Pollyanna Celebrates Earth Day the Easy Way

Lyda here.

It’s “Hug Mother Earth” Day!

So, here are some things that can help the planet. You’ve probably heard them before. Most of them are no-brainers. No brains? Zombie Army sad.  Some of them save you money. Some of them are even fun!

1. Use reusable bags instead of paper or plastic. You can make your own – extra points for using stash or recycling material you already have. Remember the 70s purses made from old jeans?

Or you could buy bags, like the ones from Envirosax. Right now, they are giving away free shower timers if you buy a pouch of 5 bags.

Okay, I got this link from Laurie’s post today. Recycling ideas – what, doesn’t that count as earth-friendly? 

Quick, distract them: Look, ya’ll, they have piggie bags!

2. Plant something.

Plant a tree. But first – really think about what tree will be happy in that spot forever. How tall will it be? How deep will the roots grow, and how far will they stretch out? Will the tree flourish and grow there for a hundred years –  or will it have to be chopped down in five or ten years because it is threatening the foundation, or its roots are in the sewer pipes, or its branches are in the electric lines?Think about water consumption too. There are lots of drought-tolerant trees available.

Pick the right tree for your area and for the spot where you are planting it. The people at the nursery can help you. A tree deserves to have a long and happy life, and you make that happen by planting wisely.

Sorry, I get carried away. But I hate it when a tree gets cut down because someone didn’t think about all this.

Or plant a bush or two, or some seeds. Ya’ll know to use organic stuff in the garden too, right? Right. Grow some herbs in a pot. Put a plant on your desk. If you have a brown thumb, try succulents, which I’ve found are harder to kill (sadly, I have killed many plants in my life).

Be aware that some plants are poisonous to pets and kids. They often don’t say this on the label, so you have to look it up or ask.

ZOMBIE PROTECTION: As far as I know, there are no plants that are poisonous to zombies, but they can be detered somewhat by tall thick hedges with thorns.

In case zombie deterrance is a consideration in your area.

3. Reduce your energy use. Switch to long-lift bulbs. Yes, they cost more, so every time a bulb burns out, replace it with a long-life bulb.

Switch to rechargable batteries (we even have them for the video game controllers).

Do what your dad told you – Turn stuff off when you’re done. Including your computer and monitor at work. Every day.

4. This one is simple, but hard: BUY LESS. I admit to having problems when it comes to fabric and books, and we all know about yarn… But maybe we can cut back in other areas.

5. Use the library. I haven’t bought a magazine in a very long time, and I no longer have any subscriptions – instead, I check out a lot of magazines. My library has movies and music too. I buy fewer books this way, but my reading selection is wider because I browse the New Arrivals section.

6. Shop for used treasures at garage sales, thrift shops, and resale and consignment stores. You get more unique items, at better prices, it’s better for the planet – and it’s an adventure! Think of the blogging potential! Plus, your money is going to a family or a charity instead of one of the Evil Empires. If you can afford it, antiques are earth-friendly too!

7. Swap with friends. This should be easy for knitters, who are experts at doing this with yarn. Parents do it with kid’s stuff already, but it can be expanded to include kitchen gagets, books, music, whatever…

8. Save water. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Do full loads in the dishwasher (and let the dishes air dry). Do full loads in cold water in the washer (and only dry your clothes as much as they need, or hang them to dry – saves energy and is better for the clothes too). Give your yard only the water it needs – and don’t water the sidewalk. Reduce, reduce, reduce.

9. For women – consider a menstrual cup and/or cloth menstral pads.

Personally, I’m done with all that, but a hysterectomy is kind of an extreme way to reduce one’s footprint on the earth…

10. Here’s the one that embarrasses my kid the most which is a total bonus!: Scrounge.

In my neighborhood, Saturday and Sunday afternoons are prime scrounge times. People put “Free” signs on stuff that didn’t sell at their garage sale, or that they are getting rid of. Some apartment complexes are good for this too – people leave things by the dumpster when they move out, so the best time to check can be at the end of the month. I have friends who call this “dumpster diving” but I personally have not ever actually gotten into a dumpster. Just wanted to make that clear…

I have a long and proud history of scrounging. My first couch came from neighbors who were moving – they first got it the same way – and went off to a new home thanks to a “free” sign. That’s at least four homes for one couch and there were probably more. 

Six Degrees of Couch Ownership.

Okay, maybe not a proud history…

But think of how much I personally have kept out of landfills – Awesome!

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