Taking Care Of Our Earth

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earth day graphics 13 thumb   Taking Care Of Our Earth

Happy Earth Day!

 

I have been so excited for Earth Day on Oh She Glows because I knew I could use this moment to do a post about environmentally friendly ways to make small changes in our lives.

I will be the first to admit, I was not always an earth-friendly individual. I left lights on, water running, and used hot water in the wash. But gradually, I have made small changes in my life that I would like to think are really adding up!

Here are small ways that you can lighten your footprint too!

1) Avoid Running Water

Do you leave the tap running while you brush your teeth? That is nearly 10 gallons of wasted water! Recently I stopped doing this and I also now turn off the water in the middle of my shower when I am shampooing/shaving and don’t need it. It really adds up! Your hydro bill will thank you, too!

2) Turn Down The Heat

I can often be found nagging at Eric to turn the heat down and put a sweater on! And to think I used to get mad at my own dad for doing this when I was young. Another great trick we have been doing is closing the doors in all the house. That way, the rooms you aren’t in don’t soak up the heat that is flowing throughout the house. We have even closed the heating vents in rooms we don’t use.

3) Get Used To Less AC

This is the first time that we will be in a house where we are paying for Air Conditioning! I am actually quite scared to see how much it costs. This summer we are going to keep the AC to a minimum and rely lots on fans for air circulation. We also will close our blinds during the day to keep the sun from making the insides any warmer. I admit, this one is going to be hard for me because I love AC and I love being comfortable. I am going to move a fan into my office when I am working, so I am sure that will do the trick. Also drinking lots of ice water can really cool the body down quickly!

4) Use Cold Water

For the past few years, I have been washing all my clothing in cold water to save energy. The only time I use a hot wash is when washing bed linens or other items that require a deep clean. One load of wash can consume up to 50 gallons of water, so make sure that your load is full each time you use it. We recently purchased a new Whirlpool washer and dryer with our wedding money, and it uses much less water than traditional W+D’s. I always wash our items on ‘quick wash’ too.

5) The Dishwasher

One trick that I use for the dishwasher is to always put it on a light wash. We often do a good job cleaning our plates and utensils before putting them in, so a light wash is all they need. This saves us gallons of water each week. For pots and pans, I always soak them for a couple hours before washing by hand. This allows the food to lift off and I have to use minimal time and water to finish cleaning them.

6) Walk More

This is something that is difficult for us to do in the winter time, but something I definitely want to start doing again in the warmer months. Walking/biking/running/rollerblading instead of driving! Walking to the corner store or local grocery store and keep the car at home. In university before I got a car in my 4th year, I had to walk everywhere or take local transportation. I was used to lugging home tons of groceries! I got in a great workout (it was 30 min walk each way to the grocery store) and my arms were pretty toned too. :)

7) Avoid throwing away batteries into the garbage

Used batteries contain mercury, a hazardous substance, that can leak into the ground when thrown out. Be sure to collect and remit them to a recycling facility- or switch to rechargeable batteries all together. You will save money at the same time! I can’t imagine to think how many batteries I would have gone through by now if it wasn’t for my rechargeable battery in my camera!

8.) Recycle and Compost

Where I live we have a great waste collection service. It collects green (compost- food scraps, etc), blue (recycling) and regular garbage. We have three garbage cans, but just knowing that it is helping the environment makes the extra effort worth it. If you don’t have this service at home, think about building a compost box for your backyard to throw your scraps into. Just think, you will have wonderful mulch to put in your garden!

9) Reduce your meat consumption

According to a 2006 U.N. report, the meat industry produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined—providing further evidence that meat’s not green. These gases worsen climate change and might lead to catastrophic disasters—like droughts, floods, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and disease outbreaks—unless we drastically reduce the amounts emitted into the atmosphere. Source.

10) Get Rid of Plastic

Stop using plastic bags and bring your own reusable tote bags with you when shopping. Many of our local stores have eliminated plastic bags which I think is a huge step in the right direction!

11) Buy Used Items!

Many of you would be surprised to learn that I actually buy most of my favourite Lululemon clothes- used! I shop on Ebay. It is simply another way to recycle and to save money.

12) Pay bills online

Another thing I have done is asked my billing companies to stop sending me paper copies of bills. I do all of my payments online so I don’t need the waste of paper each month! It is a great way to cut back on paper use.

