Living a happy, joyful, abundant life is very much dependent on the care of our planet. I often talk about the importance of taking full responsibility for your life experiences today, since they are based on the choices you made in your past. No blame, shame or guilt necessary, just learn from your mistakes and move on. What you give out is what you get back. If you want your future to be different than your present, you can't keep doing the same things you've done in the past to get there. Your future as you wish it to be depends on your current choices regarding how you live, love, play and act in the present. Your future is created in the NOW.
The future of our planet is also created in the NOW. What you do now in thoughts, words and actions for your planet will create your tomorrows, and the tomorrows of generations to come. "As a spiritual being having a human incarnation, you are a beloved guest on planet Earth. Your consummate host, Spirit, has put on a display of cosmic beauty as the backdrop for your journey" ~Michael Bernard Beckwith
The earth gives us so much, and it's easy to take it for granted. Each of you is its benefactors as well as its guardians. Just as the 'Golden Rule' says to treat others as you would like them to treat you, and refers to your relationship with others, it also refers to your relationship to the planet. When you give love, you get love back. It's a Universal Law called the Law of Cause and Effect. This law states that any action produces or returns a result or outcome in exact proportion to the act or cause which initiated it. It is also referred to as Sowing and Reaping. How you treat the planet is directly in proportion to what you will get back in return.
Of course you are one person, but if each of us did our part, the global collective actions taken to care for the earth will pay off in the earth taking care of us. And truly all you can do is your part. If each one of us took responsibility for the future of our planet and actions toward being more eco-friendly, it would make a huge difference in the proportion of global collective action. So, what are you doing to make a difference toward preserving our planet? If you are already doing some things, I challenge you to do a few more! There are people, places, and publications everywhere teaching how worth while it is to do all you can toward the betterment of the planet and exactly what you can do. The more I learn about the climate crisis (e.g., the United States produces more than 20 percent of the world's carbon dioxide pollution—greater than India and Japan combined), the more I feel that we must all do our part!
Here’s the thing, once you know this, how can you not do something? Especially when there are so many effortless ways to be more eco-friendly! There are hundreds of things one person can do. Even if you are not perfect in your attempts, the point is that you make the attempt! I’m not talking about perfection. I know I’m not the only one who sometimes forgets the canvas bags at home when I go to the grocery store, but I’m getting better now that I remember to put them back in the car after I’ve unloaded them. Here are just a few things to get you started or to add to what you are already doing. Then search the internet for more ideas and share them with your friends and families or here on this blog. You can make a difference.
- What are you cleaning with? If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 50-ounce ultra-petroleum-based liquid laundry detergent with a bottle of 50-ounce vegetable-based detergent, it could save 99,000 barrels of oil. That's enough to heat and cool 5,700 homes for a year.
- Clean Without Chemicals Natural cleansers like vinegar and baking soda do a great job without harming the planet. And a little vegetable oil and lemon juice makes a great wood polish.
- Stop Junk Mail Every year 100 million trees are chopped down for junk mail sent to American homes. Contact The Direct Marketing association at The-DMA.org to remove your name from mailing lists of their members.
- How Many People Does It Take To… Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use four times less energy than incandescent ones. If every American family substituted five CFL bulbs for incandescent, it would be equivalent to taking eight million cars off the road for a year. They cost a little more up front, but they last up to 15 times longer.
- Pick Safe Paints According to the Environmental Protection Agency, architectural coatings such as paints and varnishes are the second-largest source of fumes from volatile organic compounds, substances that evaporate at room temperature and react in sunlight to form photochemical smog. Look for cans with "No VOC." We'll all breathe easier. (If you don't use the whole can, you can find out how to recycle the rest .)
- Shut Down The average computer left on all day uses nearly 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, producing more than a ton of carbon emissions. So turn off your computer anytime you're not on it, and eliminate the screen saver function, which uses more energy than the sleep mode.
- Eat more plants; eat less of everything else. The energy that goes into industrially processed animal goods, including meat, butter and farm-raised fish, is a huge contributor to global warming. Studies suggest that if every American went veggie one day a week, it would be equal to our each driving 1,000 miles less per year.
- Rethink your commute. Check out ZimRide.com, a social-network ride-sharing program, suggests Josh Dorfman, author of The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). It's like Facebook for carpooling.
- Take a lower-flow shower. Evolve's Roadrunner, EvolveShowerheads.com, saves nearly a gallon of water for each minute you're under the spray. If you shower for five minutes a day, you'll conserve about 2,920 gallons per year.
- Give your sneaks new life. Sneaker midsoles can take up to 1,000 years to break down, so try shoes with biodegradable midsoles, like the Brooks BioMoGo, BrooksRunning.com. Bring your old kicks to a store that participates in a sneaker-recycling program such as Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe.
- Look for the right label. Aim to buy Energy Star–rated appliances and gadgets whenever possible for maximum savings.
Debra Betterly, PhD is an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach and Metaphysician whose passion is to help women expand their health, joy and purpose in midlife and beyond.
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