Yesterday was EARTH DAY another great way of reminding all in the world just how important our awareness has to be in improving our environment and minimizing the negative effects we humans have on it. While I love these days of awareness, I thought I would write about it today - a day later - to emphasize how doing something for one day pales in comparrison to the effect we can have when we are aware of something - and do something about it - EVERY day of the year. So here are some simple suggestions - primarily focused on our real estate world - on how all of us can contribute to improving our planet for future generations:
1. Avoid Plastic wherever possible. It is extremely toxic. There is enough science behind what plastic does to the environment, so even if you don't care about that landfill 'over there' know that microscopic - and not-so-microscopic - plastic particles are finding their way into our food. And you don't want to be eating plastic! Avoid plastic water bottles. They are toxic for you and the planet.
2. Take public transportation, or try never to be alone in a car. Not easy in out profession at all! So when you cannot do this, try to be driving a car that burns as little fossil fuel as possible, or an electric car. Shared rides and cars help too. Walking and cycling is good for you as long as you aren't completely distracted by your tech!
3. Encourage green energy sources by subscribing to them personally and encouraging builders and homeowners to install geo-thermal, solar and other non-carbon energy into their homes.
4. Use LED light bulbs. There are many now that emulate almost the exact light quality of an incandescent bulb and they dim well. Use 2,700K temperature bulbs. We don't have to look ugly to be responsible. Turn off lights when not needed, even in your office. Use natural light wherever possible.
5. Avoid clothing made of fibers that aren't bio-degradable. Much of what is in your closet could possibly take decades to biodegrade. And chances are those un-natural high-tech fibers are not good for the environment.
6. Take a look at what you throw away and cut it by half. We waste SO MUCH! Try to re-cycle everything. Compost.
7. Try to eliminate as much unnecessary paper mail. Yes, we are agents and need to do mailings to market ourselves and our properties, but be aware of what this does to our environment. Plastic-wrapped mailings are not good for our planet.... Pay bills online.
8. Eat local, organic food that has not been subjected to pesticides and chemicals/antibiotics. This will encourage less use of these products that are known to be ultra-harmful, especially when they make their way into our drinking water. Transporting food long distances is not great for the environment.
9. Love that super-green lawn? Use organic fertilizers and soils. Yes, those chemical-infused additives are very effective, but are also very harmful. Maybe plant a small vegetable or herb garden.
10. Conserve water, especially in areas that are prone to drought. It may be as simple as not running your water non-stop while brushing your teeth! Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Collect rainwater.
11. Insulate, insulate, insulate. Most homes are energy-inefficient because of poor sealing and inadequate insulation. Use programmable thermostats to increase efficiency.
12. Clean your air at home with house plants. Plant trees. Eliminate artificial, toxic odors. PS: many candles emit toxins into the air.... There are organic alternatives.
13. Buy energy-efficient appliances and use them with efficiency in mind.
14. Buy used/existing products to avoid unnecessary waste. Used furniture is a good example.
15. A shared living environment is GREAT for the planet, ie: apartments. Renovating an old house - and retro-fitting it for energy efficiency - is far better for the environment than tearing it down and replacing it with a new home.
Imagine if we ALL did these things EVERY day, or as much as possible!.....Let's love our planet and do our share to keep her alive!