Recycling

paper pilesI know this phenomenon isn’t unique to me. Well, at least I’m hoping it isn’t. I’m talking about the paper lying around my house in small mounds (which seem to breed in the night while I’m sleeping! I see that smile … you know exactly what I’m talking about).

I have a stack of paper from the new medical insurance. (That I tucked into an empty cupboard to get it out of the way.) Another stack that’s accumulating as I pull together information on the new boxed set I’m involved in.  And of course there’s all the information about the houses Mr. Nina and I are looking at as we try to figure out our next move and I’m adding that to the growing mound of paperwork I need to go through. There’s the receipts that will be used during tax time when we figure our “moving expenses”.  Switching over retirement accounts and all the new registration and license information for the cars and did I mention bills … yeah, well those are in this insanely high pile on the sideboard.
 
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Welcome everyone to my Earth Day celebration. I’m participating with all kinds of other authors in a weekend blog hop. We’re giving away a NOOK SIMPLE TOUCH loaded with all kinds of ebooks to one lucky participant who follows the whole tour bus between 4 am EDT FRIDAY, APRIL 20 through 4 pm EDT SUNDAY, APRIL 22.

Click HERE to join the beginning of the tour.

I love Earth Day. The first time I heard about it was in the mid-90’s. I travelled to Washington DC with my kids and they happened to have a whole celebration taking place on the mall. It was a lot of fun and very cool. I had always been an advocate of the earth, but that day really brought it home for me.

So what are some things you can do to protect the earth?

1. Think Green
Sometimes being eco-friendly is just thinking about something before you do it. Like refilling a mug at your local Starbucks instead of using a Styrofoam cup. Or packing your lunch in plastic washable containers rather than ziploc bags. I mean really … a picnic in a field with this guy sounds about right doesn’t it?

2. Conserve Water
Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load. And of course you can take smarter showers by using low flow shower-heads. Better yet … shower with a friend.

3. Conserve Fuel
A car that gets 20 miles to the gallon emits 50 tons of carbon dioxide over it’s life time. Double the gas mileage and cut down the amount of air pollution. Cutting your mileage by combining errands helps cut back on the consumption of fossil fuel and for more conservation. At some point hybrid vehicles will be more affordable for all of us. Until then … wrap your arms around someone and share a ride!

4. Save the trees
Use rags instead of papertowels for cleaning. Don’t print out every memo or email at work. When possible print on both sides of paper. Be sure to recycle used paper. And to save more trees of course you should buy digital books! All the benefits of a print book without any of the waste of paper! Sometimes being a tree-hugger can be a sensual experience!

5. Throw Away Less Trash
And of course there’s the simplicity of recyling glass, cans, plastics and paper. Most towns have curbside recycling which makes the whole separating trash relatively painless.

And of course the best way to celebrate Earth Day is to go out and enjoy nature …

So there you have it, my tips for earth day! Hope you enjoyed the photo illustrations. I know some people are visual learners. (Sorry, I can’t help you tactile learners! 😉 )

If you leave me a comment and tell me which suggestion you liked the best or what little thing you do to protect Mother Earth. For every comment left on this post between now and SUNDAY, APRIL 22 at 4 pm EDT, I will donate $1 to the World Wildlife Foundation (up to $50). I’ll also choose one commenter to receive a print copy of Healer’s Garden (**NOTE: Shipping to US and Canada only. An international winner will receive a digital copy of Healer’s Garden and a $10 gift card from Amazon.)

This week celebrates Mother Earth with Wednesday being the actual celebration of Earth Day. All week I’ll be posting about the Environment.

Today, is confession day. I think I do a lot for the environment. I recycled before it was fashionable. Hey I’m old enough to remember “paper drives”. There was a time people bundled their newspaper and kids collected it like bottle drives of today. That’s how we raised money for our youth group. Now newspaper is simply one of those things we recycle without thought.

I used to have to sort my recyclables and take them to a drop-off station and put diferent numbered plastics, paper, cardboard, and glass in containers to be hauled to a recycling center. Now I’m spoiled and can mix it all in blue bags which gets taken with the regular trash and sorted at the transfer station. (I need to do a little preening here … with a family of four we generate only two bags of trash per week and two bags of recyclables … I think that deserves a pat on the back.)

When I was healthy I used to ride my bike, take a backpack and stop at the post office, bank and grocery store to do the quick errands. I can’t do that anymore, but I used to. 

So what exactly do I have to confess? *deep breath and hangs head in shame*. My cleaners. They’re bad and I know it. Now don’t misunderstand … I’m not a germaphobe. I believe in natural fauna on the skin and all that, but I like clean clothes and my bathroom free of soap scum.

I know there are cleaners out there that are more natural and don’t send nasty chemicals through my pipes to the water treatment plant. But I can’t help myself. I’ve tried some of them and they just didn’t make my whites white and the scum in my shower go away.

Yes, I even use bleach. (Now don’t all gasp at once.)

I said it. I do. Not every time I do a white wash, but about once a month. And when I do it, I use hot water and make the furnace run … oh, I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself. The caustic stuff I use in the shower is even worse. But vinegar and baking soda just don’t seem to cut it. Okay, well, now that I’ve said that, I have to admit I haven’t tried it. Guess that’s next. See how it actually works. I’m hoping since I’ve said it out loud I can begin working other, more earth-friendly cleaners into my cupboards.

I won’t let hubby fertilize the lawn or use weed killer because that stuff runs off into the water table when it rains. Yet, I haven’t given up my one addiction. I was kinda hoping the other stuff I did would make up for it? It doesn’t, I know, but it’s kinda how I lived with myself.

I’m curious how you take care of the environment and if you also have that one guilty thing that you know is bad for the earth, but haven’t been able to give up.

Come on, confess … it’s good for the soul.

Okay, get your head of the gutter. The mounds I’m talking about are paper… tons of it. Okay, so maybe not that much, but A LOT!

It’s everywhere in my house and all of a sudden it seems to have taken over. It’s stacked unceremoniously on the kitchen counter and the dining room table. (You mean I’m supposed to eat at that table?) Anyway, I got so tired of it because I wasn’t dealing with it… so I moved the bulk of it in here to my office (but still didn’t clear off said table) on the coffee table. It’s sorted in piles to a certain extent, but now it’s taken over that horizontal surface.

Now it’s staring at me. Taunting me to deal with it.

Where did it all come from? Most of it is mail, but some of the stacks include receipts for small items that I’ve learned over the years I need to save. (I actually have the monthly debit receipts in an envelope… yay, small victory.) And I keep plugging away at it, but it never seems to completely disappear. I file and recycle and shred and still… there are stacks.

*sigh*

I know I’m not the only one… the other morning on a news program while I sipped my coffee I dutifully listened to an organizational guru talk about how to deal with the baskets and piles of papers the anchor had stacked around her house. It seems this is an epidemic!

In a day and age when we should be concerned about our forests it seems the amount of junk mail and unnecessary paper waste is incredible. What happened to going electronic to save trees?

Oh yeah, they did that too… they call it spam.

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