13) Switch to Todoist

I used to be a chronic post-it gal. Until recently I was known for having about 20 post it notes all over my desk. Not anymore! I finally use Todoist to create E-notes and I will never go back!

For the US Earth Day site: http://www.earthday.net/

For the Canadian Earth Day site: http://www.earthday.ca/pub/index.php

Do you have any suggestions to add to my list?  How are you celebrating Earth Day?Leave a comment below!

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You may have seen this clickable image on the right sidebar, that I put up late last night!

Welcome to my new Shop 4 A Cause page!

Here is a snippet from the page:

Want to purchase amazing baked goods, specialty products and crafts, jewelry, and clothing while donating the money to a fabulous cause?

Well, look no further!

Oh She Glows is hosting its’ 1st “Shop 4 A Cause” Auction Charity event where you can place bids on a wide range of wonderful products.

Two Ways To Participate:

1) Donate baked goods or other items to be auctioned off (Email me ohsheglows@gmail.com and let me know what you are donating)

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Baked goods (cookies, muffins, brownies, fudge, biscotti, scones, etc)
  • Jewelry or unique knickknacks
  • Homemade Specialty items (beaded jewelry, knitted items, foodie items)
  • A Service you can offer (Personal training, nutritional counseling, meal planning, etc)
  • New or Gently Used Clothing (Have things in your closet that you don’t wear- donate it!)
  • Fitness gadgets (e.g., HRM, jump rope, weights, Step counter, etc)
  • Books (ANY kind of book, especially health, cooking, or diet related)
  • DVDs (Workout DVDs, movies, etc)
  • Anything and everything!

What’s in it for you? You have the prestigious role of donating your fabulous goods or services to a wonderful cause, of course! You will also be featured on Oh She Glows in a special auction highlight featuring your products. This is a great way to promote one of your skills if you wish to sell them in the future!

2) Bid on items up for Auction

  • On the official Auction Day (TBA) visit Oh She Glows and bid on your favourite items! You only pay if you win the item.

Anticipated Auction Day is the first week of June 2009. Stay tuned to OSG for further details!

I would like to thank you for your interest in helping support a wonderful cause!

All funds will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Coming up in the auction…a special Oh She Glows package filled with my favourite products!!

Here is a teaser of what my package will include:

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I will also be throwing in some of my favourite food products!

I’ve already had some of you volunteer to sign up- thank you all! We still need lots more though so please think about participating in any way that you can. :)

This auction is going to be super exciting- we already have confirmation of delicious baked goods, homemade journals/photoalbums, signed copies of books, and much more!

Please email me ohsheglows@gmail.com if you would like to donate something! It doesn’t have to be a big ticket item, it can simply be a piece of jewelry you don’t wear anymore that someone else may love! It is better off in someone else’s house than in our landfill, right?

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Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact it’s the only way it ever has. – Margaret Mead

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie April 22, 2009

Your dedication and creativity amazes me with every new post! I will try and find something I can donate too!

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VeggieGirl April 22, 2009

WONDERFUL tips!!

You already know what I’m donating ;-)

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Valerie April 22, 2009

Great environmentally friendly tips! We cut ours bills a lot by following that, especially keeping the furnace at a lower temperature. It’s funny, when I go home to my parents’ in the winter, they have a wood stove and because our house is much cooler here, I’m roasting hot there!

Some of my own tips: Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost more initially to buy (usually $7CAD or more) but they save so much electricity and you replace them way less often, so the savings definitely come later. On a similar note, LED Christmas lights use something like $1.25 to run all season compared to regular lights at $20! Something to remember when the holidays arrive again!

Cool idea for fundraising! I’ll have to think if there’s anything I can contribute.

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Anna April 22, 2009

Eat local food whenever possible, and eat the least amount of meat as you can manage. Eating a vegetarian diet for one year will have a greater impact than driving a hybrid car for one year (in terms of carbon footprint). Also, try to cut down on air travel- air travel has a HUGE carbon footprint.

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Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now April 22, 2009

I know “Shop 4 a Cause” will be a huge success because you are so dedicated when it comes to these things…you must be very excited to get started! I already have a few things on my list to donate.

