Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Frankly, the planet puts up with a lot, and as my mother always says about Mother's Day, "Why should I just get one day? I'm your mother." To that end, this planet is the only parent we have (that we know of), so let's make every day Earth Day! My plug is for water conservation, so here goes:

Water is the single most important resource we have. You can live up to a month without eating, but you won't make it more than a week without water. (The average is three days.) Fresh water is increasingly scarce, as the majority of it is locked up in ice.

When you flush the toilet, dump stuff down the sink, or run the tap, you're wasting fresh water. So, here are a few things you can do to help:

Decrease the nitrogen load on our fresh water supply.
Nitrogen has a systemic impact on the planet. Once introduced, it sucks oxygen out of the water, choking off the ability for phyotplankton to absorb sunlight, and in turn, that throws the food chain out of whack. So, try to buy phosphate-free everything (automatic dish detergent, sink soap, laundry detergent, etc.) There are plenty of products on the market that do just as good a job cleaning without phosphates, so make a point of purchasing them if you can.

Install low-flow showerheads and a low-flow, high-efficiency toilet.

Don't run the tap while brushing your teeth.

Don't flush if you only do number 1. (Water-based waste disposal systems have a ratio of approximatley 97% water to 3% waste.)

Try to keep your shower to four minutes or under.(Oddly, this is a long time. Try it. Put a timer in your shower. You'll be amazed.

Do not throw everything down the sink, particularly fats and oils. Either sell them off to your veggie-diesel car driving neighbors, or recycle them.

Only run your diswasher when it's really full.

If you have a garden, install a cistern so that you can use it on the plants. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just go to Home Depot, get a huge bucket, stick it under your gutter, and voila! To prevent it from turning into a mosquito pond, buy a tight-fitting cover.

If you are renovating a home, install a gray water collection system.

The Earth is a nice place. It's pretty and blue, like sapphires or those fabulous silk-satin Manolos that Big gave Carrie for their engagement.

And honestly, for a 4 billion year old, she's looking pretty good. So let's not let her go all Grey Gardens, shall we?

Do what you can to keep the Earth looking fabulous!

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