Conscious Comments December 2012 - Page 10

The Environment

RETHINK BOTTLED WATER

Nearly 90% of plastic water

bottles are not recycled,

instead taking thousands

of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and possibly your health. The EPA's standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA's standards for bottled water.

BAN BATHTIME!

Have a no-bath week, and

take showers instead. Baths

require almost twice as much water. Not only will you reduce water consumption, but the energy costs associated with heating the water.

SHOWER WITH YOUR PARTNER

Sneak in a shower with your loved one to start the day with some zest that doesn't come in a bar. Not only have you made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other added...um...benefits.

Photo by Hossein Attar

PLANT A TREE

It's good for the air, the

land, can shade your

house and save on cooling

(plant on the west side of your home), and they can also improve the value of your property.Make it meaningful for the whole family and plant a tree every year for each member.

BUY LOCAL

Consider the amount

of pollution created to

get your food from the farm to your table. Whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers' markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in.

SECOND-HAND DOESN'T MEAN SECOND-BEST

Consider buying items

from a second-hand

store. Toys, bicycles,

roller blades, and other age and size-specific items are quickly outgrown. Second hand stores often sell these items in excellent condition since they are used for such a short period of time, and will generally buy them back when you no longer need them.

RECYCLE OLD CELL PHONES

The average cell phone

lasts around 18 months,

which means 130

million phones will be

retired each year. If they go into landfills, the phones and their batteries introduce toxic substances into our environment. There are plenty of reputable programs where you can recycle your phone, many which benefit noble causes.