recycle, unsure of how to eliminate plastic containers and glass jars from my life.

I bring my own reusable bags to the store, and refuse plastic ones when I am offered.

I have purchased stainless steel straws to use in place of plastic ones.

I take shorter showers, and use less make-up.

I do all this, and yet, I know it’s not enough. I am only one person, and what can one person do on their own? Nothing. And everything.

One person impacts another. Our world can change because of one person. I am not trying to change who you are, or what you do. But I want you to know, you, as one person, can make a difference. If not across the planet, across your part of the world.

This year, I am making it my quest to eliminate plastic packing. It won’t be easy, but I need to try. Plastic bags can take twenty years to decompose (some sites state hundreds, which may be true, depending on the type of plastic). Plastic floats in oceans, wraps around animals, gets stuck in airways. Children have suffocated from plastic.

I can’t change the planet by myself. But I can do something to make this world a little better, to make my own world better.

It’s easy to give up, uses bandages to briefly repair, it’s easy to ignore what’s going on. We are only one person. What we can do? We can do everything. We can change the world.

One day, I want to look back and say, “I did all I could.”

What will you do?

Here are a few ideas:

*Buy clothing from sustainable sources. Buy organic cotton, linen, wool.

*Eliminate plastic.

*Make your own food.

*Make your own creams and lotions.

*Drive less. Walk more. Bike more.

*Use technology more, and paper less.

*Stop plastic straws. Bring your own when you dine out.

You are one person. You can change the world.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

The simple things in life – lilies on a pond, a sunset, a tree in bloom. They make me happy.

I wonder why, when there is so much simple beauty surrounding us, we dive headfirst into stores, searching for that perfect treasure, when really, treasure exists right outside our door.

Today, I am leaving you with a few images of my favorite things. What are yours?

Hailee-hair

Sand

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The World According to Kermit

I like Kermit for many reasons. He’s cute, his voice is annoyingly adorable, and he’s wise.

He says things like: “If life were easy, it wouldn’t be difficult.” (Profound, huh?)

And, (I love this one): “I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me.” - Kermit Click To Tweet

Mostly, I love Kermit because he is green.

Green is my favorite color. It is the color of spinach, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli (I love them all.) Green is the color of leaves on a spring tree, fresh grass, and newly cut kiwi. It is clover, a turtle, and many bugs I don’t like (but like the color of). Green is emeralds, and a forest of trees. It is a patch of basil and a field of mint. And green is Mike Wazowski. (Who doesn’t love that green, one-eyed monster?)

Green is also our planet. And green is how we care for it.

I try to be green, really I do. But as hippie as I am, and simple as I like to be, sometimes I am a lot more brown than green.

It happened the other day when I was at the grocery store admiring the fresh produce. I grabbed a few apples, a large pineapple, a bunch of vegetables, and then something caught my eye. Sitting in the middle of the store were fresh, sweet, perfectly red strawberries, encased in large plastic clam shells. It was a dilemma. I wanted the strawberries, but the plastic I could do without. I know what happens to plastic. It sits in a landfill for hundreds of years. (According to www.recycling.about.com, it takes a plastic bottle 450 years to decompose.)

I understand the need for that type of packaging when it comes to soft fruits like berries. After all, who wants to purchase a pile of fruit mush? Yet I hate the thought of tossing plastic in the trash. (Though some stores, like Whole Foods, will take them back.)

Needless to say, I bought the strawberries. Sure, I could wait until the farmers market, drive twenty minutes, sit in traffic, use gas to get there, but I’m not sure that’s very green, either. Or I could wait until berries fill the patches in the area, and go berry picking. But then, I have to drive even further than I do to go to the farmers market.

The plastic shells aren’t the only thing turning my hippie skin from green to brown. I’m still using paper towels. My consumption has greatly decreased, but they are still in our house. According to www.greenlivingtips.com, it takes a paper towel 2-4 weeks to break down. Not even close to plastic, yet, as a country, we consume a lot of paper towels. Www.peopletowels.com states that we waste over 3000 tons of paper towels per day.

There are many simple things I could do to be greener, and some I have already done. My plastic storage is almost gone, my shaving cream in a plastic container no longer exists, and I have a reusable glass bottle for my water. Yet I am still fairly brown. It’s hard in our society to be totally green. But I’m working on it.

Here are a few small things I do to make me a tad greener:
* Reusable water bottle.
* Buy produce with less packaging.
* Use less paper towels and more cloth napkins.
* Use the notepad on my phone for my grocery list (instead of a piece of paper).
* Buy loose leaf tea in place of tea bags.
* Use soap nuts for laundry. **

Just tiny steps towards a greener me. Like I said, it’s impossible to be totally green. Our lives require us to drive to jobs, our food often arrives in plastic, and piles of paper are delivered to our mailbox. Yet we can all do one small thing to make our world a little greener.

As Kermit says, “It’s not easy being green.” And he’s right. But I’m determined to keep trying.

**I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means if you purchase anything through my site, I receive a commission.

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The Start

In the beginning, well, you know the rest.

This isn’t about the very beginning, but it is about the world a long time ago (but not that long ago, really). There was a time when our world was different, when we cared for animals and our planet. There was a time of organic farming and humane treatment. There was a time when the earth was more than a place to pillage and plunder.

Along the way, we have forgotten what we once were. We have forgotten to care for animals and people. We have let money, greed, and overall selfishness take over. We lost our pride, our humanity, our ability to care for more than just ourselves.

This isn’t a guilt-thing, or a pointing-of-fingers, but a quiet reminder of what we need to do.

The attached video has circled the net for the last few years, been seen by millions of people, but its message is still the same. Enjoy.

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