Last Sunday was Earth Day, but I don't believe we should focus only one day of the year on taking care of the home that we live in. We are stewards of this planet and it is up to us to keep it as clean and healthy as possible. Over the last century, civilization has wreaked havoc on the environment through thoughtless behavior and a lack of respect in addition to ignorance. Now we are being told that we must make changes or else there is disaster ahead.
As a New Thought practitioner, I believe that we must approach our work to restore the health of the planet with the right attitude and beliefs. We must walk a fine line. If we are constantly affirming lack and holding a negative attitude, we will be creating more of the same. We must instead hold in our minds a picture of a healthy planet and believe that our resources are abundant and unlimited and yet be willing to take positive steps in the outer to support this vision.
Here are some things that have been recommended:
- Eat less meat: A plant-based diet generally requires less land, energy, and other resources. Crop-based food requires an average of 0.78 global hectares per ton of food, compared to 2.1 global hectares required to produce one ton of animal-based food. (This is a healthier diet for us anyway, according to research.)
- Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle and reduce the amount that you drive-walk, cycle, carpool, or use public transportation instead.
- Avoid purchasing disposable items with lots of packaging. Re-use items when possible, and always recycle items that are recyclable.
- Compost kitchen waste: Garbage that is not contaminated with degradable (biological) waste can be more easily recycled and sorted, and doesn't produce methane gases (a significant greenhouse gas contributor) when stored in a landfill.
- Plant native and drought-tolerant plants in dry regions to reduce water use.
- Be a conscientious consumer—learn about sustainability-friendly products here, courtesy of The Center for a New American Dream. Also, for a teenage perspective on “buying different,” click here.
- Visit the GreenMarketplace, an online green shopping center, for all sorts of environmentally friendly products.
- Share magazines and catalogs by donating them to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices or by creating an informal program in which you rotate magazines and catalogs among your neighbors.
- Save trees by freeing yourself from junk mail, in three basic steps! Also courtesy of The Center for a New American Dream.
- Reuse and recycle packing materials. You can recycle materials like packing “peanuts”—simply call 1-800-828-2214 for the Plastic Loose Fill Council’s “Peanut Hotline” and they’ll tell you the nearest recycling location.
- Use flourescent light bulbs. You can get them to fit any socket now and you'll not only help the environment but save money too as they last much longer than regular bulbs.
Check out the Yahoo web site http://events.yahoo.com/earthday07/ for more information.
Let's give thanks every day for the beautiful home that we are blessed with in this vast universe. And let's envision this earth healthy and clean and capable of supporting all living things for many generations to come.