Last week the Great NEWS blog post covered Gross Guts versus Great Guts for Perfect Health and today is dedicated to discussing Sustainable Solutions and Suggestions for Earth Day. After several trips to many countries in Europe and Central America it is obvious that many countries are very focused on being as eco-friendly, green and sustainable as possible. This article is a summary of many of the best examples and life lessons learned for Sustainable Solutions and Suggestions for Earth Day.
All that is required to be a green gal or green guy and super supporter of Earth Day is to have the desire and determination to be a part of the sustainable solutions instead of the pervasive pollution problems. This process starts with simple awareness of your choices and the consequences of those choices.
A Greener Environment & Sustainable Solutions
The following examples are simple solutions that any family or individual can easily implement to help create a greener environment and sustainable solutions for earth day:
Updating and upgrading your homes energy efficiency rating with additional circulation vents, double pane glass doors and windows, extra insulation, solar barrier protection, solar powered turbine vents and tinted window films is very effective to reduce the cost of cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. Unfortunately too many homes in the United States (US) are excessively large and very poorly designed which is a double whammy when it comes to fuel and utility efficiency. There are energy tax credits available as an extra incentive for immediate and long term savings.
Using natures cooling breezes, green plants and trees and underground construction are easy ways to reduce the cost of cool living space. Why would a contractor use dark black, brown or gray shingles which capture the suns rays and cause excessive heat up of attics when there are smarter choices? Why not use light reflective shingles or put solar panels above the shingles to capture the free energy. Do you ever wonder why architects are not more diligent and intelligent about capturing free passive solar heat which is the easy solution to help with the most effective heating system in the winter?
Using your green spaces and yards for victory gardens is a great strategy for growing fresh beans, fruits, greens, herbs, legumes, roots, spices, vegetables and vines. Most cities in Europe have extensive victory gardens close to residential areas and in yards. Rather than waste excessive energy and time mowing of grass they invest their time wisely growing foods.
Buying and growing foods locally helps reduce transportation costs, reduce food spoilage and wastage and provides fresher and higher nutrient content foods. Why buy a head of lettuce or tomato that is picked early, transported 2000 miles, treated with chemicals and wilted when you can have a more nutrient dense version, locally and organically grown in rich composted soil and supports your local farmers?
Composting is a clever way to reduce landfill material and improve the soil for gardens. Most US homes have garbage disposals which dump excess compost material into overloaded waste water treatment systems.
Sprouting seeds is an easy way to grow fresh foods inside your apartment or home. Micro greens are easy to grow lots of fresh nutrient dense green leafy plants that are super delicious and nutritious. Alfalfa, beans, broccoli, chia, kale, lettuce, sun flower and wheat grass are just a few of the seeds that easily sprout and create healthy home grown foods.
Trees planted around apartments, homes or office buildings will produce leaves for shade to help keep them cooler in the summer and then when the leaves fall off during the winter the sun will allow them to be warmer. This is a perfect example of replicating the principles and process of nature to be more synchronized and symbiotic with our environment.
Window blinds, shades and shutters can help keep a home cooler or warmer depending on various adjustments and locations of the windows.
Some apartments, buildings, condos and homes are utilizing grass beds, potted plants and vines on the roofs or side walls to provide shade from the sun and extra cooling and insulation.
Using barrels, cisterns and containers to catch rain water run off from roof for irrigation is also a great idea to help deal with the efficient management of rain for watering gardens and trees. With the growing awareness and concern for climate change this is essential to help deal with the water shortages and surpluses that occur during the year.
Replacing the non native landscaping plants in your yards and community areas with native plants or even food bearing plants is a great way to reduce excess water consumption and reduce the amount of time needed for frivolous landscape and yard maintenance. Think of all the wasted energy, money and time that goes into maintaining and watering non native bushes, grass, hedges, plants and shrubs which drain valuable effort and hours that could be invested elsewhere for our happiness and health. Much of the air, chemical, soil and water pollution in the US is based on a misguided focus of excessively controlling and manipulating mother nature and plants rather than living in balance, cooperation and harmony.
