Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Earth Day

I wanted to title this post "Happy Earth Day!" but after reading the paper today it's not that happy. Here are a few facts published in today's Metro:

-There are 16,928 animal species (that we know about) in danger of extinction.

-The rate of extinction with humans on the planet is 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate.

-The Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean (primarily plastic debris) is now three times larger than Spain and Portugal combined. EVERY square mile of ocean is now believed to contain 46,000 pieces of floating garbage.

-Plastic NEVER biodegrades. It photodegredates meaning it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic, but it will always be plastic.

-Tigers now occupy just 7 percent of their natural habitat.

-There are only 4 northern white rhino's left (and nobody's seen them since 2006).

It's pretty but it's full of plastic.

So, why did I bother to depress everyone with these sad statistics? IT IS NOT TOO LATE!!! All of the following suggestions (borrowed from Green America, Metro, We Can Solve It and my own head) can help preserve and even improve our environment. Some of them might seem small but if everyone does them they'll really add up.

-Don't buy: styrofoam cups, bleached coffee filters and paper towels, teak and mahogany, chemical pesticides and herbicides, conventional household cleaners, toys made with PVC plastic, plastic forks and spoons, farm raised salmon and rayon.

-Do buy Organic, LOCAL and in-season fruits and vegetables, No-VOC paint, paper products with a high post-consumer recycled content, compact fluorescent light bulbs, Energy Star appliances.

-Combine several destinations into one trip so you drive less, or better yet take public transportation.

-Turn off lights and unplug appliances and other electronic devices when not in use. Turn down your heat and air conditioning. Buy electricity from renewable resources if it's available from your utilities company. Wash your clothes in cold water.

-Stop buying things you don't need and don't support these companies: Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobile, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Monsanto, General Motors, Dominion, Citigroup, Shell Petroleum, McDonald's.

-Join me, Al Gore and 2,203,717 other people in supporting the We Can Solve It campaign. Be sure to sign the petition to Repower America.

Here's a picture I took of the jungle--hopefully a site we can preserve for future generations.

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