Reduce your daily impact

Discussions on how we can live responsibly and save the environment

Earth Hour today, March 27

As a call to action for climate change, join the planet for Earth Hour and turn your lights off for one hour today. Official time starts at 8:30pm today (your local time). More details at the Earth Hour official web site and WWF.

A call for low maintenance plants

Spring is finally here in Florida! Grass is finally turning back to green, but my Periwinkle plants have dried up and died. I’ve cleaned a small portion of the front yard out but now I’m faced with a decision of what to plant next. Succulents first came to mind, as they don’t require a lot of water and feeding, but I wonder if this is the best option. Even in the summer, I rarely turn on the sprinklers, as I rely heavily on the Florida summer rain to provide water to my plants.

I’ve thought of planting aloe vera plants. Besides being a succulent, aloe vera can be used to heal sunburns. I also remember my aunt and cousins putting aloe vera juice on our hair when we were growing up to keep them thick and healthy. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, as it could get sticky as it rolls down from your head to your face, but believe me when I say my hair is thick! Of course genetics and a good proper diet plays a big part in that, but perhaps the use of aloe vera during my younger years added to that as well.

Any other suggestions for low-maintenance, sun-loving plants that will look good on the front yard?

Growing your own food

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I can grow some of my favorite foods like spinach and herbs like rosemary. I’ve been slowly growing my avocado plant in a pot, but have started collecting aluminum cans in hopes that one day I can grow some seedlings in it.

I came across this local Orlando organization called Simple Living Institute, and they hold organic growers meeting every month. I think I’m gonna check them out and hopefully learn a thing or two about growing my own food!

Does anyone else grow their own food and have had success with it?

What is the greenest way to cool your home?

Summer is coming, and here in Florida, I feel that it’s already upon us. High temps are going up in the 80s almost everyday – and it’s only April!

Our central air conditioning system needs to be replaced. It’s about 10 years old and the air handler is not functioning properly. I can’t decide whether to replace the unit or find another solution. Is there a better solution than just buying a new central a/c system?

Lights off today, March 29th from 8PM to 9PM

Let’s all join in this effort to save energy, even for just an hour. More information can be found at Earth Hour site.

Thom Yorke on being a climate optimist

Was browsing around the web tonight and saw this article from the frontman of one of my favorite bands – Radiohead. I didn’t know he was an environmentalist. On his take on climate change, I love the last line on his article.

“You should never give up hope.”

I agree. Whether this climate change is something that’s supposed to happen, that it’s cyclical, we can never be sure that it can balance itself again. People become hopeless because they don’t think that the small stuff counts. Well, the small stuff like changing out your lightbulbs, or recycling – if everyone does this, then it adds up and we’re all able to save the environment just by doing these small things.

Who has time to be “green”?

People are busier more than ever these days. We are working more hours, doing more than two things at the same time, and so forth. Still, whenever there’s an opportunity, I always talk to people about what I do to be more environmentally friendly. However, one person noted that it looks like I have a lot of time in my hands since I’m able to hang-dry my clothes instead of putting them in the dryer.

At that point I wasn’t sure how to react. But the more I think about it, it’s not about having time. It’s about caring. Like anything else, if you care a lot about something or someone, you put more effort and thought to it. And that’s what I try to do, everyday. I try to be more conscious about what I throw out, what I buy, what I eat.

Being green is not a trend, or a hot new topic that the media is riding out. It’s a mindset change. It’s a lifestyle change. Being green is not easy, but when does doing the right thing ever is?

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