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Feb 6, 2012

Hello, my name is Laurie and this is my first blog. Growing up I've always had an interest in nature and the creatures that live in it. In fact my plans for the future is to become a wildlife conservationist, however I've come to realize recently that the first step to helping our planet is to first start with ourselves. I've been aware of the global warming, pollution and mistreatment that we've induced on our planet but really haven't looked at how I've been effecting it.

I stumbled upon this site after watching the movie The Cove, a window of what goes on in the bays of Japan, the slaughtering and illegal busness of dolphin hunting. I found this site to sign the petition to stop the slaughtering and after looking more into this site, I see the value of fighting so passionatley for those who can't for themselves.

Reading of how forests are being destoyed, polluting factories rising everywhere and many species becoming endangered or near extinct and how people try to help, made me see that I could be doing more.

This isn't my journey going from an average everyday person to a "tree hugger" but this going to be about my progress of going as green as possible. Even though I don't feel my carbon footprint is that big, I'm sure I could make it way smaller with just the simplest things. I don't know why I didn't notice this earlier but I can hardly believe that I called myself pro earth and didn't even try to minimize my own damage.

I'm hoping that keeping a blog will help me stay on track and any tips or ideas people would share will help me "live green" more successfully. I plan on keeping track of everything I change to be more pro earth and catalog my successes and failures starting today!

 Remember I'm starting with the small simpler things first and work my way up. My goal is to make active decisions on going green everyday till overall I live green!

STEP 1

greenanswers.com is a source I use and I've read that 51,000 trees must be replaced just to make up for how many paper towels are used in a day!

Read more: http://greenanswers.com/q/11295/recycling-waste/how-many-paper-towels-does-average-household-go-through-#ixzz1ldf4apvO

So for my first step  I plan on not buying paper towels, and use wash cloths and rags for my cleaning! Doing this I end up not using 8-10 rolls a month! (I clean a lot)




STEP 2



I often forget to bring my reusable bags with me to the store and when I load my groceries in the car my brain remembers "oh crap I forgot the reusable bags, dam it!" and the cycle continues every time. I'v finally put those darn bags in my car so I will see them before I go to the store. I don't know the statistics but I think everyone knows that plastic bags are a huge problem and can cause a lot of damage.

 I read an article not too long ago that a lot of our waste ends up in our oceans and that many dolphins, sharks, and whales ingest them and often die due to not being able to break down the plastic. This leads to sometimes slow deaths because they can't eat when they have such a build up in their system and could take over a month to end their suffering. Also plastic bags along with ziplock bags take many years to breakdown, and contain harmful toxins!

Again I don't know how many bags a family uses a year but when my husband and I go shopping we have 10 to 15 bags per trip. I do reuse them for my small trash cans and for picking up after my great dane but I always have a bunch left over. I have a huge drawer literally stuffed with these bags cause I hate just throwing them out. In a month we bring home over 60 plastic bags! (I'm rounding and calculating high because we get bags from other places besides the grocery store)  How rediculous is that!

I really don't want to be responsible for killing an innocent whale and poisoning our world just because I forgot my dam cloth bags, so for my STEP 2 I'm making sure I never use plastic bags and ziplock bags. For leftovers I will only use containers with lids that can be reused and same for my husband's lunch. I now carry a cloth bag in my purse so when I go grab a few things at the store or anything, I am prepared. This is a very small step and oddly easy. It's just the matter of thinking ahead, "Remember the bags, and run the dishwasher."


STEP 3

I did a little research today and I can now say I'm officially afraid of cleaning products! Based on an aticle I read:

 Switch to Natural Cleaning Products by Deborah Mitchel.

" The average American uses about 40 pounds of toxic household cleaning products each year.These cleaning products contain dangerous ingredients, including neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens, central nervous system depressants, heavy metals, and other agents that cause or contribute to cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, allergic reactions, and behavioral problems, among other health issues. Ingredients from household cleaning products make their way into the environment through various routes: they are flushed down toilets, poured down sinks, sprayed into the air, thrown into the trash, and dumped onto the ground. In fact, many hazardous cleaning products are landfilled or incinerated, upon which they release their toxins into the environment and contribute to depletion of the ozone layer, pollute groundwater, contaminate the soil, and harm plant and animal life."

