While youre showing your respect for your family, friends, and colleagues, theres a substantial gift you can give by helping save the planet and showing respect for all future generations. This is more than just acting smart; we believe its a moral obligation. This toolbox will show you the little ways you can not only avoid harming the environment but help restore some of it, as well. After all, how can you feel beautiful if your surroundings are trashed? You want to create your own personal sanctuaries around youand that should be an incentive to live as green as you can.
At the Store
Stop the plastic water bottle habit. Besides causing environmental pollution, plastic bottles may be toxic to your health. The chemical called bisphenol A may be responsible for birth defects, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even Attention Deficit Disorder. Bisphenol is present in hard plastic bottles, lines tin cans, and is present in plastic food containers and some plastic wraps. Instead, use reusable glass thermoses for water storage, or you can even reuse an old glass pop bottle for carrying water. Drink real tap water in a glass, not specially bottled just for you at a special price of $2.50 per bottle. You can easily measure contaminants in your tap water with simple kits available from hardware stores. And every water company has to post its most recent test results on its website and send them to each home once a year (look for them in June and July). If the levels are greater in any sample for any contaminant or if your water isnt crystal clear, choose from dozens of tap water filters and then test your water again.
We prefer a charcoal filter, but remember you need some of the trace minerals that come from tap water. In addition, next time you drink a bottle of water, remember that you could fill a third of the bottle with the oil it took to produce the bottle. Youll also save enough money to purchase organic food at the expensive places (at inexpensive outlets such as Wal-Mart, Costco, and Trader Joes, organic food can cost no more than nonorganic). And youll save landfills from filling with mountains of plastic. While youre at it, get rid of the paper cups and plates. Switch to the ol china and glasses.
Bag it, baby.We use 500 billion (thats billion) plastic bags a year around the world. Use them for ten minutes, and then its into the landfill they go, staying there long enough to greet your descendants 500 years from now. Instead, use reusable cloth bags (keep them in the car or kitchen). Or choose paper bags, since paper is a renewable resource and easily recyclable.