Happy St. Patrick's Day!! If you want to know the real story behind St. Patrick's Day, and why it is associated with the Irish, Good Luck, and Clovers, check out the Saint Patrick's Day post on wikipedia. Since March 17th is when many people strut their love for the color green, I'm going to take this opportunity to share 3 ways to BE more green in your everyday life!! (Read on to find out how you can win a free reusable tote bag!!!)
1. Drive less.
Find ways to carpool with the people you work with and/or utilize public forms of transportation, which is improving across the country! As gas prices go up, it may actually be MORE economical to your wallet and the environment to fly instead of drive! Since airlines are a public form of transportation, it helps more people utilize less fuel and emits fewer harmful gasses into the environment over time as opposed to that same 200 people driving in cars for several days instead of planepooling for a few hours. (I would love for someone to do some real research on this!) Trains are my absolute favorite form of travel because you still have many of the benefits of traveling on the ground like talking on your cell phone, connecting to your wireless internet, looking at the local scenery, having more leg room, and not having people frisk the heck out of you, but alas, we Americans haven't made it as easy or cool as the Europeans have. Jet Blue, Southest, and AmTrak make it very easy and economical to travel long distances with ease. If you absolutely need a car when you get somewhere, Enterprise has great rates and offers a hybrid Toyota prius at some locations.
2. Reuse more.
It isn't enough to recycle by simply buying disposable products and putting them in a recycling bin. We need to reuse more. It's about using and buying things that are reusable rather than buying things that are meant to be thrown away. Imagine how much space we'd save in landfills if everyone brought their own cups to fill up at fast food chains, coffee shops, and gas stations. Imagine how much oil and how many trees we would save by trading in the disposable grocery store bags (which may get reused once before they break) for cotton totes that are washable and reusable. How about wearing jeans and sweaters more than once before washing them, which will result in using less energy, time, money, and strain on the environment (unless you went to a really smokey bar and the Febreze isn't doing the trick... no one wants to smell your smokey bar clothes!) Try using Dryel instead of driving to the dry cleaners and having them wrap plastic bags around your clothes. Check out ReusableBags.com to find all kinds of reusable items that have been made in ecofriendly ways. I could go on, but if even 1/4th of my blog readers committed to doing just one of those things, we could make a big difference!
3. Buy Locally.
Studies have shown that people who purchase foods and goods that were grown and produced locally, tend to be healthier overall. How can this be so? The farther your food has to travel to get to you, the more preservatives have to be added, and the more waste and disease have a chance to affect the quality of that food. I think we can all agree that fresh produce which is in season always tastes better than produce which is out of season. If you want great food out of season, find out which local farmers can their produce and make it available for sale, or head to your local farmer's market to get the good stuff grown nearby. As great as the internet is, there's also a high value in buying things locally from small mom & pop shops that make their own products rather than having mass produced items shipped from who-knows-where. Not only does it help you support your local and US economy, it also helps save the environment by reducing the amount of waste created in producing and shipping mass market items. That's one of the things I love about Etsy and EBay, because they allow you to search for products and sellers near you!!
WIN A FREE: LIVE. LOVE. GREEN. ANNE RUTHMANN PHOTOGRAPHY TOTE BAG!!
This reusable, washable, carry-all is usually only given away to my clients who order full size albums, but you can now get your own for free!! One winner will be chosen at random, and there are three different ways to enter, just pick one that works best for you! * Make sure you include your email address when posting a comment so that I can notify you via email if you're the winner! Here's how to enter:
1. Leave a comment below with another easy idea for living a greener lifestyle.
- OR -
2. Make a promise in the comments below letting us know which of the ideas mentioned above you're going to put into action immediately.
- OR -
3. Make a donation to the Environmental & Energy Institute and leave a comment letting me know who made the donation.
The winner will be chosen on April 9th! Thank you so much for your participation!!
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