by Faith St. Clair
It’s 11:45 p.m. and 75º in Phoenix, AZ right now. States currently battling record snow falls throughout the country might think we’re pretty lucky. I’m not so sure…
I’m not a tree hugger or a fanatic environmentalist, but I do care for God’s creations and feel like I have a duty to beautify, care for and preserve this earth we’ve been given. So, I recycle, I take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints when I hike, I avoid driving on days when there’s a pollution advisory out and I don’t use aerosol cans. These are just a few daily routines that are hardly conscious efforts - just habits that have been embedded in my way of living after years of observing a patriotic mother who loved this land as much as she loved her children and her God.
Although we didn’t recycle when I was growing up (I’m not sure the word was invented yet…), we used it up, wore it out, made it do or did without. We knew we were blessed with this land as long as we cared for it. We didn’t litter, we picked up other people’s trash before we left the beach, including the washed-up oil deposits from the boats, and we didn’t break tree branches or run through the neighbors’ gardens. You can say that I’m just an average Jane who tries to do the right thing in taking care of our earth – not a big, revolutionary deal. But I think I’m going to have to add a few things to my routine.
My family and I watched the documentary, “aninconvenienttruth” (An Inconvenient Truth). The 96 minute DVD discusses Global Warming and the impact it is having on our earth right now as well as the projections for our future generations. Whether you look at this video through a political lens or not is irrelevant compared to the asking, “What can I do about it?” The movie is worth renting and discussing with your family the small, every day things we all can do to make a difference. http://www.climatecrisi.net/ is a great web site for learning about these efforts.
Here are a few things the site lists:
- Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
- Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
- Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
- Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
- Use less hot water
- Turn off electronic devices you’re not using such as computer, T.V., stereo
- Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them such as phone chargers or hair dryers, etc.
- Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting
- Insulate and weatherize your home
- Recycle at home
- Buy recycled paper products
- Plant a tree
- Get a home energy audit from your utility company
- Switch to wind or solar power
- Buy locally grown and produced foods
- Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
- Seek out and support local farmers markets
- Buy organic foods as much as possible
- Avoid heavily packaged products
- Eat less meat
I’m so grateful for smart scientists who watch out for us. I’m so grateful for this earth and I’m privileged to do my part in maintaining its beauty. Meet me on a crisp, snow-capped mountain to shout Halleluiah…because sweaty Arizona is just too hot! Imagine sweating in this dry heat! Go figure…