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Simple Steps to Make the Planet a Better Place – to Honor Earth Day

Never underestimate your power to make this planet less polluted just with even one thing you can do differently in your life! Here are some of my favorites. You know, you may not think about it on a daily basis, but you vote with every dollar you spend. You choose which businesses you support!!! So many companies are trying to make this planet cleaner and less polluted, and I want to share some of these with you here.

One small change in your behavior, when repeated and focused on, after 2 months will simply become a habit, so that is how you want to look at it. One thing at a time. Commit. Our planet is so worth it and we really owe it!!! And feel good that you are a better steward of it.

Here are some simple things you can do to decrease your footprint, feel good about it while often decreasing your own chemical exposure at the same time! Today I am simply sharing the things I do. I hope they can inspire you. They are all easy!

Alternatives to Kleenex and Cotton Swabs

I have always been a great proponent of real handkerchiefs. I guess this came with the territory of being born and raised in Poland. That is all I use. I also was terrified when I first saw the infamous photo of a seahorse holding on to the cotton swab!!!! Last Object is a young Scandinavian company with an amazing vision and dedication to protecting our planet. They have handkerchiefs and even an alternative to that darn cotton swab:  Check their products!

Eating Out

  1. Bring your own silicone or metal straws – remember to tell the server not to bring you plastic straws. They make for a great gift too. Reusable straws are readily available everywhere now. I got mine here!
  2. Keep fork/spoon/knife in your purse – I bought the yellow ones in the photo below at Eddie Bauer.
  3. Get a little bag for the supplies above and keep that in your purse (I always keep this in mine).
  4. Keep large enough metal food containers in the car. I have 2 metal ones. Yes, sometimes I forget, but sometimes I remember and I do bring them into the restaurant assuming I will be packing some foods to take home, to reduce single use plastic. Also, the single use food boxes can leak chemicals into your food.

What I carry in my purse:

Hot Beverages

Please stop using single use plastic cups at places like Starbucks. They are unhealthy and pollute the environment. Get into a habit of bringing a real ceramic (or stainless steel) traveling mugs. You can use that in any coffee shop or restaurant that only provides plastic cups. I bring my traveling mug with me if I know we’ll be traveling in the car for a while. I always carry a stainless-steel traveling mug with me when I fly. Here is one of the companies I like to support:  Native Northwest.

I also like to use a thermos/insulated water bottle for hot water when I travel by car, so I can use my own teas as I need (those are in my purse at all times!). Here is an example.

Shopping Bags

I think we are getting better about these? If you don’t bring reusable bags shopping with you, here is one of my favorite sites for them: this way I support the planet AND the Native American artists! And they are beautiful.

Food Storage

Oh my gosh….what do we do with those pesky ziplock bags that we think we can’t live without!!!

A few solutions here.

  1. You can get reusable food bowl covers here.
  2. I really love the silicone food storage bags – they are pricey, so buy 1 or 2 at a time and build them up slowly. They are different sizes and the medium ones are surprisingly big inside. I also love the tiny ones – for small things like medications or supplements – if you have to go out and need to take supplements or medications with your meal. They are available in many stores, many health food stores and even Bed, Bath and Beyond.
  3. There are many online companies dedicated to moving away from plastic in our daily life. Here is another one, to inspire you. There are so many wonderful products there – I hope this will inspire you! Bento boxes and more!

And of course there’re always glass containers:

Water yes but Plastic Bottles no!

Please please please do NOT pay anyone any single dollar of your hard-earned money to perpetuate water industry. Do not drink water from plastic bottles unless you have emergency and have to – very dangerous xeon-estrogens leak into the water from the plastic. And many land in landfill. Also, we know from studies that some of these bottled waters are simply tap water and/or are not filtered. Simple solutions are just developing a new healthier habit. When you know you will be out:

  1. Use a large stainless steel bottle and fill it with water; bring it to your car or pack in our backpack for your transit. Buy an insulated one so you can use it for hot water to make your tea in winter, while and you can keep your water cold with ice in hot summer. Make it 32 oz at least. My husband keeps one filled with water in the car at all times.
  2. In order to fill up that bottle above, use a water filter at home. A great one that you can travel with is Berkey. And our community gets %5 from them for using my personal link. here is the link: I have 2 of these.

