Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Little Changes, Big Difference

I can't help but giggle at the daily "save the environment" habits I've easily become accustomed to.  After leaving each room, I make sure lights, music and tv's are always turned off.  Whenever I run errands and need to make a quick stop at a drive-thru bank, our dry cleaners or the occasional fast food/coffee joint, I turn off my vehicle's ignition, I never leave doors to the outside ajar for fear of wasting heat, I only run full loads of laundry...and so on.  It's amazing how quickly these habits became just that, habits.  And even more amazing how quickly my 2 year old has caught on to my behavior and practices some of the same energy saving habits as well.   

Our son never let's us leave a room if the lights are turned on.  Part of it is I know he loves to be in charge of turning the lights on/off and loves the recognition of doing a good deed.  But the other part I can't help but think is a little environmentalist emerging from his own personality.

And so I challenge all of you to pick one simple, easy energy saving, environmentally safe habit to embrace.  Every time I watch my son carefully turn off our lights and shut our doors to the outside, I think to myself if my 2 year old can so easily pick up on these great habits, why can't the rest of us?  If you need some ideas, below is a great list of easy habits to choose from:
  • turn off your lights and unplug unused appliances (2/3 of electrical energy used in the US in the residential sector powers lights and appliances)
  • stop idling in your vehicle (saves precious clean AIR that we breath, reduces use of power needed to operate our vehicles)
  • quit using plastic water containers!  Duh, I cannot believe people still do this.  Spend $10 on a reusable water bottle and fill it up with safe water from your home.  Most water purchased in plastic bottles comes from municipal water supplies anyways (Aquafina).
  • utilize mass transit if available
  • seal up your house (weather stripping and caulking are inexpensive and work efficiently)
  • buy recycled products if you can
  • replace old furnaces, water heaters and other energy guzzling appliances
  • reduce, reuse, recycle!
  • cloth diaper
  • replace toxic house cleaners with green cleaners (they really do work just as well)
  • plant your own garden
  • use washable hand towels versus paper towels (when you can)
  • get involved in your community (become an activist, donate your time, do something!)
  • try to plan your errands on the same day to reduce unnecessary driving)
  • keep your vehicle in good working condition
  • vote!
  • purchase clean energy
  • begin composting
  • water only during cool hours
I'm sure there are so many more to think of.  With Earth Day approaching, maybe one of these could be one of your goals? 

Have a wonderful day,

Mommy Bridget

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