By Trista di Genova
In my grandparents’ generation, this was a popular proverb that urged us all to be resourceful, not wasteful: “MAKE IT DO, WEAR IT OUT, USE IT UP, DO WITHOUT.” If only we could all get back to this state of mind. Here are some ideas for Earth Day and Beyond that we can all easily do. Be the change!
* Contact officials, give them suggestions and urge them to do more eco-friendly actions. In Taiwan, The Presidential Office’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org President Ma’s phone number: (02) 2311-3731; fax: (02) 2331-1604. In the U.S., contact the White House: Comments: 202-456-1111; Switchboard: 202-456-1414; FAX: 202-456-2461
* Always carry plastic or shopping bags with you; try NEVER to accept them
* Urge your local vendors to offer a discount for bringing a container. Tell them ‘Happy Earth Day!’ In Taiwan, nobody seems to know about it!
* Reuse plastic containers for gardening or picnics, other uses you can think of
* Drive Less, Walk More
* Get a bicycle; you’ll get healthier
* Take public transportation, preferably the MRT
* Assess how you can improve your household energy efficiency
* Use fans rather than A/C
* Close windows, clean filters
* Turn off unused lights
* Use environmentally friendly detergents, cleaning agents.
* Start a garden on your roof or balcony, it will substantially cool down the place in summer
* Grow your own food as much as possible
* Eat less meat/avoid it altogether (there are many substitutes. Get creative!)
* Don’t buy SUVs, or even hybrids, which are half-ass cars when we could all be driving electric vehicles.
* Invest in electric cars, say Tesla Motors
* Donate, give away rather than throw away. In Taiwan, the green metal boxes in most communities are for donations, run by the Szu Chi (Buddhist) Foundation
* Don’t buy individual little water bottles! It’s a huge waste, strain on the environment and costs a fortune! Get a filter, eg Brita, and use only ONE water bottle.
SHARE YOUR OWN GREEN IDEAS BELOW!!! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, CARRY THEM OUT AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO ‘THINK GREEN’ TOO.