We take care of the things we love. You love that pair of red shoes, so you keep them shiny, clean and bring them to the shoe repair when they're worn down. You love your car, so you wash it, wax it and maintain its engine. But the fact is, when that pair of shoes is finally worn out and ragged, you can buy a new pair of shoes; when your car has run its last mile, you purchase a new one.
Guess what? When this planet is all used up... That's it!
Our Earth is not a "thing" like shoes or a car. It's a living, breathing system and, just like the people we love, when it dies it won't come back.
The end of this planet, as we know it, is closer than you think.
Frightening facts about the planet
Here are only a few of many frightening realities that may inspire you to make a commitment to 5 easy ways to love our planet:
- On average, a person in the U.S. uses energy two times more than a person in Japan or West Germany does, and 50 times more than a person in India.
- There are about 500 million automobiles on the planet, burning an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day. Each gallon releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.
- According to information from EPA documents, over 2300 chemicals that can cause cancer have been detected in U.S. drinking water.
- The average home uses over 200 gallons of water per day.
- The average American makes about 3.5 pounds of trash a day.
- We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year.
- It takes half the output of the Alaskan pipeline to heat the air that escapes from all the homes in the US during a year.
- Scientists say the current extinction rate is now up to 10,000 times faster than what has historically been recorded as normal.
"We have arrived at a moment of decision. Our home -- Earth -- is in grave danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, of course, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings." - Al Gore
Here are 5 easy ways to save and love our planet
(Of course, there are many more you are welcome to explore.)
- Get an energy audit from your electric company.
- Turn the lights off.
- Turn down the heat a few degrees in winter (wear a sweater).
- Turn up the a/c a few degrees in summer or use fans (wear less).
- Plug up spaces under exterior doors where heat and a/c may be escaping.
- Repair drippy faucets.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth.
- Turn off water while shampooing.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Skip a shower on days you don't go out.
- Properly dispose of toxic wastes like paint, batteries and cleaning supplies that contaminate our water supply.
- Use xeroscape landscaping requiring minimum water.
- Whenever possible, use a bus or subway, ride your bike or walk.
- Slow down! Reduce your speed when driving.
- Check your tire pressure for better mpg.
- Replace your air filter for better performance and economy.
- Consider a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle when shopping for a new car.
- Plan your day to minimize the number of car trips.
- Separate and save paper, glass, plastic and aluminum for your local recycling center.
- Donate to charity unused clothing or household items that are still in good condition.
- Use less paper. Reuse old paper.
- Say, "No!" to paper and plastic. Take reusable cloth bags to the grocery instead.
- Avoid products that are used once and then thrown away.
- Put used motor oil into a clean plastic container and turn it into an oil recycling location. Do not mix in cooking oil!
- Save used cooking oil for re-use when cooking another meal.
- Buy recycled products.
Save the animals!
- Don't buy products if animals were killed to make it.
- Snip apart each ring of your six-pack plastic drink holder before throwing them out.
- Don't buy pets taken from the wild.
- Support zoos that take good care of animals and breed endangered animals.
- Buy recycled paper and save paper for recycling to help conserve forested habitats.
Earth is our planet, our home. We need to love it and care for it today! Tomorrow is too late. It's the precious legacy we will leave our children, grandchildren and generations to come.
More info on going green and being eco-friendly
Reuse before recycling: Give your garbage a second life!
Great tips to help you save gas
10 eco-friendly ways to green your home and family