This summer has certainly been an excercise in getting back in my body and connected to the world again. I’ve rediscovered my neighborhood by riding my bike everywhere. I’m amazed at how many people do ride their bikes everywhere. Makes me proud of this city. We’ve had recycling programs ever since I moved here over a decade ago. I don’t think Chicago has one yet. “It’s not easy being green?” as Kermit says. I think it is. As consumers, we make choices everyday. As global citizens we make choices everyday. What will you choose? What will you say to demand your goverments, retailers, neighbors, corporations to act differently?
Here’s a list —just from this weekend—of choices I made to be green. Being responsible for the future begins right now. Global warming isn’t just an election sound bite—it’s real.
Water from a water filter installed on my kitchen sink faucet. I drink this, fill my water bottles and the dogs water dish. No more plastic disposable water bottles that take and enormous amount of energy to make and support corporations like Coca-Cola who are selling you nothing more than faucet water with no regulations.
Compositing. I have a compost in my back yard. The dirt it makes is used in my garden and is fantastically rich and healthy.
Riding my bike and walking places. The theatre, stores, coffee houses, resteraunts. All within walking distance from my house. I make choices to support the business’ in my neighborhood…..especially independent business’ who need the support of the local communities. I set up meetings, social events, coffee breaks at these establishments. Besides supporting the local business’, it introduces these business to my friends and clients. It’s an enrollment conversation! Word of mouth and experience are the best ways to get the word out. I have fallen in love with my neighborhood over and over every day! Check out Namaste on Hennepin Avenue—fantastic food! Bob’s Java Hut for coffee, tea, breakfast sandwiches and snacks. They have wireless. Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl, Common Roots, French Meadow, Uptown Theatre, Cheapo Records, Campiello, Chaing Mai Thai, Ragstock, JP’s, The Greenway Bike Trail, Midtown Farmers Market, Muddy Waters, Leaning Tower Pizza, Vera’s, Galactic Pizza to name a few!
Don’t buy products that are overpackaged with excess plastic, paper, etc.
Take reusable carrying bags to the store—don’t take a bag if you don’t need it. Keep a reusable bag in your car.
Buy used products–this summer I bought a perfectly great used bike I am riding all over the place. Besides saving money by buying used, I an insuring another bike won’t go to the landfill. This is true of furniture, clothes, tools, garden supplies, pet items, misc items. Check out garage sales, flea markets, reuse stores, Craig’s list, ebay, church sales, sale boards at work (start one if you don’t have one), garbage (you wouldn’t believe what good stuff people throw away–don’t be afraid of dumpster diving). Give it away to LOCAL charities, churches, people you know who need it or would like it. There are alot of homeless shelters, women’s shelters, organizations that help the elderly, etc that really NEED things you would image someone would want or need. Please—make the effort.
Boycott business’ you know have bad track records with human rights and the environment……do some research if you are unsure. There is alot of information available. Support those business’ that are green, support local farms and servies.
Drop those toxic relationships in your life. They are unhealthy for your wellness and what you are up to in your life.
Please—DO NOT give money to those standing on the street corners begging. Most of them are not legit and your money would be better used at a shelter. I will put a list together very soon to help. The ones who need it the most are not the ones with the cardboard signs they pass back and forth between them and their shifts. Be smart—-The Human Society and local Rescue agencies also need money to keep their programs alive. If we can’t take of our animals, what does that say about our culture?
Wanting a new dog? or pet? Get it from the Human Society or Animal rescue. So many loving animals in horrible situation who need your love and a good home. I have one of them myself! Check out petfinders.com if you like to shop at home.
Sign up with a local farm co-op for organic fresh food! Items are delivered near your home. They change each week so you enjoy a variety of whole, organic foods. Easy!
Conserve water. Don’t run water while you are doing other things. It wastes gallons of good water. Conserve water usage in laundry, watering gardens (use rainwater), showering, flushing the toilet, doing dishes.
Hang your laundry outside to dry. Pop them in the dryer for 5 minutes if you don’t like the cracky feeling to soften. Especially jeans and other heavy fabrics that take so much dryer energy to dry.
Bring back the butterflies! Plant flowers in your yard that attract butterlies. It taks a season but it’s so amazing! The more you have, the more butterflies and bumble bees you have. The bumble bees aren’t aggressive. They don’t care about you like yellowjackets and wasps. They only are interested iin the flowers.