Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: Simple Steps to Save the Planet

Today is blog action day: a day for bloggers to band together in focusing on environmental concerns. What I'm going to talk about is my employer and the KC Metro region's action and education environmental non-profit: Bridging The Gap. Working here has inspired my current super-charged push for a green lifestyle and I've just got all sorts of a shit-eating grin on when I think about the amazing things we're able to do as an organization.

But first, I'll give you a little bit of background. Bridging The Gap (BTG) started as a grassroots organization to address social issues being neglected by other agencies. The first project the group took on was bringing curbside recycling to Kansas City, MO but curbside just wouldn't catch on. So instead, Bridging The Gap decided to facilitate community recycling centers. The centers led to the group's concern about educating the people who used the centers about other ways of being sustainable and the education component of BTG was born.

Since then we've come a long way. BTG has re-defined itself as an environmental organization that acts as an umbrella for several affiliates and programs including:

Instead of being focused on just recycling, we're taking on the issue of sustainability in any and all ways we can. These include green consulting, identifying energy sources from waste streams, connecting local farms to local grocery stores, organizing litter clean-up, tree care and other similar events, and, most importantly, empowering individuals to make simple steps towards sustainability.

Some of these include:
  • Joining or contributing to an environmental organization
  • Use a litter bag and sun shade in your car to reduce litter and AC use
  • Drive less and walk more
  • Support businesses close to where you live
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator to save cooking time and energy
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Avoid cooking with an oven and use a toaster oven or microwave instead
  • Use natural sunlight for lighten whenever possible
  • Let leftovers cool before placing them in the refrigerator to save energy
  • Use compact florescent light fixtures
  • Use sponges and cleaning rags instead of paper towels
  • Use cloth nakpins and reusable plates and silverware to reduce waste
  • Plant native plants that will attract wildlife
  • Install an insulation blanket on your hot water heater
  • Replace all dripping faucets in sinks
Try choosing just one or two of these ideas to integrate into your lifestyle. It will allow you to start doing something immediately to better the lives of everyone sharing your environment without completely overturning your life. As a bonus, most of these will also save you money so there's really no way to lose.

For more simple steps you can take, see the Action Blog's list of 50 Quick, Painless Ways You Can Help the Environment Today.

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cristal said...

all very good suggestions :) I'd also suggest composting to feed your house plants (it's super easy too) and/or herb garden. Also plastic up the windows in the winter to boost a few degrees and use less gas. those compact fluorescents are wonderful creations! they last so much longer than the incandescents and you can get a 100 watt bulb that only uses 20 watts of power, i love them! keeps my elec. bill under $25

May said...

Composting is awesome! We do it at work, but I haven't been able to do it at home yet.

Thanks for the great suggestions. :)