Earth Day 2015

I can hardly let April 22 slide by without it’s rightful recognition – today is the 45th anniversary of the very first Earth Day celebration.  At the very least, it’s a day to reflect a little on how you live, and if there is anything you can do to help save our planet!

earthday google

I use Google on a regular basis, and they posted a little Earth Day quiz out there today that was pretty meaningless.  Not sure what describing myself as a cuttlefish has to do with anything, but there you have it. To their credit, Google.org is offering to match any donations made today to a few well deserving charities.

The Guardian posted a quiz that let’s you know how much (or in my case how little) you know about the history and current state of Earth Day.  This one really let me know that I’m very average when it comes to knowledge of Earth Day.  I scored a 4 out of 10 on that quiz.

I like to think that I do what I can to eliminate waste and encourage recycling.  Composting, vanpool to work, active recycling of newspapers and plastics, donating and repurposing clothes rather than tossing them.  Not that I have much to do with it, but the very building that I work in every day is considered a green building.  We use rainwater in the lavatories, there are rooftop gardens throughout, there are windows in every office, the thermostats and lights run on motion sensors.

I wanted to find out if there is anything more that I can do that I maybe never thought of before.

The most useful quiz I found was on earthday.org.  It calculates your personal footprint and offers suggestions on how you can personally do just a little more.  It eventually tells you how many planets it takes to support your current lifestyle.

If everyone on the planet lived like me, it takes 4.5 planets to support us.

The two suggestions that came up for me were buying more local, and paying attention to packaging.  By buying local, you eliminate the travel that it takes to move product from one end of this country to the other.  I guess if there’s a choice in products packaged in recycled product, that’s the way to go.  Make sure to support the retailers that are conscious stewards to the environment.

It also happens to be my oldest son’s birthday – so I’m off to make his favorite birthday treat – Dirt Cake!

What can you do to make a smaller carbon footprint on our precious Earth?

It’s not easy being green . . .

I really do my best to reuse, reduce, and recycle.  I gather the newspapers and bundle them, I sort the plastics, cans, and glass for our bi-weekly pickup, break down the cardboard boxes for the pickup.  The biggest problem with all of this preparation is, where in the world do you keep it before disposing?  This is the one thing that sabotages my efforts.

The Hub is very good at throwing things away.  He’s always been that way.  His mother used to tell stories of dumpster diving for homework assignments way back in the day.  So for me to expect the pile of newspaper stashed under the buffet in the dining room to be there come recycling day is a pipe dream.

Since the recycling has to be segregated from the everyday trash, I have separate bags next to the trash can specifically for the recyclables.  My kitchen was built in the days before Earth Day, so there’s not much room for an extra trash can.  The recycling bags hang on a cabinet handle – not very attractive.

And speaking of bags, I have a very nice collection of reusable grocery bags that never seem to make their way to the grocery store.  They adorn the trunk, even make their way to the back seat on grocery day.  Then their location crosses my mind as I’m checking out at the grocery store.  Our grocery stores use those thin plastic bags, and they do offer a recycling service for those.  Of course, there are bags of plastic grocery bags hanging out in the trunk, just waiting for the day I remember to take them and their friends, the reusables, into the store with me.