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Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 22, 2009

Hmmm… I could donate something, let me think on that for a bit…

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Sharon April 22, 2009

My biggest Earth friendly tip is to STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER!!!! This trend has been rapidly filling landfills and needs to be stopped. Invest in a water filter and a stainless steel water bottle. It’s an investment in our future!

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brandi April 22, 2009

great tips! we don’t live in a place where we can really walk anywhere (nothing is close enough to actually walk there), but we do ride together to work everyday and pretty much anywhere else, too.

your package looks great!

I may have some books and other stuff – I’ll have to look around the house :)

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Run Sarah April 22, 2009

Awesome tips! I find taking transit and rarely taking the car is the best thing that I do for the earth!

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Tiffany April 22, 2009

Great Earth Day message! I’ll offer a tip for all of us who work in an office (or any environment where you will frequently drink water, tea, or coffee): use reusable cups! It’s so easy, greatly reduces waste, and saves money on supplies. Not to mention that you won’t have to bear the taste or unhealthy chemical leaching from styrofoam or coated paper. I’m always amazed by how few people do this, yet it’s such an easy way to make an impact, and it’s practical. Also, take your reusable cups to your local coffee shop and have them fill it with your drink of choice. If you have to use a paper coffee cup, reuse the paper sleeve the next time you go. I often take cues from my frugal, resourceful grandparents who lived through the Depression and WWII: resources are finite, so reuse what you can. It’s much easier than you think!

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Jenna April 22, 2009

your shop 4 a cause is a wonderful idea.

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Jess April 22, 2009

Unplug appliances when you aren’t using them! Even if they aren’t turned on, they continue to suck power as long as they are plugged in. I do this in my kitchen and with lamps that are close enough to an outlet and easy to reach. We also have a power strip for the TV/computer/video games. We turn the power strip off at night so they aren’t wasting electricity. (My electric bill is crazy low because of this, too!)

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Jess April 22, 2009

Oops – just thought of another one! Plant a tree. Deforestation is still a serious issue and is affecting Earth’s ability to deal with all the extra carbon we are putting into the atmosphere. While changing our transportation habits makes a bigger difference in the immediate future, planting trees is also important!

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Danielle April 22, 2009

What fantastic tips, thank you!

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Christina April 22, 2009

I could definitely donate something.. Am planning on going through all my stuff because I’m moving back home this weekend. Will let you know!

Happy Earth Day!

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Marissa April 22, 2009

Great tips!

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Theresa April 22, 2009

Additional info for tip # 14. Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible. In addition to switching from disposable alkaline batteries consider all your cordless electronics that are only powered by rechargeable batteries – laptops, camcorders, digital cameras, cell phones, electric toothbrushes, cordless vacuum, power tool, mp3 player, two-way radio, etc… These batteries can all be 100% recycled for free through http://www.call2recycle.org. Type in your zip code to find convenient drop off locations in your neighborhood.

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Holly April 22, 2009

Amen, Sharon (Re: bottled water)

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Michelle Hisae April 22, 2009

I’m all about the “green” tips! My brother works for ideabite, a “light green” company that delivers easy eco-living tips in a short, sassy email each weekday. They write about earth-friendly acts that we can all do!! Check out more here: http://idealbite.com/

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Kristin April 22, 2009

I love split peas! I was obsessed a little while back with making a big pot and mixing it with a (ready made) blend of Morroccan Spices, some diced onions, salt and a bit of butter (or Smart Balance Light).

This, I tell you, is heaven!

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Help Meghan Run April 22, 2009

Those are wonderful tips, Angela! Happy Earth Day :) You’re a perfect ambassador for it!

Check out my blog as I run with Team in Training and raise money for blood cancers!
www. HelpMeghanRun .com

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Katie April 22, 2009

where did you get the red bag in the picture? i love it it looks really cute! p.s. i love your website i check it everyday!!! :) :)

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Shelby April 22, 2009

Great tips! I always put my clothes on quick wash as well :)

I love that Hollywood Black Book! I have it and it’s full of awesome ideas!

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samantha April 22, 2009

hi angela! i’m a new reader and have checked out your bakery…you’re stuff looks so yummy! do you ship to the us ? thanks!

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MaryBe April 22, 2009

I just love this idea!
Count me in!
(Just not sure for what, yet!)

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heather April 26, 2009

i LOVED this list! i get so much satisfaction out of learning about and even just reading about the things i can do to make this world better!

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