Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day is Tomorrow (and Everyday)

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. ....A river watering the garden flowed from Eden....The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ....Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. ....So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. Genesis 2:8-10, 15, 19, 20

It seems to me that God wants us to take care of this world that He created for us, even if we are only in this world but not of this world. So I've put together a short list of things that you can do to help preserve our planet in order that we may honor God.

1. Compost -- one of our local townships held a free class on composting. All I had to do was call and sign-up for the class. At the end of the evening, each participant was given a free compost bin.

2. Is your child's bedroom overflowing with stuffed animals? Find out which ones he or she will part with, wash it and give it to your favorite dog. If you don't own a dog, find someone who does (maybe even a shelter?). My Otto loves stuffed animals! Sure, eventually it will end up at the dump, but it least you got twice the usage out of it!

3. If you have a child in preschool, find out if the school could use any of the following for crafts: egg cartons, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, empty milk/water jugs, lids to laundry detergent, scrap paper. If you're looking to get rid of toys that are still in good condition and you don't want to bother with a garage sale, ask a preschool if they want the toys.

4. I make rubber bands out of old rubber gloves. I just cut off the ends of the gloves. I can get several rubber bands from each glove.

5. I save the wax paper bag from boxes of cereal. I wash them out and use them whenever I need wax paper for anything. To store them, I wrap them around an empty paper towel roll and secure them with a homemade rubber band.

6. Use vinegar to clean with. I'm one of the odd few who likes the smell of vinegar!

7. Use vinegar as a fabric softener. You can either use it in the washer like regular softener or wet a rag with it and throw it in the dryer. Now this doesn't help with static cling. If you want to use fabric softener, consider wetting a rag with it and throwing it in the dryer rather than adding it to your washing machine. This decreases the use of dryer sheets. If you love dryer sheets, only use half a sheet for each load. Don't forget good old fashioned air drying!

8. When I need to use a cotton ball, I tear it in half and only use one portion. This saves money and trash.

9. Wash those baggies and reuse them!

10. Don't throw out that half a glass of water that your kids left on the table! Use it to water your plants or pour it into the dog or cat's water bowl.

11. Before you buy some gadget, ask yourself how much space will it take to store it and how easy is it to clean? These questions have kept me from purchasing different kitchen items. This is a money saver and keeps things out of the dump.

12. Try to find books you want on sites like BookMooch. Basically, you're trading books with other people, which helps save on paper (and money!). Of course, there are always second hand book stores!

Hope you gleaned at least one new tip here! Happy Earth Day!

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