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Environmental Tips

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

Go Vegetarian, At Least Once a Week

My wife Carol and I have been vegetarians for 38 years. We enjoy a wide variety of foods and never get bored with our diet. Most importantly, the meals we eat are ono! It has never been easier to eat a vegetarian diet than it is these days. You can shop at any supermarket and find "mock meat" products like hot dogs, ground beef, and even bacon that can fool the taste buds of the most dedicated meat eaters.

There are many reasons to seriously consider adopting a vegetarian diet, here are just a few:

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution levels can potentially be 100 times greater than outdoor air. One contributing factor to this health hazard could be our choice of household cleaning products. How many synthetic and toxic chemicals do you have in your home that were designed to make it cleaner, more hygienic, and therefore a healthier place to live? Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste per year, which pollutes our watersheds and soil and poses serious threats to human health.

Grow Some of Your Own Food

Although we live in a place that is blessed with a year-round growing season, lots of sunshine, and--in many places--good soil and reliable rainfall, approximately 85% of Hawaii’s food is imported! The food that we bring to the table has travelled many thousands of miles, losing important vitamins and increasing in cost all along the way. The transportation that brings the food to Hawaii from the mainland and other countries contributes to air and water pollution as well.

Make Less Trash

We are all aware of the ongoing debate over Oahu's trash and where to put it. This will most likely be a controversial and difficult issue for many more years for us, as inhabitants on a small island with limited options for our rubbish. In 2003 when I was a Honolulu City Councilman representing the Ewa, Kapolei, and the Waianae Coast I hosted a meeting for the residents of Ko Olina to air their frustrations about the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill that is across the highway from their homes.

Save Energy

I know we've all heard this a million times but making these changes to your lifestyle are really worth it. Next time you need new light bulbs purchase CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs) instead of the traditional ones. These bulbs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescents and last much longer. Be aware, though, that CFLs contain mercury.