The Earth Fairy™ offers simple steps everyone can take to help make a difference and save the Earth. Here are some of her most popular tips:
1. Go vegan. This is one of the most powerful steps you can take to make a difference, three meals a day. Animal products (all meats, including chicken and fish; dairy products; and eggs) contribute more to global warming, air and water pollution, destruction of the land, and even human starvation than most of the more obvious environmental violations. Adopting a plant-based diet is not only good for the Earth and the animals; it’s good for your health! So it’s a win, win, win!
2. Go organic. Pesticides are poisoning our planet and the people who consume them. Choosing organic saves not only the Earth, but also your health. Your health is your greatest wealth. Think organics are too expensive? Check out your local farmers market for organic options, or start a garden of your own. No yard for a garden? Look for a community supported agriculture program in your community, or shop at your local health food store or co-op. Because they are not subsidized like the corrupt pesticide industry, and because the demand is not as high, organics sometimes cost a little bit more. So stop wasting your money on that daily double latte in a styrofoam cup, and apply that money toward organic groceries instead. It’s worth it!
3. Reduce consumption. In the “land of plenty,” we seldom think of what really went into the products we buy. Think twice before every purchase. Do you really need it? Can you live without it? And even if something is offered for “free,” it has a price somewhere along the line. Do you really need to collect all those little plastic bottles of free shampoo in every hotel you stay in? Only use what you truly need. The Earth will thank you for your consideration.
4. Reuse what you have. Don’t be so quick to replace what could be reused. If it’s broken, repair it – or at least pass it along to someone else who can repair it. Donate items you no longer want or need to charity. Shop at secondhand stores. This will save the Earth and your money! And bring your own bags to the store every time you shop. Keep some in the car so they’re always handy when you need them.
5. Make an effort to throw as little as possible in the trash. Most of the items people toss in the trash – which end up in the landfills and cause a huge environmental impact – are actually recyclable. Think of the trash as a huge heap that is filling up landfills and polluting the land. Everything we throw away contributes to that mess, and everything we recycle makes a difference.
6. Recycle. Put a recycle bin next to every trash bin in your home and office. Label the recycle bins to make it obvious. This is a simple and effective way to make it convenient for people to recycle what would otherwise be thrown in the landfill. All of these items can and should be recycled: Junk mail, miscellaneous paper, cardboard (including empty food boxes and empty toilet paper rolls); glass bottles and jars; plastic bottles and jars (check your local recycling center to find out which types of plastic are recyclable in your area); and aluminum cans and foil. Some areas also offer recycling of plastic bags and bubble wrap.
7. Switch to eco-friendly products. Consider your haircare, skincare, dental care, cleaning products, and more. Most common, commercial brands are filled with toxic chemicals that are bad for the Earth (not to mention what they do to the animals they are often tested on and the humans who then buy them). Who cares if you have a coupon for $1.00 off?! Become informed about the ingredients in the products you buy. It’s not what’s on the front label that counts; check out the back label and read the actual ingredients list. Once you become educated, you might be appalled at what you’ve been putting on your skin and in your mouth all these years. It’s not too late to make the switch today!
8. Lose your lawn. Talk about a waste! Lawns are usually a waste of water, a waste of space, a source of chemical fertilizers, and a cause of that weekly double-whammy known as a lawn mower, which creates both noise pollution and air pollution (not to mention the use of gasoline)! Instead, consider xeriscaping your yard, or better yet, grow your food there! What if every lawn were a family garden and/or personal grain field?! If you’re watering and fertilizing something every week, it might as well become your food!
9. Compost. Collect your food scraps in a compost instead of throwing them in the trash or down the disposal. There are many kitchen-friendly compost containers and compost bins available today. This rich compost can be used to fertilize your garden and/or houseplants, thus preventing the necessity of toxic and expensive fertilizers. And if you don’t have a garden or houseplants, you can donate or sell the compost to someone who does!
10. Turn off the water. This precious resource must be conserved as much as possible, as the drought situation worldwide has become life-threatening. Don’t run the faucet while you brush your teeth or shave. Take shorter showers. Only flush the toilet when necessary (“if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down!”). Don’t clean patios with a hose; use a good old fashioned broom instead. Add water saving devices to your showers, faucets, and toilets. If possible, get a dual flush toilet or even a composting toilet.
11. Turn out the lights. Today’s most common sources of power, including coal and nuclear power, contribute to tremendous environmental devastation. Only turn lights on when absolutely necessary. Switch light bulbs to LED, which use far less power. Go to bed earlier, if possible, and use the sun as your primary source of light. These tips will save not only the Earth, but also money on your monthly power bill.
12. Seek alternative energy sources. Consider the vehicle you drive, the fuel you use, whether a bike or even a walk can replace some driving, and how you power your home. Earth-friendly alternatives do exist, including solar, wind, and many more. Become educated, and make a difference!