The first principle of being a green saver is to buy less stuff and reduce your spending. Refuse to buy into (pun intended!) the consumerism mentality. In terms of stuff, less is more. Businesses sell things to make money. Money is good. It fattens our wallets and allows us to buy things we need (and sometimes want). On the other hand, green savers are discerning consumers, which leads to the second principle.
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First the rhyme…
13 steps you need to know
to make this world forever go
Recycle paper from a tree
to keep your breath forever free
Keep faucets off while brushing teeth
h2o doesn’t need to flow
Burn less coal, wood and oil
greenhouse gases make us boil
Stop unwanted letters and mail
so this Earth will never fail
Snip plastic six pack rings
save gulls and terns from the sting
Clean up trash by the road
so we won’t see any mold
Use detergents that are clean
flowing phosphates can’t be seen
Save some energy and pay less fees
turn water down to 130 degrees
Don’t go with the flow
Short showers keep us in tow
Ozone depletion through CFC’s
avoiding foam peanuts is the key
Carpool to work everyday
to keep our gas here to stay
Go shopping with a canvas bag
avoiding plastic is no gag
Toxins add to hazardous waste
buy non-toxic to have good taste
Simple things to save the Earth
it’s no trend, it’s the birth
~Christine (1991, Poetry 101)
Now the lesson behind the rhyme…
In 1991, I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. For the first time, I learned about Earth Day that year. I attended an Earth Day festival on campus, photographed and wrote about the festival for one of my last projects in journalism school, and wrote a couple of poems for my Poetry 101 class. I wanted to do my part to care for Mother Earth, so I started recycling, a step in the right direction.
Earth Day was a big deal that year, but now it’s 17 years later and once again it’s a big deal. So my question for all of you is this: Is caring for Mother Earth going to be another trend that comes and goes, or are we all going to commit to doing our part — always? What can you commit to on an ongoing basis? What is “sustainable” for you? Recycling? Going vegan? Buying less stuff? Saying no to plastic water bottles? Small steps are good. Do what you can but do something, and keep doing it — day in and day out.
In the past year I began saying no to FREE bottled water at work and started bringing my own reuseable water bottle. I began consistenly bringing my own reuseable bags to the grocery and other stores. I also changed out the majority of lightbulbs in my home to environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent bulbs. I would love to hear steps you have taken to protect the Earth and what you plan to do going forward. Post a comment below and share your ideas! We are all in this together.
Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22nd. Happy Earth Day!
And now another poem from 1991…
For Earth Day ’91 (and now 2008 and beyond)
Take the Earth to borrow
for your lifetime
Climb the high mountains
see for miles
Swim in clear blue oceans
guided by wild dolphins
Walk on hot sands
smelling cactus flowers
Camp in great forests
crowded with Redwoods too tall to climb
Run in wide open fields
green grass growing past your knees
Bicycle on neverending trails
feel the wind on your face, the sun on your back
be with it
don’t break it
What is here today
may become shattered hopes of Mother Earth
destroying the future of
invited to share
this one Earth with
Take good care of her.
~ vegan girl next door (1991, edited 2008).
Join millions around the world this Saturday, March 29, from 8-9PM for World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour. Save energy and turn off your lights for one hour. You don’t have to sit in the dark, but be sure to light vegan-friendly candles made from soy
available locally at Ethical Planet in Evanston.
Earth Hour originally started in Sydney, Australia, last year, and is going global this year. As well it should. Consider it a pre-Earth Day ritual. After all, Earth Day is every day, but officially April 22 this year.
In honor of Earth Day next month, Vegetarian Times created a free digital issue. Excellent way to save some trees! Although not entirely vegan, I have noticed the magazine has more and more vegan recipes. Maybe they are catching on?
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