Posts Tagged reduce

A Friendly Earth Promise Reminder: Tomorrow is Earth Hour

Just a friendly Earth Promise  reminder that tomorrow night March 28, 2009, at 8:30pm is Earth Hour. This international annual event is held on the last Saturday of March signifying awareness to take action on climate change.  Started by the World Wild Life (Australia) in 2007, Earth Hour achieved worldwide participation in 2008.  For more information, be sure to visit:

Also let your kid in on the action.  Earth Hour Kids invites children and teens to participate in this climate changing event as well. 

Be sure to visit the Earth Promise blog  as next week we will have 21 fantastic interviews leading up to Earth Day.



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The Great American Cleanup – Get Involved

 It’s never too late to improve your community’s environment. Keep America Beautiful’s annual event, The Great American Cleanup takes place between March 1 and May 31 in communities all across the United States. This is the nation’s largest community improvement project.

Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful, Inc.’s mission is to “engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments.”  This is done through their various programs such as The Great American Cleanup.  Each year, people work together to beautify their neighborhoods: picking up litter in parks and roadways, cleaning up beaches and other waterways, planting trees and flowers to restore public spaces, painting over graffiti, repairing local homes and businesses, and holding recycling drives and workshops.  The concept is two-fold—educate and participate.

The Keep America Beautiful, KAB, website makes it easy to get involved in a program near you.  KAB provides the tools  to locate or start your own community based beautification project; from how develop partnerships and corporate sponsors to curriculum for teachers to utilize in their classrooms. You can also visit the history of KAB and witness the beginnings of the green mentality long before it was fashionable.  Oh yes, I vividly remember the first public service announcements; one in particular with the single tear running down the Native American’s weathered cheek.  The message was, and still is, clear: pollution is disgraceful and we need to work together to save our planet.

Remember, it’s never too late to volunteer your time and effort for The Great American Cleanup.

And visit Earth Promise to make your promises to help clean up America!


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Water Bottles: Bad for Our Planet, Bad for Our Body

We’ve been flooded with information about the how’s and why’s single-use plastic water bottles are outright terrible for our planet and our bodies:

·         Fastest growing section of beverage department

·         (Many) end up in landfills

·         They are shipped either from overseas or just across our own country (burning fossil fuels and diesel fuels).  All this travel to simply get our fill of H2O; something that we have access to right nearby!

·         This, then, causes our gas prices to rise.  Creating and shipping plastic water bottles generates a demand for oil and thus depletes our oil reserves.

·         The estrogen (female sex hormone)-mimicking toxin is found in these deposable bottles.

 What should be done? Start by promising  to curb your bottled water purchases.  Also, make a promise to drink tap water when dining out when possible as opposed to bottled water.  Small changes like these, then, will halt the amount of estrogen-like pollutants entering your body. (At least via water bottles!) Below are some great scientific sites that provide detailed data regarding hormones found in plastic water bottles:

The report in The Globe and Mail reveals the consistent contamination of bottled water with a hormonally active substance leaching from PET, one of the world’s most popular packaging materials. The plastic is also used for soft-drink bottles and a host of other food and beverage containers and is identified by the recycling-industry symbol of the numeral “1” encased in a triangle.” 

Science News reports about a water bottle study done at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.  Scientists conducted research on mud snails, animals highly responsive to female hormones.  Their results were astonishing: a production of up to twice as many embryos.  Be sure to read the article in its entirety.

All this news is outright frightening.  I thought #1 was one of the good plastics?!  How to remedy the situation?  Carry your own non-toxic plastic water bottle, but be wary of the bottle you choose.  Or, avoid plastic altogether and purchase glass bottles to refill and stainless steel ones to tote around.

Earth Promise has many eco-friendly living tips that make a big impact…for the Earth and your body.


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Water Rationing Is Not Just For Californians

California’s third year of drought is cause for alarm.  Reservoirs are low even though there have been large amounts of snow from storms lately.

NPR’s, Morning Edition  announced, ”California has declared a statewide water emergency in the face of a punishing three-year drought. It could result in some drastic conservation measures and water rationing over the coming months, stretching from California’s farm belt to major coastal cities like Los Angeles.”

Also the Sacramento Bee  has an eye-opening article how the lack of water is causing a detrimental trickle effect; the “thirsty farms”, the dwindling number of fish in the estuary, and lack of jobs is real and frightening.  The amount of produce the country relies on California for is staggering.  Some farmers will buy water on the open market to keep orchards alive”  Purchase water?  Is this what our over-indulgent country has deteriorated to?  This is an enormous wake-up call for our country to take action now.

Make promises to help our precious Earth.  Here are a few of the countless suggestions from Earth Promise that everyone can do that will make a big difference: 

·         To take shorter showers.  Every two minutes you cut down on your shower can conserve more than 10 gallons of water.  This will not only save you time, but money on your water bill.

·         To run only full loads in the dishwasher. By running the dishwasher when it is not full, you will do so more often, thus using more electricity.

·         To not pre-rinse dishes if possible before putting them in the dishwasher.  If you do need to give them a rinse, don’t allow the water to run. 

·         To turn off the tap while brushing my teeth.

·         To flush one less time per day (obviously picking the right time not to).  By doing this, you can save up to 5 gallons per day.

·         To plug the drain in the tub before turning on the water instead of waiting for it to get warm.

