Our Earth feeds us, gives us water to drink, provides us with shelter, nurtures us and shares her beauty of nature with us; in short we are indebted to her in every area of our lives. She sustains us. The Welcome Wagoneers, the group of volunteers that keeps this site running smoothly, have had a discussion about ways to give to Mother Earth this month and every month.
Below are 29 Ways to Renew, Reuse, Recycle for Mother Earth as well as ideas of sustaining her with our thoughts, prayers and energy. Our Earth is having many crises lately. She needs all the mothering we can give her. Here are the ideas that were shared. Please add your own as comments.
Margaret Meade said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
1. Join us March 31, 2011 for our community event Earth Hour
2. Check at thrift stores to see what delightful discoveries we can find.
3. Make do with what we have instead of spending outside of our means.
4. No more useless containers and bags.
5. Pick up all the trash.
6. Plant a few trees in honor of loved ones.
7. Feed birds and animals.
8. No more plastic bottles
9. Join in a Reiki meditation for the world, information for this monthly event can be found here.
10. Save water, water lawns once a week.
11. Spay and neuter your pets, all pets.
12. Try to plant more edible gardens and give away what you can't eat.
13. Put wood chips and rocks around flower beds.
14. Create your own compost.
15. Use a rain barrel for watering flowers and plants.
16. If your workplace doesn't already have one, encourage them to start a recycling program.
17. Purchase a water filter and start using reusable water bottles.
18. Contact a school to see if you can donate items such as egg cartons, paper towel rolls, shoe boxes, pop bottles. These items and others are often used for craft projects and are greatly appreciated.
19. Hang your clothes to dry when possible instead of using the dryer.
20. Take shorter showers and turn off the water when brushing your teeth....every little bit helps.
21. When making copies, use both sides of the paper.
22. Make sure lights, TVs, etc. are turned off if not in use. Unplug rarely used items....they are still using electricity if they are plugged in.
23. Use vinegar as a glass cleaner
24. Vinegar is a safe drain cleanser
25. Rubbing alcohol will leave your metal faucets and appliances sparkling and germ free.
26. Recycle your old clothes and worn out wash clothes as rags, cut down the use of paper towels.
27. Distilled water vinegar works on many surfaces....glass, wood, metal, etc. I love it and it's inexpensive too.
28. If you have a persistent bad smell and you don't want to use chemicals to remove it, set a small bowl or cup with apple cider vinegar in it in the room. It works
29. Vinegar will also freshen laundry if put in the rinse cycle along with a bit of baking soda.
Don't forget to join us for our community event Earth Hour on March 31, 2011
Thank you, Elly Rose! This is a great list! :)
I LOVE thrift stores. Most areas also have a Freecycle (check Yahoo groups) or a craigslist. I am also in some local area barter/trade groups.
Old t-shirts (with some life left in them, not the ratty ones) can be made into grocery bags - win-win. :) I have a bunch of these and they're great. The really soft old t-shirts are great for cleaning eyeglasses.
Salt is a really good natural abrasive, for scrubbing. In high enough concentration, it kills germs as well.
Baking soda is an awesome natural deodorizer. We use it in the laundry, in an open bowl in a stuffy room, poured into an old sock (tied shut) in drawers, etc. It may leak some from the sock, but it's safe. :)
Lemon and orange peels make great garbage disposal deodorizers. Just drop some in (you may need to cut it into smaller bits first, depending on what your own disposal can handle). Baking soda works great too.
This may be going too far for some people, but I rarely use shampoo anymore. It started because of my extreme allergies (I can't tolerate ANY scented products, most botanicals, and most chemicals) but it also makes sense for the environment. I use a paste made of baking soda and water instead (I buy the baking soda in bulk so it's REALLY cheap). Some people use a rinse of apple cider vinegar afterwards but I can't tolerate the smell, so if I want a rinse, I use black tea instead, or a tiny tiny bit of a safe conditioner. It can take awhile for your hair to adjust but it's so much gentler on your head than chemical laden "product". I DO have some allergy safe shampoo but it's expensive so I use it very sparingly, and mostly as soap.
Another benefit of doing a lot of these environmentally safe things - they will save you tons of money in the long run.
Wow, thank you for all of your ideas. I just to use soda to freshen up the smell in the refrigerator, but for some reason stopped. I think I will start again. Can't wait to try the sock in the drawer trick. Again, thank you for sharing these great ideas.
Can you tell I love baking soda? LOL My allergies are so extreme that I had to get really creative with cleaning products. :)
I am very excited to start trying these. I can't use most air fresheners either. This is going to be a big help. Soda and Vinegar, do we need anything else?
Salt is good (plus it's good in a neti pot, or as a sore throat gargle). ;) You can actually make a body scrub out of salt and sugar (and a little oil). Citrus peel is a great natural light scent. But for most stuff, soda and vinegar are enough! We own a few other natural cleaning products but we rarely use them, it's always back to the vinegar and soda.
I have used a neti pot for years, I swear by them. Salt outside the body is great. These new experiments are going to be fun.
This is a great list! I wanted to share this additional list that my Brownie Girls Scouts and their Mothers came up with. I tried to eliminate duplicates from the list above.
• Buy local -- saves shipping costs & fuel consumption among other things (and it helps the local economy).
• Grow your own food as much as possible
• Buy Organic food – cut down on pesticide use
• Buy fresh food instead of canned or frozen whenever you can – it cuts down on packaging, etc.
• Help start or maintain a gardening program in your local schools
• Help start or maintain community garden plot to grow food for home use and food banks
• Unplug appliances when not in use (even when off they use electricity)
• Turn off water when not actually using it (i.e. when brushing teeth, etc.)
• Reduce your water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
• Instead of buying new books, borrow them from the library or a friend or purchase them from a charity that sells used books to raise money.
• Ban all drips. If you have a dripping faucet in the house replace the washer inside it.
• Don't kill that spider! There are an estimated 40,000 species of spiders, and they all eat insects. They're an important part of the food web and provide natural pest control.
• Have all pets spayed.
• Never ditch a pet. If you can't keep your pet, find it a new home, return it to the store where you bought it, or give it to an animal shelter.
• Walk or ride a bike whenever possible – it cuts down on pollution, saves gas and keeps us healthy
• Use less paper and buy recycled paper. Use both sides of the paper.
• Say “NO” to plastic bags or use recycled plastic bags.
• Don’t use paper plates and cups. Use cloth napkins (or small hand towels) instead of paper napkins
• Buy your monthly groceries in bulk, as it reduces packaging and the number of trips you take to the store.
• Use earth friendly products made from renewable resources.
• Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs
• Cut up all plastic pop can rings before throwing them away – so they animals don’t get caught in them
• Don’ throw used batteries in the trash – recycle them properly so they don’t leak mercury
• Buy eggs in cardboard – not Styrofoam cartons. Also minimize your use of caryout containers from restaurants as much as possible.
• Use unbleached coffee filters
• Cut down on the use of foil and plastic wrap
Great list Ann, tell the Brownies thank you for there thoughtful suggestions.
I'm looking forward to the new month and trying many of the wonderful ideas that I have found here. :)
I have started this and am so happy! Thanks for the great ideas~