Monthly Archives: February 2017

Day 60: Use your local library!

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Who here doesn’t love the idea of owning a personal library? Having a book collection is a symbol of how much knowledge you have, how “wordly” you are, or how much effort you put into understanding the world. There’s something about owning books that makes all that knowledge yours.

But in reality, how many times will you use a book? Maybe once, twice? (Sometimes not at all!) Once you’ve read a book, do you really need to keep that book? Isn’t the knowledge inside it more important?

That’s my understanding as I progress towards having less books and leaning more on my local library. I don’t need to have fresh, new, smelling-like-it-just-came-from-the-printer books. I need what’s inside them. That’s why I believe that having book collections is a thing of the past and what we need now are community libraries – a network of people that exchange all kinds of books. It’s better for the planet, and it’s better for the people.

So, to save the world, use a library instead of accumulating books! Lend out your own books, too. The less we buy, the less impact we have on the world, which really needs to be our goal as we produce WAY too much waste on the planet. Libraries only aren’t for books, either! You can find CDs, DVDs, and audio-book collections in libraries. And the variety of books you’ll find in a library is quite astonishing.

Dip your feet in the pools of knowledge and help make the world a better place by reading and encouraging people to read without creating an impact on the planet!

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Day 59: 10 good (and ecological!) deeds

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A crowd of smiling faces in Ivory Coast. Source: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Doing a good deed for someone always results in more goodness in the world. You can’t fight evil by putting more evil into the world, right? Doing random acts of kindness not only is good for you (what comes around, goes around) but it is good for humanity. Every time you choose to be nice, you’re putting a little more awesomeness into the world.

Now imagine you do something good that is also ecological! How awesome is that?! Not only are you doing your share to leave less of an impact on the planet, you’re helping someone get there, too – and reducing the impact of that person on the planet. I can’t even count how much “good” you get out of helping someone be a better human on Earth – it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Not only are you being environmentally friendly, you’re actually doing more than your share. Pretty cool, huh?

If you want bonus points on being an Earth-savior, check out my tips below.

  1. Cook a vegetarian meal for someone. Often people don’t have time or mind-energy to think about adopting a greener lifestyle, like taking meat out of their diets. By cooking them a vegetarian meal, you’re 1) showing them that it’s possible and tasty 2) filling someone’s belly with veggies instead of meat – that’s a win for the planet! 3) actually being nice to them by saving time and resources 4) showing them some love.
  2. Sort someone else’s trash and make recycling easier for them. This could even be done at work.
  3. Bring palm-oil free cookies to work.
  4. Listen to someone you normally wouldn’t listen to or on ideas you normally wouldn’t listen about. So much good comes out of listening – people feel appreciated, cared for, loved, and they will be more open to your ideas (ecological ones included).
  5. Forgive your roommates for stealing your soap. Letting go of anger instead of exploding is also an act of kindness that makes you a better person in their eyes. (They will also be more likely to listen when you gently ask them to not leave the water running.)
  6. Let people borrow your tools/sharpies/books/camera/stuff. The more you lend, the less people have to buy new stuff, which isn’t good for consumerism.
  7. Pick up random trash on the street/beach. I’ve seen countless people take on a beach challenge (picking up all the micro trash within a radius of their beach spot) or street challenge (picking up all the trash on their daily walks/commutes). It makes the environment cleaner, nicer, and less likely to be a death-trap for animals. Don’t leave it just because you think the trash guy is responsible for picking it up!
  8. Do someone’s dishes for them – especially for that person that loves to leave the faucet running. Do it for the environment!
  9. Give someone a ride, or car share!
  10. Offer to run an errand for someone, knowing that you could do it with less carbon dioxide (going by foot to do grocery shopping for your eldery neighbor , picking up something on the way home for your friend, mailing a letter for your family member that would rather use a car instead).

Like these? Have more? Share your ideas, I’d love to hear them! Kindness is what makes the world go round.

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Day 58: Use clothes more than once before washing them

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Washing laundry in a creek, in Ivory Coast. Source: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Use clothes more than once to gain an ecological, sensible and economic habit! Here in my home, I’ll only wash clothes if I’m sure are dirty. That way, I have less to wash and fold, and I use less water and laundry detergent which is good for my wallet AND for the environment. By washing less, I’m polluting less, using less energy, and using less products that contain palm oilless products that contain palm oil. All together, this is a win-win situation for everyone. Continue reading

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Day 57: Treasure what you have

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Earth Observation taken during a night pass by the Expedition 40 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Source: Reid Wiseman/NASA

A lot of the “save-the-world” messages have this mantra in common: treasure what you already have. Consume less. Use your own local resources instead of traveling. Teach kids to love their backyard and the Earth. Play outside.  These messages all encourage loving what you already have and making that love last.

Today, when I received news of a car accident that injured a fellow Earth-savior who I hold in high esteem, I felt this message from a different, darker point of view: treasure what you have now, before it’s too late.

In the case of the Earth, you are the one that determines “when” or “how fast” it will be “too late” to treasure the Earth. You’re an active participant in the Earth’s demise – or it’s survival. What you do now will affect the future.

Are you part of the population that is contributing to climate change – rising seas, disappearing land, forests, global warming, mass extinctions?

Or are you part of the population that is trying to change that situation? Are you making the world a better place?

Do you wake up every day and do your very best, because you know your days and your time is precious? Do you treat every moment as a chance to do the right thing, or do you ‘take a break’ from saving the world?

I know we all are far from living our lives to the fullest. But you can put your day – this day, this moment – to its best possible use by reminding yourself that you only have a limited time on Earth. And you want to leave the best possible legacy that you can.

True Earth- saviors never take breaks. They understand the seriousness of saving the planet. Every day is a chance to educate, adopt more eco-habits, be nice to others, raise your voice to those that are hurting others, and spread Earth-love. Every. Single. Day.

Treasure your time and energy – put them to good use. Treasure your Earth – know that it’s not finite, and it won’t last if we don’t take care of it. Treasure your family, your possessions, your life – they all are gifts.

The Earth needs you. It needs to be treasured, appreciated, and protected from our own actions. Are we getting there yet?

I hope so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 56: Be a waterfall hunter

It’s the dead of winter and it’s also 70°F out throughout the Northeast. While this abnormal weather pattern certainly isn’t one to be applauded, one can certainly enjoy the outdoors and the sun during this period. Going outdoors isn’t just a recreational activity – it’s important for your well-being and staying connected with nature, and it’s something I personally encourage everyone to do once in a while for the Earth’s sake (can you imagine if President Trump had grown up in the country? Maybe he’d appreciate our Natural Parks more).   Continue reading

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Day 55: Why 70°F in February isn’t good news

I could have sworn I woke up in the wrong country this morning. Clear blue skies, sun-bathing conditions, robins singing in the trees? Are those piles of snow on the lawn really from a Nor’easter that hit Albany ten days ago? You could’ve kidded me. The 69°F registered at the Albany International Airport today (72°F on my phone) was a record-setting temperature – never in recorded history has February been this warm in Albany (record temperatures also happened in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and in the Southeast).

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Day 54: Resilience

Resilience is one of the definitions they make us learn in Ecology. It’s the capacity to bounce back quickly after adversity. Resiliency is not the same as resistance, which is the degree to which one is affected by something. Why do they make us learn these two terms in ecology? Continue reading

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