Giving it up…

Today begins Lent.

No, I’m not talking about the stuff that is nestled in the nether regions of your jeans’ pockets. I’m talking about the (predominantly) Roman Catholic Lenten season, traditionally a time of sacrifice, the 40 days of giving something up to make yourself – or preferably the world – a better place.

So, what will it be?

May I submit that NOW would be the perfect time to make the world a better place. You can do this by giving up something in your life, something you do, that contributes to Global Warming. We all do SOMETHING that contributes and, chances are, there is also SOMETHING that we can give up. So, who’s with me?

(Anyone?)

First, let me just run down quickly the threats that Global Warming poses to us, to our planet, to our world.

Global Warming

  • Poses health threats from increased heat
  • Changes the weather and increases the chance for natural disaster
  • Alters the migration patterns of different species
  • Has drastically changed the habitat of many species, forcing them near extinction
  • Has the potential to reek havoc on our economy
  • Changes how the food we eat can be grown
  • Damages coral reefs
  • Pollutes the air

  • … and the list goes on.

    What can we do? How can we help?

    Well, I’m not asking you to sign a petition or go and storm the White House. I’m simply asking you to make slight changes in the way you live, to be a bit more conscientious about the choices you make, the energy you use, the heat you produce, so to speak. Start with one. Don’t set out to completely overhaul your way of life. Don’t set out to alleviate Global Warming single-handedly. Just do what you can do and be an example to others.

    What can I do, you ask? Here are some ideas:

  • Reduce, reduce, reduce!
  • Reuse, reuse, reuse!
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle!
  • Recycle whatever you possibly can. Make sure you know where the recycling facilities are in your town and set up a recycling routine for your home and workplace.
  • Get off of mailing lists! Why should trees be destroyed for mail you do not even want to receive?
  • Drive your car one day less a week and walk instead (good exercise!)
  • When possible, ride your bike, or take public transportation.
  • During the cold winter season, turn down your thermostat by two degrees.
  • Buy produce that is locally grown.
  • Look into purchasing energy from a renewable energy source.
  • Install energy efficient appliances in your house with the EPA Energy Star label.
  • When you aren’t using an appliance, unplug it.
  • Use power strips.
  • Turn off the lights when not in use; use natural light whenever possible… best for your eyes anyway!
  • Use the energy saver cycle on your dishwasher and only run it when full.
  • Wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot.
  • Turn down your water heater to 120Β°Fahrenheit.
  • Clean or replace the air filter on your air conditioner.
  • Install low-flow shower heads to use less hot water.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip around doors and windows.
  • Ask your utility company for a free home energy audit.
  • In summer, keep shades drawn to keep the cool in.
  • In winter, open shades to let the sunlight to help warm rooms.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to heat and cool rooms only when necessary.
  • Plant trees around your house to cut cooling costs in summer.
  • Insulate your walls and ceilings.
  • Install a light-colored or reflective roof.
  • Look at hybrids when you car shop again.
  • Learn about Carbon Offsets.

  • So, what will your contribution be? Comment and let me know. Also, feel free to post other ways to alleviate Global Warming.

    Happy Lent, from this non-Catholic to all of you!

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    37 thoughts on “Giving it up…

    1. I love this KB …. I am PASSIONATE about stopping global warming and saving the planet. It is so distressing to read and see and hear about how we’ve damaged the earth ….. your list says it all … I may be repeating but just a few of my ideas ….

      1. Everyone should start by watching Al Gore’s film.

      2. Go to https://secure.nrdconline.org/08/polarbearsos to either donate to saving the Polar Bears (they will be the first to die from global warming and are already suffering) or to send a note to the Bush administration about saving them.

      3. EARTH HOUR …. the WWF is holding EARTH HOUR on 31 March at 7.30pm here in Australia …. maybe around the world … but regardless, maybe you could spread the word or just do this anyway. You just have to turn off all electronic equipment etc for one hour. For more details go to http://www.earthhour.org.

      4. WALK …. it’s good for you and it’s good for the environment.

      5. Buy eco products … eg http://www.neco.com.au/default.asp

      6. Clean without chemicals … I’ve been doing this for three years. I haven’t bought bleach, sprays or any chemicals and my place is cleaner, smells better (essential oils), safer for pets and children and me (no chemicals to react to) AND I’m not hurting the environment.

      7. Donate to WWF, Greenpeace, etc etc …. help them help us and the environment.

      I could go on and on …. sorry … I’ll stop now … ; )

    2. There was something similar here on February 1, but it was only for five minutes of turning everything off. Great idea though and I might try to do that on the 31st with all of you cool Aussies!

      These are all great ideas! I do want to watch Al Gore’s film and I would like to start cleaning without chemicals. What are some of your favorite chemical-free ways to clean? Care to share?

      xo… πŸ™‚

    3. I agree too … it’s the politicians of the world that put the environment on the back burner …. but if we all want it enough, that can change.