Reading this along with other sites saying the same thing, I'm going to switch to all natural products or make them myself! How can you not be freaked out after reading this, everything you clean and scrub not only has a huge impact on the environment but is harmful to yourself as well. No thanks, I will spend the extra money on a product that's safe for me and the planet and will still clean my counter! This goes for hygiene products to, I read that many products we use in the shower and cosmetics are harmful to our skin and to the air we breathe. I haven't found a product line yet that is truly organic without spending major bucks but I'm going to keep looking, worse case scenario is I just might have to make that to.

So for my STEP 3 I am buying/making all natural cleaning product along with as many cosmetics as I can find. This way I reduce the chemical toxins in my body along within the environment.



STEP 4

I love to read, it's one of my favorite things to do. When the weather is nice and my husband is getting on my nerves, I grab my book and sit out in the sun room and read. Reading has so many more benefits to a person then a tv show, I admit I do sit on the couch and watch my favorite series, however, reading has so much more value then just entertainment. It's soothing, relaxing, makes you use your brain and expands your vocabulary and increases your reading speed.There are so many topics  to choose from so you can never get bored. A book has more uses then a tv episode in my opinion. How many times can you watch a certain episode? 2 maybe 3 times and thats if its freakin amazing right? How many times have you read your favorite books? One of my favorites I've read over a dozen times, but thats just me. 

Aside from the enjoyment of books, they do have an impact on our planets trees. Based on this website: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/621099
 over "2,500,000 TREES ARE USING FOR PUBLISHING BOOKS"

This is the only site I found that had an actual number but either way thats a lot of trees gone just for books!

Growing up I've always been the kid to save my allowance and to think things through when spending. " Would I rather have this book for $10 or should I get this awesome puppy poster for $5" Even at that age I would analyze which one in the long run I would be happy with and because of that I am pretty good with spending. The same goes for the trees used for publishing books, Every book has tons of copies and gets revised and re-published and then new titles or sequals and series, and it goes on and on and on. Kind of like my STEP 4 blog.

What I'm getting at is we should kind of have the same mentality for our natural resources. For our planet's sake we should look at what we need verses what we want. Earth isn't a vending machine where you go out to the woods take down a tree and one pops up in it's place. But books on the shelves seem to do that. We should cut down our use of resources for publishing because in the long run it will be beneficial to our planet. We can never eliminate book publishing, that's unrealistic but if we limit how much of our resources can be used for it we may be able to better control the destruction of trees and hopefully regain the loss from careless use from previous years.

Even with buying used books there is still the fact that so many trees are cut down, it doesn't put a dent in that number. My hubby bought me a kindle for Christmas and I must say I LOVE IT!!! I really didn't like it at first cause I like holding a book and flipping pages and sadly that paper smell gets you in the mood to read, but after some time I got used to reading on a screen. What I like about it is I can buy a book and have it instantly, and you can even borrow books from other people, so it definitly has some good qualities! Did I mention no paper is involved?  I buy books online and presto, I can read them out of thin air, how eco friendly is that!  The power lasts pretty long on it too so it's pretty efficient. I also enjoy downloading apps, for games and such. I am a sudoku fan and hated buying books of sudoku puzzles because I can only use it once, but on my kindle I have an app for sudoku and it's fun with 10X more puzzles then any puzzle book. Only down side is some book titles don't come in a kindle version, just as a old fashioned book. So if I really want that book I'm going to have to buy the paper copy, but if that was the case then I would buy a used one.

So even though I've already been doing my STEP 4 I figured I should establish it. I will continue to use my kindle and local library for my reading needs to help minimize the amount of trees used for publishing.






Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday February 6, 2012, 12:48 pm
Tags: living green [add/edit tags]

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Lauren Tebo
female , married
USA
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