My Earth Day Tip: STOP using plastic grocery bags and use canvas ones! I know that both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s offer them but you can also just use any old bag too. And if you hoard plastic grocery bags like mother does, simply reuse those. Leave some stashed in the car. Here in South Africa they actually charge you for plastic bags so many stores offer the canvas alternative. If you would like some bags from South Africa, I would be perfectly happy to send you some – usually they are less than R30, which is barely $4. Or if you ask nicely, I’ll just send you some!
Today is Earth Day. I was not prepared but lucky for me Tanya was – she works with World Vision and they also operate some drop in centres. She was able to get funding to buy trees in celebration of Earth Day and so today the kids at one of her drop in centres planted them. I got to tag along and witness the event - it was fun to see and a welcome break from all the work stress. She did a great job and let the kids do all the work. I tend to get antsy and want to jump in and help but Tanya can easily stand back and just watch. That’s one thing I’m constantly trying to work on: not being so controlling – others will do the job just as well and I don’t need to worry myself. It was nice to see that in action today and because we let them plant their trees, maybe they will protect their trees a little more and take care of them. Let’s hope.
It gave me some ideas for work too – maybe we can get donors to fund some trees for our centres as well. I think it will be something fun we can offer and hope that it’s something we can look into doing. My mind is rolling; maybe we can tie that into helping to develop the gardens at each centre as well. To see this centre that is thriving and this huge community garden at Kodumela, it’s encouraging and maybe something we can try to do on a smaller scale for our centres. We’ll see.
On a different note, I think it’s important for us, as human beings that inhabit the earth, to do something to change how we treat her. We really do need to be more conscious about how and what we are consuming. If you’re interested, below are some links for more information about how you can make every day Earth Day (I sort of sound like an advert – cue the music and the transition to your favorite TV show).
This one has information about the history of Earth Day and who started it – interesting story: http://earthday.wilderness.org/history/
This has links to tips on how you can change your habits while you’re at home, working, at school and in your community. It also has tips about for while you shop – who doesn’t love shopping that is ALSO socially conscious and helps the environment?! http://www.epa.gov/earthday/
These are some ways other people are changing their lives, maybe you will get some good ideas: http://wwfblogs.org/earthdayways/earthday08.html
For my female friends and relatives – I hate the waste that tampons contribute to and I also don’t like the chemicals that could be entering my body from the bleaches and other chemicals that are used to make them. My friend told me about this alternative option, I tried it out and am completely sold on it. I’ll let you read more on the website for all the details – and to spare the men from accidentally reading about this stuff which makes them squirm in their seats. http://www.divacup.com/
Happy Earth Day!!