Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's easier to go "green" in small steps

(I listed this new tam on Etsy today, I took the picture last summer, isn't nature beautiful in its bloom?)

I wanted to write about "going green" for a while now, but I knew it was going to be a task to put all my thoughts into words. Therefore, I decided to write a short article about how ecological-conscious living can be achieved in small baby steps.
When I moved from Germany to the USA it was scary and challenging at the same time to witness what environmental "sins" were still allowed in the beautiful state of Oklahoma, please keep in mind, that urban and country living in Germany had been restricted by many laws considering trash, garbage disposal, paying high taxes on any energy-intensive product like gasoline, even for plastic grocery bags....
I also take into consideration that a densely populated country requires different restrictions in order to keep the environment alive and healthy.
My DH and I sometimes still don't see "eye-to-eye" on certain steps, but here is how I try to implement my European roots into the American Way of Life:
***Recycle for private and business matters, whatever possible I buy at the thrift store, clothes, ribbons, bags, books, dishes.............I guess anything other than underwear, socks and shoes!
***Never throw anything out of your car window and onto the streets or roads
***Avoid plastic bags if possible, use fabric totes
***Turn off lights and devices if not needed, electricity costs natural resources and money
***Return batteries, hazardous waste if possible, not throwing it into the house garbage
***Composting kitchen waste
***Save water (we have our own water well, but I still see it wasted if it's just flushed down the drain without any purpose)
***Buying less is more, enjoy an uncluttered living
***Refurbish used furniture with toxic-free stains and paints
***Wear a sweater when it's cool, keep the heat on moderate temperature
***Fill washing machines and dishwashers before running the wash cycles (I never had a dishwasher until I moved over here, so, that's one convenience I am thrilled with, but I fill it properly and scrub pots by hand:)

***Buy handmade and homegrown/homemade, we don't need cotton swamps made on other continents just to have them shipped across the ocean so that we can save 50 cents at the store. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables which are grown in your area. Don't support sweatshops without any quality control and environmental-unfriendly production methods. Saving a $ does not justify importing all our daily goods, because it takes an immense amount of energy for transportation, unsafe uncontrolled materials may threaten our health and the huge quantities of unnecessary trinkets and one-way-products eventually will exhaust the resources of OUR earth.

Small steps, but we should never feel helpless, we always can do something good for our Mother Earth.
And one more thing, if I was an American national, I'd vote for a candidate with an environmental program.
But my naturalization is still a matter of the future.
PEACE and have a great weekend!

More online articles to read:
Small steps to reduce waste
Going green in the kitchen
10 environmentally friendly ideas for college students
Green parenting
Micro-Green - Small Steps to a Greener Existence

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