      Re my cleaning tips …. well, I started with enjo.com.au these are EXCELLENT and pretty much the top of the line. You might freak out at the initial cost but then …. I just worked out that it’s OVER four years since I switched completely off chemicals…. I was wrong when I said three …. so for four years I have had the same cloths and haven’t spent a cent on srays and cleaners and other cheap wipe up cloths and sponges. So, you save in the long run. There are other cheaper versions out too, which I am slowly investigating as one or two of my cloths I’d like to update in the next year or so. Seriously though, it’s less effort to clean, safer and more enjoyable. Another company I’ve looked at is … Chi … go to http://www.neco.com.au/product.asp?pID=180.

      They have done scientific tests to prove this a more hygenic way to clean too …. just in case anyone thinks you can’t do without the chemicals! You’ll be cleaner without them … ha!

      Another thing I do is use essential oils …. if you must have a surface spray then in a spray bottle fill with water and drop 10 drops of lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree oils. Make sure they are of reasonable quality and not just for smelling ; ). These three oils are natural disinfectants and powerful.

      Otherwise, I use vinegar and bicard for drains and sometimes a bit more strength in other areas.

      Hmmm…. will think of other ways ….

    4. For all of us Americans… what is bicard?? I’m not familiar. πŸ™‚

      You have mentioned those Enjo cloths before but I didn’t get any. I definitely will when I have a house of my own again and the sole cleaning responsibility is mine. I’ll just get Jay to bring some with him when he moves over. That is a good plan, eh?

      Love, love, love lavender oil! That is my favorite! Actually though, I really love eucalyptus and tea tree as well. All of them are great.

      That reminds me… I need to send you those refill tabs for your necklace. Must do…

      Great tips! Keep ’em coming! πŸ™‚

    5. Bicarb is what I actually meant … sorry I can’t type today … : o … it’s short for Bicarbonate Soda or Baking Soda is another term. GREAT for cleaning with vinegar.

      : )

    6. Sorry meant to add … you might have enjo over there already??? I’ll check and let you know or find you another brand. It’s the way to go. Honestly if I got back and use any other wiping cloths or cleaning products I really notice how HOPELESS they are.

      I love those oils too! : ) I often use lavender especially in my lovely necklace. : ) They’re a wonderful idea whoever came up with them.

    7. Oh! Baking Soda! Got it. πŸ˜‰

      After hearing you talk about Enjo, I don’t want a substitute! Ha! I want ENJO! I’ve not seen them here though but that doesn’t mean much. Just wondering… what kind / brand of essential oils do you prefer?

    8. Well, they are good and I’ve had no problems with them and really why should we settle for second best. That said, I recently tried the CHI kitchen cloth and that’s pretty good too and nice for a change but I haven’t used any of their other stuff yet.

      Re oils … well, I have a few companies I buy from but you should look for ones over there that offer pure essential oils.

    9. KB, maybe you could get Jay to bring some Enjo cloths over to sell–I’d buy them! : )
      I sometimes use vinegar and baking soda to clean the drains (tub and kitchen sink). I love watching it fizz!
      KB and KP–you both are brilliant! : )
      (And Kristen is brilliant, too!)

    10. Next week I’ll look into Enjo worldwide offerings and other similar companies for you all if you like and see what’s out there.

      ps – My cats and I love watching it fizz too ….. very dramatic. It’s a great cleaner duo.

      Have a lovely GREEN weekend everybody … : )

    11. how did I miss this yesterday?????

      ok, I am already so on the ball, but I might need some help finding new things.

      ok I know I could recycle more, so that is a definite.

      I already walk most places I can, I am an avid pedestrian, I also don’t get any paper bills that are not mandatory, it’s e bills all the way.

      I keep my heat on a chilly 65 and even then, only when absolutely needed, why waste energy when I can just put on a sweater????

      ok, I need some ideas from you too.

      love you!

    12. Stiletto! I don’t think you missed it yesterday. I didn’t post it until much later in the day. I’m glad you ran across it though! πŸ™‚

      It is always nice to find new ways of being green and helping with Global Warming. I’ll have to think and see if I can come up with some others too.

      I put sweaters on when cold inside too. Sweaters are fun! πŸ™‚

    13. KP – Have a lovely GREEN weekend yourself! Will you be going for a bush walk? I can speak for all of my readers, I think, when I say that we would love to know about worldwide Enjo offerings. I’d love to have some of them! THANK YOU!

    14. “First, let me just run down quickly the threats that Global Warming
      poses to us, to our planet, to our world.

      “Global Warming…

      # Poses health threats from increased heat

      -Global warming is rumored to have increased the temp by 1 degree F
      over the last 100 years. Very hardly a health threat.