·         To use drip irrigation or soaker hoses in my garden and/or flower bed instead of regular sprinklers which will use less water.

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How Green Are Your Children?

Last week I recommended ecological books for children, green websites for both adults and children, and provided jumpstart ideas that you and your children can partake in to help care for the environment.  Children need to recognize the importance of making promises and changes to help protect the Earth to make it a safer place.  Knowing that no matter how small the action they take, their changes can make a difference is empowering. We need our children to protect and respect our environment for our future.

Are your children aware of what green activities are going on in their community?  Do they practice the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle?  Do they understand global warming and how it can affect them in the future?  Being conscious of children’s attitudes and behaviors concerning the environment is enlightening. My 9 year old daughter, Emily, wanted me to share the changes she has made and what she plans to do to help spread the word:

Some of the things that I do to help the Earth…

·         I try my best to not throw away paper or plastic and put them in the recycling bins.

·          I sometimes water the plants in my backyard to keep them healthy and keep the watering can outside so that rain can fill it instead of always using the hose. 

·         At school I tell people to recycle something instead of throwing it in the trashcan. My school’s aftercare program has the 4th and 5th graders help take out the recycling bins and they get little Earth prizes. For my school’s carnivals, I help make signs to remind everyone to recycle in the right bins.

·          I go to and make my promises and try my best to do them.

·         I always tell my parents to get recycling bins for my room and my sister’s since we use a lot of paper when we do our homework or art projects.  For my homework I try to squeeze my sentences on one piece of paper so I don’t have to waste another one.  I also try to remember to turn my light and fan off when I leave my room.

·         A lot more people in the world suddenly realize how important it is to recycle.

Call to action – Ask your children their thoughts regarding promises they would like to make.  How can you and your children help change people’s habits?  Green children become green adults.

For ideas to initiate your green promises, check out what is listed on

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Environmental Kid-sites Worthy of a Bookmark

If you are looking for ways to help your children grasp and empathize with the environmental issues of today, there are a variety of websites available.  Below are some of my personal favorites that are worthy of bookmarking: 


·          Ollies World Offers cool games, screensavers and recycling information. The 3 big R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle, has an additional “R”—rethink. Ollie asks kids to rethink their actions in the areas of waste, water, energy, air and biodiversity.


· For those toddlers who are already techno-savvy, this site is perfect.  With Dr. Seuss’s whimsical environmental story, The Lorax, kids can try to plant trees.



·          Recycle zone is a spin-off from Waste Watch . This educational British site is all about the eco-mantra:  reduce, reuse, and recycle.  It’s filled with games (rubbish challenge) and practical activities (make your own paper) that kids can take part in as well as a large section for educators and how they can implement recycling ideas into their school.


·         The Greens tag line says it all: “a site for kids about looking after the planet.” This (literally) green family has a funky eco-flair to their Earth friendly lifestyle.  Written from the point of view of a myriad of characters, this upbeat  site offers eco-desktop wallpaper to download;  green tips; a blog and a section of (mini) episodes on various eco-topics such as, Smelly Episode, Conserve Episode, and 7 Big Ideas Episode.



·          National Geographic Kids  is synonymous with good educational information.  This site has lots to offer the curious eco-kid.  National Geographic presents video clips, games, stories and current events.  With its renowned photography, this site captures the essence of our beautiful Earth in the hopes that our children will only want to preserve it.


·         Free Rice is the sister site of Free Rice’s goal is twofold: Provide education to everyone for free and to help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.  By choosing your vocabulary level, you can test your lexis ability by answering as many questions as you’d like.  For every correct question, 10 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations World Food Program.  You can watch your wooden bowl fill as you answer accurately. It’s incredibly easy to get hooked onto this site!



Of course, have your children go to Earth Promise to help you make lifelong green changes.


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Earth Promise Green Tips for the Holidays

What can you do to make the upcoming holidays green?  I know everyone wants a white Christmas.  But I hope Bing Crosby would want a green one during the crisis we are in now.  With less than two weeks to all the various holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc), here are a three quick and easy steps you can take to dream of that Green Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa.

Throwing a party?  Instead of using paper plates, plastic utensils, and paper napkins, why not buy a set of plates, utensils and other party items that can be re-used at next year’s holiday party.  You will save the expense next year and the dirty plastic dishes won’t end up in a land fill.

Wrapping the gifts?  Use old magazines, use newspaper, use a nice bag that you already received instead of paper.  Once again, it will save you money and also think of what happens – you pay for a roll of paper, you wrap the gifts (always having extra scraps that get tossed), the person unwraps the gift and the paper immediately gets  thrown in the garbage.   One option – carefully open the wrapping paper to save and reuse for another gift.  Reuse – one of the Big Three Rs.  

Sending out holiday cards?  How about get a nice picture of the family, the dog, the Christmas tree and attach it to an email.  Write some kind holiday words and send them out.  Even make reference to why you are emailing versus sending.  You will save oodles of money not having to get the picture printed on a nice card, the envelopes and the stamps.  And once again – think of the waste.  All the envelopes…and a lot of people I am sorry to say, throw the card away too.  Email it out.  It’s cheap and you don’t have to write out the addresses either!

Make these Earth Promises today.  Each small step we take will have a positive effect on the environment.  You may think my wrapping paper won’t matter.  But imagine if your entire family or neighborhood did the same.  Caring Together.

Check out Earth Promise for many other promises you can make to benefit the environment.

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