April 23, 2012
When you wake up in the
morning and look in your closet to figure out what to wear, one major factor
influencing your choice is the weather.
For the most part, depending on the season, you can predict what it's
going to be like outside without checking The Weather Channel everyday. But lately, it seems like the weather has
been more unpredictable than ever. Snow
in southern California, tornadoes across the central states, a cold spell that
froze the east for months... It almost seems like the movie, “The Day After
Tomorrow,” isn't that far off from reality.
The film “An Inconvenient Truth” shed some light on mankind’s impact on the planet and how we could be the cause of what appears to be Mother Nature’s wrath. Sure, we’ve been taught to turn off the lights when we leave the room, leave the water off while we’re brushing our teeth and separate our recyclables from the trash. I hate to break it to you, but that’s just not enough.
Although we are cognizant of these things year-round, Earth Day gives us a reminder to take that extra step toward preserving our environment. Here are a few more environmentally friendly habits that you can add to your list of daily activities to balance out what “bad” habits you (actually, I mean, “we”) keep:
1. Wash your outerwear only when necessary—maybe every third wear. When you do, use the cold water cycle and hang them to dry. Since you will be conserving water and energy, you’ll keep more dollars in your bank. Your clothes will last longer, too! An added bonus to getting more life out of your wardrobe is not having to spend as much money buying new clothes, thus further reducing your carbon footprint and consumerism (the act of buying new items and things we don't absolutely need).
2. Buy locally-made products. From food to jewelry, when items travel fewer miles to get to us, less carbon seeps into our atmosphere. The USDA has an online farmers’ market directory- http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/. And don’t forget to bring your reusable tote bags when you shop!
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3. Walk, bike or carpool to work whenever possible. We all want to save on fuel expenses these days. You’ll also see the extra benefits in your beach bod this summer.
4. If you don’t already, opt for direct deposit and electronic paystubs at work. Go paperless at the bank too, if you can. You will save trees, and reduce waste and fuel used to deliver it all to you.
5. Ditch the mainstream cleaning products—from your body wash to your countertop disinfectant. Try planet friendly brands that are labeled sulfate, phthalate and paraben –free. You can find those products at most health food stores, natural food stores and the health food section of major supermarkets. Not only will you be doing good for our planet, but some scientists have also shown that it could be good for your uterus (Some of the weird chemicals I named disrupt our bodies’ natural hormone systems.
Remember, you don’t have to do all of these. Just start with one or two and add as you go along. We have to do our own part in ensuring that our environment is inhabitable, water is drinkable, and food is edible.