the contest rules included perusing a list of earthy tips & goodies, or sharing personal tips on promoting a healthy world|home environment. good notion, eh? well, think i'll pose some questions for those of you who may have missed the 72 hour blog party.
1. what do you do to promote a healthy world?
2. what have you changed for a more sustainable future?
3. what can you do to further the cause?
i'm unsure how inundated you feel with the pressure of a doomed planet. i feel the weight of it as i'm always reading about the environment thru blogs, twitter, fb pages, & google reader. i realise that there are monumental changes that need to be addressed by large corporations & governmental agencies. & of course, the earth itself creates its own share of CO2, but these are things in which i have little to no control. i arm myself with knowledge when possible, & i do not support companies with no respect for the world & those of us that live in it. but i cannot do nothing. if all i can do is reduce, recycle, & reuse at the present moment, so be it. when a time arrives, where i can initiate large scale change, dag nammit, i will. for now, i'll attempt to answer these questions on behalf of my household in the hope to convey my respect for you, & the earth.
1a. cleaning products of the chemical variety have no place in my home. although they may well clean, & kill germs, effectively, they also leave residues, bad odors, & a feeling of unwellness within us. i have just as much faith in the cleaning power of baking soda, salt & vinegar. i also employ essential oils for their astringent qualities & wonderful scents. for now, i do purchase a natural toilet cleaner. & i've just bought my first container of non-clorine bleach for the grungy school uniforms that won't come clean with other methods.
for a simple cleaning paste, pour into a bowl some baking soda (3cups?), a few drops of dish soap, a few drops of tea tree or lemon oil (about 7-9), & just enough water (little bit at a time) to make a paste. mix with a spatula for ease & keep in an airtight container. it will have to be stirred before using as the water tends to separate. use it on sinks, counters, dishes, walls... last time i made some i used half table salt. seems to work just as well, & perhaps, it's a little less abrasive.
how clean is your house? is a great resource for natural cleaning solutions. i love how they use lemon juice, tea bags, et al for cleaning the worst imaginable filth known to man. a great book on the subject is better basics for the home: simple solutions for less toxic living from annie berthold-bond.
1b. i reduce, reuse & recycle as much as possible.
- reuse paper shopping bags & print paper from the uni for craft projects
- reuse juice bottles to store grains & beans
- reuse smaller kitchen containers (eg. baking soda cans) for creative play
- reuse plastic take-out containers for leftovers (& giving some to friends)
- recycle plastic, cans, glass
- reuse boxes for packing, or decorate boxes for toy storage
- buy second-hand books, lend books, borrow books from the library
- use virtual docs, tunes, films et al., rather than their physical counterparts
- buy fewer good-quality (lasting) products, organic, when economically feasible
2. i suppose the biggest change i've made is becoming vegan. a journey i will share in a future post. my lifestyle is, in fact, very different in almost every way from that of my childhood. this is due, in part, to the world that is changing around us - the awareness for of our environment.
3. i can further change to be more environmentally conscious. i can leave dubai for one (& i will, this is a temp gig), but before i do, i can live as green as possible, & encourage friends to do the same.
- ensure the a/c is turned low at night
- implement a recycling drive in my building
- eat homemade meals more often
- bring lunches, not just snacks, to the park
- try not to buy veggies covered in plastic on styrofoam plates
- remember reusable shopping bags every time!
- buy fewer ready-made vegan products
- eating all the leftovers to reduce food waste
- turn off electronics when not in use, esp the laptops
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btw, the irony of my living here, in Dubai, being a quasi-environmentalist, & this news (U.A.E., Australia, U.S. Are World's Worst CO2 Polluters), or this news (Dubai tops list as World's top CO2 polluter from energy use) has not been lost on me. :|