Happy Earth Day – a time to reflect on how we can improve our environmental impact! At Standing Stone, we think it’s important do this every day.
There are lots of ways to right size our environmental footprint, and the earth needs lots of TLC to address problems like pollution, climate change, species extinction, mounting trash, and threats to forests, native ecosystems and biodiversity.
Given all this, we may be left wondering where to start, or whether individual actions matter. We believe that whatever path calls us is the best way to begin, that small steps add up to a big difference, and that sustainability can be a fun, fulfilling, creative challenge.
We thought we’d share simple suggestions based on what we’ve learned in our journey. Many of these save money, enhance health and build local economies as well. We’d love to hear your thoughts too!
Savor sustainability: Choose organic and local foods and beverages to keep synthetic substances out of your body and the earth, and reduce fuel use. Scope out farmers markets, farm stands and local goods, join a Community Supported Agriculture program and grow your own. We buy local and organic food, raise chickens and hope to start our own farm.
Be energy smart: Use compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Turn off unused lights, appliances and electronics. Make home and business improvements, from weather stripping to windows. Choose green energy or renewable energy credits, or install solar or wind. We’re aiming for net zero energy use, buy “Green Tags” and have solar panels. We love seeing the sun spin our meter! Try these bright ideas.
Don’t guzzle gas: Bike, walk, take public transit, carpool, use high MPG vehicles and don’t idle. Shop locally. We love biking and are honored to be a 2011 BTA Alice Award recipient, recognizing Oregon’s leading bicycle advocates. Get rolling with these tips.
Waste not: ‘Precycle’ to avoid materials that will become trash. Avoid unnecessary and over-packaged items. Share stuff like tools with friends. Buy used, unpackaged and bulk-size goods. Look for reusable, compostable or recyclable packaging. Reuse, sell, trade, give away, compost and recycle everything. We’re striving toward zero waste, and delight in discovering new ways divert materials from our dumpster. Try these ideas.
Be water wise: Drink tap water (not bottled water) – we love it and proudly serve it! Don’t run water needlessly. Aerate faucets and shower heads. Mulch your garden, get drip irrigation and put rain barrels on downspouts. Choose non-toxic, biodegradable products. Drink up these tips .
Enjoy and advocate: Take time for recreation like hiking, biking, running, snow and water sports, gazing at the sky, relaxing in the park, gardening or bird watching. Learn about what interests you and teach others. Volunteer and donate to worthy causes. Contact legislators about issues that mater to you. This all feels great and helps us rejuvenate for the next steps.
What do you do to help the planet? What do you want to do better? What suggestions do you have for us? Post a comment to share your thoughts—we’re in this together!
Happy Earth Day—let’s make it a lifelong celebration and commitment.