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I Love Earth Day…I Hate Only Recognizing it Once a Year

March 28, 2010

We are trying to save the world one recyclable, reusable bag and low-watt light bulb at a time. Earth Day was founded in April 22, 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson.  According to the senator the idea for Earth Day started in 1962, after being tired of the environment being a non-issue in the political world. In 1962, he decided to persuade President John F Kennedy “to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour”. Earth Day took eight more years to become recognized.

I love Earth Day and what it stands for. Teaching our children, and learning ourselves, what has happened to our environment is very important, and scary. Seeing the effects of pollution in the air, all the smog that your small town did not have twenty some-odd years ago, or living in a big city and watching the smog cover the freshly rained blue sky, and knowing that we had a part in it. Who knew that glaciers could melt?

A day recognizing the earth was an unfortunate wake-up call to large companies producing unstoppable pollution. Knowing that products we use on a daily basis-cars, paper products and cleaning supplies-is the route of the pollution that galvanized the need for a day to remind us of our deeds. Thankfully some companies are taking their part in this problem seriously. Shape magazine “is the number-one user of recycled paper by a major North American women’s lifestyle magazine”. According to Shape the average issue uses approximately 305,000 pounds of post-consumer waste. Who doesn’t want to buy a magazine that not only promotes health, but also saves an estimated 17,723 trees a year?

I love J.I. Rodale also. In the late 1930’s J.I. Rodale realized farming was his true love. In 1947 he founded the Soil and Health Foundation and decided it was time to use his company to help the environment by combating global warming and famine. Rodale was not only a farmer interested in rebuilding natural soil fertility during W.W. II, but he founded Rodale, Inc, the magazine corporation that sends out awesome magazines such as Organic Gardening, Runner’s World and Women’s Health. The Rodale Institute is located on a 333-acre organic farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. The entire farm is devoted to research, education and certified organic production. What a great guy, who was way before his time in thinking and educating about global warming and the harm it was taking on the world.

Another company to Love is SunChips. If you are a chipper, you already knew that SunChips was introducing a 100% biodegradable bag, and it is finally here. After eating your healthy multi-chips, don’t toss the bag-bury it. If, like most people, you don’t have a compost heap dig a small hole in your backyard, drop it in and 14 weeks later you will have no more bag. If you need that salty snack, why not go for healthy that helps the planet?

I hate that Earth Day is only recognized once a year. We all see our city skies getting dirtier, or watched you electricity bill raise because of soaring fuel costs, seen the lakes and rivers that were once flowing and beautiful that are now in drought like conditions. All because of Global Warming, a word that has become synonymous with evil, and we talk about in hushed voices. Should we be talking about this more, not just viewing it on the news or in movies old Vice Presidents have made?

Fast Facts:

  • Temperatures have risen 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit around the world since 1880, mostly within the last few decades
  • Arctic ice is defrosting at such a fast rate that the region may have its first ice-free summer by 2040
  • Montana’s Glacier National Park now only has 27 glaciers, versus the 150 in 1910
  • Humans are pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than plants and oceans can absorb it

So we are doing all of this to the environment, adding pollution and just plain junk for lack of a better word, introducing contaminants that have no place in our lives-because if it isn’t good for the environment than obviously it isn’t good for us. If the pollution is causing smog-than isn’t it safe to assume that it isn’t safe for us? Not only are we breathing it we could be potentially drinking it. Pesticides of different varieties have been found in groundwater, which is potential drinking water. According to the Gale Environmental Scorecard, U.S. factories emit three million tons of toxic chemicals into the air, land and water…hmm, wonder why people have allergies and sicknesses.

Shouldn’t these things be thought about all the time? Shouldn’t we be doing more than letting the government decide what is best, or using ENERGY STAR products to better the earth ourselves? I have worked at quite a few places that are not efficient in anything, let alone helping to counter act global warming. Also, shouldn’t newly built houses be required to use all ENERGY STAR products? Buyers are just going to install them on their own, so why not foot the bill and just do it.  

 Here are some easy changes we can make:

Doing Now: Make the Switch:
Light Bulbs Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save $70 a year in energy costs.
Washing Clothes Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually (with an electric water heater) and more than $30 annually (with a gas water heater).Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
Dishwashers Rinsing dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water before the dishes are even loaded. Save yourself the rinsing-just scrape food off dishes.
Showers With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you five gallons of water over a typical bath. A new shower head also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    March 28, 2010 6:25 pm

    Good information; it’s good to be reminded about the things we can do to reduce our affect on our earth!

    • March 29, 2010 6:42 am

      Thanks Linda, I felt the same researching this post. Some easy changes I hadn’t realized I could do.

  2. March 28, 2010 7:05 pm

    You might be interested in this report from the Government Accountability Office.

    GAO’s investigation shows that Energy Star is for the most part a self-certification program vulnerable to fraud and abuse. GAO obtained Energy Star certifications for 15 bogus products, including a gas-powered alarm clock. (?!)

    Energy Star Program: Covert Testing Shows the Energy Star Program Certification Process Is Vulnerable to Fraud and Abuse
    GAO-10-470, March 05, 2010
    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-470

  3. April 19, 2010 3:46 pm

    Thanks so much for your excitement about the new SunChips compostable bag! We appreciate the support and are hoping to spread the word, so please visit http://www.sunchips.com for more information, or become a fan of us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/sunchips.

  4. Ashwini permalink
    April 21, 2010 11:05 pm

    Hey, Happy Earth Day to u all…! I really appreciate your effort and will to research on such an important issue. I am glad there are a few people and companies in this world who really care for mother Earth…! This motivates me to help myself and the environment for a better tomorrow!
    Sincerly,
    Ashwini

  5. April 21, 2010 11:29 pm

    the erth day is very advantage for the next poeple in the world.

  6. Pooja permalink
    April 22, 2010 6:09 am

    DEAR ALL,

    HAPPY EARTH DAY…………..

  7. sherly jean baptiste permalink
    April 22, 2010 8:43 am

    we all should do something to save this plate

  8. April 22, 2010 8:55 am

    Yeah, Linda. Whay do we just pay attention on what realyy matters once in our lives? I was thinking about when I was reading your words…I will work it wjth my students..you gave me few ideas…thanks a lot!
    BEST REGARDS,
    Renata Duarte (Brasil)

  9. April 22, 2010 8:56 am

    Sorry, I mean WHY…

  10. Satish kumar vinjarapu permalink
    April 22, 2010 9:07 am

    HaPpY EaRtH DaY

  11. April 22, 2010 8:26 pm

    I recycle
    I have recycled
    I will recycle
    Since 1971 when I was 4
    Seven days a week
    swerve from waste and recycle

  12. RJ Walker permalink
    May 14, 2010 1:52 am

    I always hear of comments on what individuals can do, and every bit helps, but I think the government has the greatest potential for having the biggest impact on change. That is if we vote ones in that rate the environment very highly. Too many of them don’t have it high on their list of priority, especially with the economy. People can’t buy a product that causes pollution or wasted energy, if it is taken off the market though. The Government has the power to do that. RJ

  13. October 27, 2010 8:02 pm

    cleaning supplies should be environment friendly too, choose cleaning supplies which does not harm the environment-`”

  14. November 18, 2010 5:30 am

    plastic shower heads are cheaper and you can easily install them, they are not as durable as brass showers heads but good enough *:.

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