Earth Day is the day when millions of people in 172 countries all over the globe share their appreciation for our beautiful planet. What are you giving back to the earth this year?
You might believe that one person can't do a lot. But if we take the time to change a few small behaviors, we can make a difference collectively.
Here are six ways to be part of that effort.
Precycle Before You Recycle: Avoid Buying Plastic Containers
Precycling is the art of returning a thing to the earth before it was even taken, saving our resources and creating a brighter future.
What kinds of things can you precycle? How about bottled water or plastic grocery bags?
You can drink water out of a reusable water bottle, and pack your groceries in a reusable cloth bag. You've just precycled, preventing two plastic items from ending up in the refuse stream. Less demand for these items leads to less production.
Flick A Switch: Turn Off The Lights When Leaving A Room
This is simple. Begin to make it a habit to turn off the lights whenever you are leaving a room.
Turn off the water when brushing or even while soaping up in the shower, then turn it back on to rinse off.
Turn off your car ignition when you're waiting for someone.
Every time you flick the switch, you are also flicking a switch in your brain that helps to reinforce the behavior and turn it into a good habit — the habit of conserving.
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Replace It
Before upgrading to the newest iPhone or a bigger-model flat-screen TV, ask yourself if it will make your life better than if you simply kept the model you already have. Take a moment to really visualize all the earth's resources it took to make these items.
You could save some of earth's resources by simply waiting six months or a year before replacing something old with something new. At the end of that time, assess whether the quality of your life was seriously compromised by hanging on to that older model.
Change The Demand: Having An Effect on Manufacturers & Growers
Our system of supply and demand is a good thing. That is, when we demand goods that are actually, well, good — good for our health, our home, and our planet. By bringing greater awareness to what we consume, we change the demand that must create a new supply.
Consider organic food, which does not use pesticides or hormones. These are not only better for our home planet, they are also healthier for our "home bodies." Increasing the demand will change our common agricultural practices so the supply naturally shifts for all our benefit.
Want What You Already Have: The Gift of Appreciation
We sometimes think that "stuff" will make us happy, like a shiny new car or another pair of shoes. But who and what really makes you happy: your pets, your family, your friends? Your work, your leisure activities, your home? Right.
This Earth Day, think about those you love, as well as the things around you that make your life easier, more fun, or more comfortable. Give thanks for all that you have, instead of wanting more.
Declutter Your Life: If You're Not Using It, Then Lose It
In celebration of Earth Day, walk around your house and get rid of everything that's not useful or healthful. Go through your bathroom, closets, drawers, kitchen cupboards, garage, basement, porch, and yard. Recycle everything you can, and donate the rest.
Cleaning up your immediate environment will make you feel happier. Keep your empty space empty. The earth will thank you.
©2012 by Barry Dennis. All Rights Reserved.
This article was written by the author of:
The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter from Your Home, Heart, and Mind...and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul -- by Barry Dennis.
Chotchky is the excess “stuff” that we’ve accumulated in our homes and hearts — the meaningless possessions, negative beliefs, self-doubts, and toxic relationships that drain our time, energy, and money. The challenge is to identify our chotchkies and understand how they’ve infiltrated our lives and lulled us to sleep. In this deeply insightful and often humorous work, spiritual teacher Barry Dennis shows you how to attain complete and total freedom from all of your chotchkies. Your soul awaits. Become part of a new paradigm that is leading the way to a more balanced and peaceful world. It’s time to take the chotchky challenge!
About the Author
Barry Dennis is a world-renowned singer-songwriter, inspirational speaker, and cutting-edge spiritual teacher. He is the founder of both Celebration Church in Portland, Oregon; and the groundbreaking “Coexist Celebration,” a movement without walls whose mission is to create peace of mind, heart, and planet through understanding and joy. The Coexist movement includes leaders from all the world’s spiritual traditions and is held approximately once a month in different locations around the globe. Learn more at www.BarryADennis.com