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Environmental Tips

Good for the environment = Good for your household economy = Good for your health.

Leave It Better Than You Found It

We try to appreciate our pleasant climate by getting outside as much as possible. We work in our organic garden, play tennis, golf, bike ride, visit the beach, surf, or take long walks. Taking in the fresh air, getting exercise, and breaking away from the hectic-ness of our computerized lives is so necessary. I hope you make time for outdoor activities like this, too.

Clean & Green Your Laundry

We've all got to wash our clothes but there are simple ways to help the environment while you do it and still end up smelling good. Most of us don't think about the energy, chemicals, and other pollutants that are associated with what we wear. A Time Magazine article stated that one t-shirt can contribute 9 pounds of carbon dioxide to the air over its lifetime. You can cut back on those emissions simply by using a clothes line.

Make a Change in Your Life

Because the 41st Earth Day just passed on April 22nd, it's a great time to reflect on your life, your environment, and the future. If you’re lucky enough to live in Hawai'i as I do, you know that we have a beautiful place to call home. Clean air, blue water, and lush green surrounds us. Its far from perfect though--we all see the polluted waterways that lead to the ocean and the rubbish on the streets that we wish wasn't there.

Watch "Bag It" The Movie

I was recently asked by the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation to be a panelist for a discussion following their screening of "Bag It". "Bag It" is a documentary made by a Colorado man, Jeb Berrier, who took a close look at plastic bags and how he can eliminate them from his life. In the process, he also investigated all of the other plastic products in our modern world and how they are impacting personal and environmental health.

Volunteer

You may wonder what volunteering can do for the environment or for your wallet. Giving your time, energy, and mana'o (Hawaiian word for thoughts or beliefs) is actually one of the best things you can do for yourself and the 'aina. Time spent volunteering is time away from expensive activities and, best of all, its very enjoyable.

Reduce Plastic Bag Use

We've all seen too many of them--flying through the air like little windblown parachutes, stuck to trees and fence lines, and even in waterways and on the beach--lots and lots of plastic bags. More often than not these bags are the type that most stores seem eager to give out in abundance with your purchases. I'm always slightly appalled by baggers at the grocery store who like to put single items in their own bags, and often times double-bagging it as well.

No More Bottled Water!

When I was growing up I would have never believed that people in the future would be buying water--in fact that there would be large sections of the grocery store dedicated to the various "types". I thought water was just water and it was free!

Compost

I touched on the significance of composting your food waste instead of throwing it away in Tip#2, Make Less Trash. By composting fruit and vegetable food scraps you can easily reduce your trash production and make your own soil. In fact one statistic says that an average person creates 1,500 pounds of rubbish a year but someone who composts only produces 375 pounds of rubbish!

Drive Less & Drive Better

Gas prices in Hawai'i, as well as the rest of the nation, are constantly fluctuating, but even when they're "low" it's still a painful experience to fill up. Gas is a major expense negatively impacting all of us and causing us to question our driving habits. Carpooling, riding the bus, walking, biking, and doing without unessential car trips are the new normal considerations for transportation these days. Seems like going for a long Sunday drive just for the pleasure of getting out of the house and seeing our beautiful island is simply not an option in modern times.

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