      # Changes the weather and increases the chance for natural disaster
      -Changes in weather are natural for our planet. Global warming causing an increased chance for a natural disaster is dubious at best. What kind of disaster, and how would global warming cause it?

      # Alters the migration patterns of different species
      -How do you differentiate between changes in migration pattern because
      of evolution and changes in migration pattern because of global
      warming? Are you suggesting that we are causing migratory evolution
      by global warming? Why shouldn’t migratory patterns change? Are you
      suggesting that exactly at this point in the Earth’s history (or one
      where you assume human-environment interaction doesn’t cause said
      change) is the BEST for the Earth? Or maybe just the best for humans?
      Isn’t what’s best for the Earth also best for humans? Or should we
      save the Earth at a loss to humans? It is clear that the Earth has
      cyclical temperature changes that seem to happen on a 100,000 year
      interval. So should we stop the temperature change now and put the
      cycle on pause, so to speak? Then what about migration?

      # Has drastically changed the habitat of many species, forcing them
      near extinction
      -It is specious to claim that habitat change due to global warming is forcing some species near extinction. More important (and this is but one example) would be burning rainforests, which does release the dreaded CO2 into the atmosphere, but is not an instance of global warming changing the habitat of a species.

      # Has the potential to reek havoc on our economy
      -why and how?

      # Changes how the food we eat can be grown
      -Whole fields of science are built up around ways to change how we grow the food we eat. Are they wrong, and should they be stopped?

      # Damages coral reefs
      -so does touching them. And construction (by soil runoff). And water pollution. And stupid boaters driving their powerboat over them. Of the potential damage causers, why pick the least preventable to deal with first?

      # Pollutes the air
      Global warming does not pollute the air.

    15. We could at least not contribute to adding fuel (unnecessary, negative human activity) to the fire (natural temp. changes/fluctuations of the planet).
      KB, if you want me to come up with an response to each of J’s points, I’ll do my best to offer a different point of view. ; )
      Your post is still nice, btw. There are tons of things that need attention, and the effects of human activity on global warming is one of them. We could at least start being nice to the planet that nurtures us by leaving as little impact on it as possible. Anything else would just be selfish.

    16. Projectmetta – Feel free to respond to each of his points if you want to. I’m sure he would enjoy the differing point of view. I know you could come up with some great responses too!

      I think that we all need to focus on doing what we can to be more conscientious about the planet. That is just being responsible. I’m glad you agree. πŸ™‚

    17. I just realized the last paragraph from my last comment might be taken as my being rude–totally not my intention! I need a smiley up there or something! (Or, I should have focused more on my writing!)
      It was my intention to show you my support for your good actions (like your making us think about this stuff in the first place) and I also felt that I should take up for you! : )
      I hope no offense was taken (either by you or J) by my comment! πŸ™‚

    18. No need to apologize, Projectmetta, to me or J. I know that you were just trying to show support to me and I APPRECIATE it! πŸ™‚ J doesn’t mean anything mean either. We just have differing views sometimes is all. It is all good! πŸ™‚ xo…

    19. Oh my. Well, I was raised Roman Catholic. And, although I don’t follow as well as I might like to. Perhaps I could use lent to do some of these…Or perhaps I could simply do it in the name of helping to save our globe. I must proudly say that living with an old hippie..most of these energy saving tips are simpy everyday things of his existence and have grown on me, it is just great. he is a wonderful guy and I have learned so much! So, I will print out your tips also, and be very aware of doing things just a little better….Thanks!!!

    20. Hey everyone – haven’t looked up all that info I promised yet but will get to it later in the week … have a message for J though …. you need to watch An Inconvenient Truth …. it will clear up all your little misunderstandings about Global Warming and human impact …. ; )

    21. Thanks, KP! I’ve put An Inconvenient Truth on my NetFlix queue so hopefully I will get to see it soon. Maybe I will lend it over to J when I’m finished. πŸ˜‰

    22. KP, I fully intend to watch An Inconvenient Truth. I also fully intend to go on allowing you to think I have any “little misunderstandings” about Global Warming and the human impact. I don’t need propaganda to tell me what to believe and why it’s relevant. So thanks, I’ll watch AIT; afterward I’ll still be able to form my own opinion based on fact and science.

    23. Now, don’t get cranky …. I only called them misunderstandings because … well, they are as lots of people seem to be under the impression that global warming is a myth and that what’s happening to the environment is simple evolution. I could just as easily call THAT propaganda created by politicians and oil companies to serve their own gain.

      Every one of your points is explained in AIT and every major scientist agrees that we are harming the planet and that global warming is real, … so it is fact and science and not just Al Gore. You are allowed to have your opinion but after watching AIT I would be amazed if you could come back and repeat what you wrote above.

      Of course … this is just what I believe and you don’t have to agree.

    24. Pingback: Happy Earth Day, Fellow Humans! « Zazazu

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