Celebrate the Earth

April 22nd (today) is Earth Day and while I will not go into a whole debate on the state of the planet, I do want to mention a few things that you can do help our planet...

Recycle -
This is a big one! My biggest complaint about Houston is not the size of the city or the traffic it is that in most areas there are no recycling programs in place. We actually used to have recycling pick up in our neighborhood and it was done away with because there were too few people participating. It takes just a few seconds to throw a plastic bottle or plastic bag into a separate container. How could there be too few people participating...OK off my soapbox!

Also, look for a paper recycling depot (they look like yellow dumpsters) for your newspapers, magazines, etc. Take your cans to a recycling center. Yes they can be gross, take up space in the garage, and your payout is pretty small, but do it anyway! Every little bit helps, especially when every person is doing at least a small part!

I recently read an article about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It was astounding and heartbreaking at the same time. In case you've never heard of it, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a mass of plastic waste that covers 537,000 square miles. That is twice the size of Texas! If you think that this has no effect on aquatic life, think again!

Reduce and Reuse -
Grocery stores are now selling the reusable totes for your groceries. They are usually a dollar per bag and they don't take up a lot of space! Get a few, throw them in your car, and use them for your grocery trips. Very easy, inexpensive and can make a big difference if everyone did it!

Use compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs. The bulbs use 75% less energy (saving you money) and last up to 10 times longer.
* These bulbs you can't just throw in garbage because they contain trace amounts of mercury. Check IKEA (that's right) or this link for disposal of your bulbs.

Start a garden -
Get the kids involved! We recently started a mini garden in our backyard in planter boxes and believe it or not we've got veggies...well kind of, we have plants! The kids get to water the plants every day and hopefully soon we'll have fresh garden grown tomatoes, avocados, green beans, snow peas, and squash to feast on! Imagine that, kids excited about veggies!

Shop smart -
Now that "green" is "in" there are lots of new products being added every day for consumers that offer safer alternatives to everything from laundry detergent to paper towels. If you pick just one or two and stick with them, you can make a difference.

Being a good steward of our planet doesn't mean you have to remodel your home in bamboo and rain water. It can be done efficiently, effectively, and inexpensively. Please choose to do so for our generation and the generations to come!

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