Lunch for Work (if you work in an office setting)

  1. When I used to commute to a clinic, my go to was a stainless-steel soup thermos (I own two) and I would bring a sturdy hot bean stew to work with me. Priceless. Here is one.
  2. Use a stackable container for more solid food. Actually, I grew up with a triple stacked thermos like this back in Poland. It was one of those things people did in Poland at the time I was a kid! I see that now they are back and trendy here! I am so glad these are coming back. They are also a staple in India as I understand!

Canned Foods

Don’t be fooled that cans are now less dangerous because many are now BPA-free. I have bad news for you – when they remove BPA, there are other chemicals put in place, we are hearing. Only buy canned food for occasional emergency and if you do, make sure you wash and dry them well when empty so they can actually be recycled. Don’t throw them in the recycling “soiled”. Instead, save money and opt for a more nutritious option like….soaking and cooking your beans!

Kitchen Scraps and More: Chef’s Guilt!

What can you do with used tea bags, loose tea, paper towel you used to clean the kitchen countertops, paper filter filled with used coffee grinds…Where do you dispose 8 squeezed limes….where do you throw away recyclable phone covers, spoons and forks…. And what about all the food scraps from cooking????

If you feel guilty about all this landing in a landfill, join the club. I do! And I cook a LOT.

I love being in the kitchen but I always have concerns with all the above collecting in the garbage can, generating mold and then landing in a landfill.

Did I try composting? Yep. I failed. I needed something that works, is easy, and can be used daily. And so I looked for a solution and invested in Lomi. I really like their vision and mission too and so even though Lomi was a big investment (close to $500) , I felt really strong about it and I was over the moon excited to learn somebody FINALLY came up with the technology I was waiting for! The proof is in the pudding. Lomi is very easy to use. Even for the busiest person, like me!

This is my Lomi:

And this is my compost from it:

Inspiration for Today

Here is a gift: a few photos from a visit to the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, WA. We areal connected to our planet. We just forget. Let the links and photos below inspire you!

At the Whale Museum in front of an Orca.

This is a whale’s vertebra.

Southern Resident Orcas are endangered, starving (they eat salmon that is disappearing from rivers), and most toxic (they are around the Salish Sea, which includes waters around Seattle, so these are the most polluted waters).

A photo I took at the Whale Museum – whales and other marine mammals die from plastics they ingest. Here is a golf ball found among pounds and pounds of debris ingested that eventually killed a whale.

 

 

Here is a website with hydrophones at different locations that pick up orca’s songs in real time if they are at the locations when you click and listen. It is quite amazing. Check it out and get inspired:

Listen to orca whales live!

Absolutely breath-taking Instagram videos from a young man from San Diego and his team – showing you all kinds of whales out in the open ocean. I love that he uses a drone to show them in full glory from above, a rare treat.  To remind us of the beauty and fragility of our natural world!

Contribute to Earth-Focused Causes that Resonate with You

You can help the planet in some many ways. Here is how I do, and I invite you to consider these worthy causes or pick others that resonate with you more.

  • Help the advocacy and research to help save Orca whales: join Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, WA.
  • You can also become a member of the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, WA and adopt a whale!
  • Help those that support unwanted and abused horses and other animals. Island Haven Animal Sanctuary. The horse you see on the home page is Maxx. We no longer enjoy him in this life, but along with Sister, Della’s herd and the CEO and founder Julie Duke, Maxx changed my life in so many ways. While I no longer live on San Juan Island so I cannot visit as I used to as a volunteer, I can still support this amazing place by “adopting” some of my equine best friends. I miss Mocha and Dreamer the most. Dreamer has autoimmune conditions and is in pain that makes walking difficult. A donation or her sponsorship would help ensure there are funds for her medications…

Never underestimate the power of an individual. This is in fact how all revolutions start.

Happy Earth Day!!!

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