Give Mother Earth A Fighting Chance
Our planet currently supports a population of more than 7.5 billion people, resulting in a demand for clean drinking water and quality air that is at an all-time high. Unless society collectively changes its lifestyle habits that affect the environment, Mother Earth will not have a chance to recover from the abuse inflicted by humans for decades.
Earth Day is a reminder that planet Earth belongs to all of us, not just a select few. Every decision—our daily transportation choices, what products we purchase, how much water we consume and how much we waste—has an effect on the entire population, current and future. Although this responsibility may seem to be a heavy burden, there are alternatives to many of our day-to-day decisions that can make a big difference to the planet.
Here are some simple steps that will help create a more environmentally friendly home.
- Switch from harmful toxic chemical cleaners to nontoxic biodegradable products. This lessens the exposure to toxins in the home environment and reduces the amount of chemical agents that end up in landfills and pollute fresh drinking water supplies.
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes around the home. Every gallon leaked not only increases the water bill, but also contributes to the waste of clean drinking water supplies, which is limited. Install rain barrels to capture runoff that can be used for watering plants in order to preserve clean drinking water for human consumption.
- Understand that everything, including waste, has its place. Instead of throwing away food scraps, begin a compost bin in order to transform scraps into valuable soil for gardening and planting.
- List your unwanted, slightly used household items on a website like Craig’s List or donate them to a nonprofit second-hand store. This enables individuals that cannot afford brand new items to more easily fulfill their needs while repurposing items rather than adding to a landfill.
- Recycle rather than trash as many items as allowed by your local municipality, including all metal, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard, electronics and other items that are now commonly reused to make renewable products and packaging.
- Consolidate errands and plan accordingly to streamline your trips for efficiency, which conserves fuel and saves time and money. If your commute is less than a mile or two away, consider walking, riding a bike or even car pooling with a friend. Those living in rural communities that require a vehicle for transportation may want to purchase a vehicle higher in fuel efficiency, or purchase a green technology retrofit in order to make their existing vehicle more fuel efficient while also decreasing its toxic emissions.
- Commit to teaching the younger generations about the importance of environmental stewardship and their responsibility to live a lifestyle that lessens their negative impact on Mother Earth. All the practices and methods of preserving the environment and conserving our most important natural resources can be passed down to our children and our children’s children. This is needed in order to continue the legacy of helping Mother Earth recover from years of abuse, while also preserving resources for future generations to come.
If we all take small steps in changing our daily habits with regards to how we treat water, waste and energy, we will have made a big difference collectively in giving Mother Earth a fighting chance.
Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative journalist, a consultant for small and medium businesses and the owner of Extreme Energy Solutions, Inc. which creates ecofriendly consumer products and emissions reduction technology. He is the author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource and Life in the Green Lane—in Pursuit of the American Dream, as well as many articles addressing environmental concerns, small business and public policy. For more information, visit SamBurlum.com or ExtremeKleaner.com. See ad on page 5.