Thursday, May 21, 2009

GREEN LIVING: 25 Things That You Can Do Today to Start Living "Green"

Green Living Show - green wallImage by nyxie via Flickr

25 Things That You Can Do Today to Start Living "Green" by Dorothy Williams

My 11 year old daughter told me yesterday that the teacher had discussed "green" living with the class in observance of "Earth Day". She said that the teacher had asked the class how many had begun to live "green" lives. Only she and one other girl raised their hands. She proceeded to tell me that when the teacher asked the children why they were not living "green" lives she heard excuse after excuse. "My parents can't afford it." "My parents do not have time." She was so saddened by this. She asked me why people my age were not that concerned with their childrens' future living conditions on this planet. Needless to say, I was left almost speechless.

We sat and composed a list of simple, but meaningful things that the children could take home to their parents to begin living their lives "green" for the future of their children.

1. Use rechargeable batteries

2. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs

3. Turn lights off when not needed

4. Use warm or cold water instead of hot whenever possible

5. Turn down your thermostat 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer

6. Change air conditioner filters at least once a month

7. Use recycled paper whenever possible

8. Use actual dishes instead of disposable ones

9. Run only full loads in washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers

10. Install water-saving shower heads

11. Weather strip all windows and doors

12. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use

13. Use reusable cloth shopping bags

14. Use cloth napkins instead of paper

15. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones

16. Walk or bike when possible

17. Carpool when possible

18. Properly inflate the tires on your vehicle

19. Recycle motor oil

20. Start a compost bin

21. Limit pesticide use

22. Water grass only when necessary, and do so in early morning

23. Plant trees to shade your home

24. Replace gas powered mowers with electric ones

25. Burn wood stoves that meet federal emissions standards only

Our children are listening to what is being said about the health of our planet. And, they are also watching us, their parents, to see what we are thinking and what we are doing to make a difference in the future of their planet. They do not expect us to make giant leaps. They do not expect us to all go out and buy electric vehicles and install wind turbines and solar panels to start. But...they do expect us to start doing "something".

All they want to see, is that we do care and that we will do everything in our power to make some kind of difference in their futures. My daughter said to me after we made the list, "Mom, just imagine if everyone did just 5 of the 25 things on our list, what a real difference it would make." She said, "if everyone just turned the lights off when leaving a room...can you imagine what a difference that would make?"

My daughter has always taken an interest in the environment, but I did not realize how much. I am so very proud of her :0) and I, in turn, hope to make her proud of me as well!

Dorothy Williams

Green Life 4 Ever

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