Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Challenge

For those of you not aware or busy commemorating Good Friday, today was Earth Day.

For most of you that probably doesn't mean much at all. It probably hasn't meant anything since elementary school. Now that some of us have "grown up" we have a myriad of more pressing issues like handling finances and keeping our homes and families in line.

Well I refuse to believe that I've grown up too much to ignore Earth Day. Heck, I've barely grown up at all. So this year I wanted to make some personal commitments to mark Earth Day. Here are just a couple of things I'm doing on my own to create a more sustainable environment.
Recycling. It doesn't get any more elementary than this. In fact, this is probably the first thing that comes to mind if we go back in our minds to junior high. It's a simple concept but I'll admit it can be an involved practice. I mean, who really wants to sit and sort out the recyclables when we barely want to take out the trash as it is? And then you still have to make sure it finds it's way to a recycling center.

It's a little extra work and effort but I still think it's an important enough practice to warrant a little extra time and energy. I used to do it all the time when I lived in Albuquerque. It wasn't too bad. I had a recycling center conveniently nearby and would make a trip just whenever it was needed. I lost the habit with all the commotion of moving to Enid and I'm looking forward to getting back into it again.

So help me out next time if you're at my house and just finished the last drip of Red Diamond tea. Just rinse it out and leave it on the counter so I can recycle it. Thanks.

Reusing coffee mugs. This is a simple step a lot of people can take. Think about how many times you order a cup of coffee in a week or month. For me it's a near daily occurrence. That adds up significantly over time. If I used a paper cup each and every visit I would be racking up a whole lot of paper waste.

The easy fix is to find a decent tumbler and starting to ask your barista to fill it instead of a disposable cup. Or even easier, just ask to use a house mug if you're going to be staying in the cafe.

And for the record, I decided to do this before I was even aware that Starbucks was giving away free coffee for bringing in your own reusable mug or tumbler. It doesn't mean I didn't take advantage of it anyway.

Fundraising for Soles4Souls. Yes, we're still trying to meet our goal for raising funds to benefit the work of Soles4Souls. For those who don't remember, I've set a goal of $250.00 to help Soles4Souls continue their work of providing shoes for adults and children around the world in need.

Soles4Souls just released these two statistics to highlight the importance of their work recycling shoes to combat American waste:

1) In 2011, more than 300 million pairs of shoes will end up in American landfills.

2) Many of those shoes take more than 40 years to break down and decompose completely. 

These stats just give even more reason to help the work of Soles4Souls. If you would like more reasons, please read this post about the Soles4Souls Challenge for Follow Eric readers.

Alright, better post this now while it's still Earth Day - all 5 minutes left of it. Happy Earth Day. Oh and Good Friday, too.

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