Replacing ornamental trees and planting food bearing trees along roads and in neighborhoods is a great way to green up our communities and provide healthy foods for animals, birds and humans. Near Poway, California I have seen many orange trees used for landscaping that also yield abundant harvests. In Germany there are many old apple orchards along rivers and trails with free apples for the picking.
Switching from harmful chemicals, cleaners, laundry detergents, shampoos and soaps will help people reduce your toxic exposure and help clean up our water ways at the same time.
Replacing annual plants with perennial plants in pots on balconies, patios and porches will help reduce the cost and increase the yield of flowers, foods and herbs that can be harvested.
Avoid purchasing items with excess packaging of cardboard, paper and plastic. Look for the most efficient delivery and packaging systems. Buying items in bulk such as beans and grains.
If you drive a car then consolidating your errands and shopping to buy items in bulk supplies will greatly reduce your fuel usage and time spent on routine trips. Car pooling and co-operation with family and friends is a great way to be even more efficient and effective with money and time. The US is overrun with gas guzzling cars, SUVs and trucks which waste gas and pollute the environment. The majority of the time there is only one person in this gas hog.
Many people in the US load the car up with one of two kids to drive to a distant park, play ground or playing field for soccer and sports they use only occasionally. These often sit vacant at least 80 – 90 % of the year. Doesn’t it make more sense to build them close to education and entertainment centers for regular use and easy walking instead? In most countries of the world you find fitness centers and soccer fields at almost every community center and school so it is easily accessible by citizens, parents and students alike.
BTW how inefficient is it to invest millions in schools that sit vacant for much of the afternoon and evening and also up to four months a year? What about the long car pool lines that waste fuel and tie up traffic for hours each day? Do city planners and master planned communities even focus on or think about sustainable solutions and suggestions for earth day and a greener footprint regarding our colleges and education centers? Would it make more sense to have computer centers, libraries and recreation facilities built near schools for multi purpose usage? How much common sense does it take for growing gardens and planting food bearing trees on school properties to provide fresh foods for our children while at school?
Crock pots and slow cookers are great ways to prepare meals with minimal energy usage. Many models of solar ovens are available which are even more efficient since they use free sun light for heating. If more people would replace wood burning fires and stoves with solar ovens we could greatly reduce our excess burning of wood from trees which are releasing massive amounts of carbon into our atmosphere every day.
Harvesting wild edible plants is a great way to find food with a higher nutrient dense food value and fresher taste. Berries, cactus, dandelions, edible flowers, fruits, nuts, rose hips and wild grapes are just a few examples of delicious and nutritious wild foods that require not extra effort or energy to grow.
Blue green algae, chlorella, dulse, kombu, nori, seaweed and spirulina are exceptionally easy to grow and are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. If every person on the planet consumed just 5% of their nutritional needs through these amazing green foods we could reduce much of the rest of the food production systems and reduce the burden on our delicate ecosystem and environment. Krill and phyto-plankton are additional super foods from the oceans that could provide fantastic fuel for energy and vitality as they improve our health and immune function. We must stop polluting our lakes, rivers and oceans in order to protect our life source and access the potential for more efficiently feeding the people of the world. Remember to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose.
A Focus on Cooperation and Collaboration
For many people who have been raised as super consumers it can initially seem very complicated, daunting and overwhelming to be more green and sustainable while it reality it is actually much easier than you realize to find Sustainable Solutions and Suggestions for Earth Day and every day.
The answer is to shift our focus and create a paradigm shift with an emphasis on excellent cooperation and collaboration instead of excess competition and consumption. Many countries have taken a world leadership role and it is obvious that the US and other developed countries need to increase their commitment to being much more green and sustainable in all areas of life.
This article is a simple summary of some of the best examples and ideas regarding Sustainable Solutions and Suggestions for Earth Day. How many more can you think of and put into action?
Mastery Action Plan
- Plant a small victory garden of herbs and spices on your balcony, patio, porch or window sill.
- Think about all the toxins that go down your plumbing and into our waterways and then see how many harmful synthetic compounds you can eliminate from you life.
Our next blog post will share: Subscriber Solutions and Suggestions for Earth Day