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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Green Month

"One single can is of great importance, because 99 is not 100." Valter (wastelandmovie.com)

Green Living For DummiesBecause of the fact that Earth Day falls in April, I decided to make it Earth Month, (or Green Month, depending on what mood I'm in). I like trying to see how my actions affect the world around me. I listened to Green Living For Dummies to get some ideas.

By the way, Audible.com has a really great deal on audiobooks if you are interested in them. You pay a low fee monthly for credits which can be used to purchase the books, and you can cancel at any time. There are always great deals on them if you exceed your credits and want more, plus there are often sales that will put them as low as $5, even for a popular title.

Green Living for Dummies was interesting, but not terribly in-depth. What did I expect? It was however, short and sweet, which I appreciated. This month won't be bleeding into the next, because I managed to listen to it in about a week, hooray!

It is interesting to think about the effect that you have on the world around you, as well as the effect that the world around you has, in return, on you. We all know that we shouldn't harm the environment by generating too much waste, or by disposing of hazardous items improperly. But the environment affects us back. The food that you eat affects your health in so many ways. The environment can poison you through smog or the mercury found in fish. Our actions have specific consequences. Even animals don't poop where they sleep!

Taking to heart some of the suggestions in the book, and in light of some of my prior knowledge, I am moving toward a more green lifestyle. Before the month is up, I would like to implement a recycling program in my own home (if anyone knows of one in Gladewater, please let me know!). I have already begun to strive to purchase second-hand if I can, in addition to bringing my reusable bags to the store when I shop. I am also in the middle of the process of trying to sell my SUV to buy an older, less expensive, and more fuel efficient vehicle.

Green Living for Dummies is a how-to book, primarily, but if you're interested in changing your perspective on your garbage, I recently watched a movie called Waste Land that will do just that. (It streams free on Netflix). It is the story of a Brazilian artist who returns to his homeland to create some art with people who do contract work for a recycling plant in an impoverished area. These people head to the dump every day and scour the truckloads for recyclable materials to sell. One of the older men in the film made the statement in the quote from the beginning of this post, "99 is not 100." This is simple, but so true. We have the power to change the tides. Not only is 99 not 100, but if you influence one person to lessen their impact, you have made a difference.

I used the website http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx to calculate my carbon footprint. It was lower than average, but not as low as I would like. Another way, besides buying vintage and selling my car, that I am trying to lessen my carbon footprint is by eating less meat. Which leads me to May. No Meat Month. See you there!

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