Help the Planet & Earn Your Point

Welcome to week 2, challengers! I’m so pleased with everyone’s positive feedback so far, and am excited to get healthy with all of you!

I heard a few talk about it at the meeting, and noticed many of you did not receive an Eco-Wellness point this week. I thought I’d share some tips here. There are some great resources out there…one in particular that I found helpful was 50 Ways to Help the Planet. I took some ideas from different sources and am posting them here as a jumping off point.

  • Clean up trash on the side of the road or playground or any public place.
  • Call an animal shelter and donate at least one item they need.
  • Stand outside a supermarket and give people reusable shopping bags.
  • Hand out long-life light bulbs to those around you.
  • Give an eco-friendly gift to at least 1 neighbor.
  • Green your food!Ā  Cook a locally grown, organic, or vegetarian meal for your friends.
  • Make and post signs with tips to reduce water use.
  • Switch as many bulbs as possible in your home to compact fluorescent bulbs, or LED bulbs. If every household in the United State replaced one regular light bulb with one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.
  • Install a low-flow shower head.
  • Start composting.
  • Switch to a low-flow toilet.
  • Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you’re saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water.
  • Get a clothesline or rack to dry your clothes by the air. Your wardrobe will maintain color and fit, and you’ll save money.
  • If all the households in the U.S. switched from hot-hot cycle to warm-cold, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day. Only launder when you have a full load.
  • You can reuse gift bags, bows and event paper, but you can also make something unique by using old maps, cloth or even newspaper. Flip a paper grocery bag inside out and give your child stamps or markers to create their own wrapping paper that’s environmentally friendly and extra special for the recipient.
  • Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and possibly your health. The EPA’s standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA’s standards for bottled water.
  • Have a no-bath week, and take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water. Not only will you reduce water consumption, but the energy costs associated with heating the water.
  • Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water. If everyone in the country saved just one gallon from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from the Great Lakes every day.
  • Keeping the damper open (when you’re not using your fireplace) is like keeping a 48-inch window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney. This can add up to hundreds of dollars each winter in energy loss.

What do you think? Are these good ideas? Are they feasible? For this week’s post, please share your ideas on how we can better our environment and how you’re going to earn your Eco-Well points.


6 thoughts on “Help the Planet & Earn Your Point

  1. Danielle January 31, 2012 / 8:32 pm

    I have recently started to drink tap water again, okay about a year or so now so I don’t have many plastic water bottles to recycle. However I am horrible about leaving lights on, so I am making it a goal to look behind myself to make sure the lights are out when I leave a room. I also never turn off my computer, so I think I will start shutting it down every night. I know its nothing exciting or even much of an impact, but its something. I am REALLY enjoying the challenge so far, I am a bit tired but I guess that is to be expected. You can’t just start running out of the blue and expect your body to not be surprised! šŸ™‚ I am looking forward to the next 5? weeks with the wonderful group that we have. I hope you all reach your goals this week!! šŸ˜€

  2. Nancy St. Peter January 31, 2012 / 9:16 pm

    When I’m home I always drink tap water but when in the car I had bottled water and have been surprised how those bottles add up. Recently I got a good sized refillable water bottle and I’m calling the plastic bottles quits.
    I agree with Danielle about the computers and there are 2 of them on in my house as we speak…blog…. I’m going to shut mine down also. Thanks for a good idea.
    I worked hard on the treadmill, bike and rowing machine today but I need to do strength workouts and I haven’t. So as this challenge continues I’m going to work on that.

    • Vinter Vigglov Wellness Challenge February 6, 2012 / 4:04 pm

      My car is the worst when it comes to collecting plastic bottles! I credit that to being thirsty while shopping or eating when I’m out and about and never having my reusable water bottle on me. I’ve been really conscious about not buying plastic bottles, and always carrying my reusable ones around. Great job, Nancy!
      Also, congrats on starting your strength program. It was fun working with you both last week.

  3. Triva Evans February 4, 2012 / 4:37 pm

    I am the worst person in the world when it comes to leaving lights on! I am just about the most energy inefficient person ever. So this week I have been working on a few things.

    1. Turning off the lights when I leave a room.
    2. Keeping the lights off if they are not really needed (all of my living room/kitchen lights on during the day while there is plenty of sunlight for example)
    3. Turning the computer off when I am not using it.
    4. Unplugging chargers after I am done using them. I used to have them plugged in ALL the time.

    It has been a bit hard to remember but I think my energy bill will thank me šŸ™‚

    • Vinter Vigglov Wellness Challenge February 6, 2012 / 4:06 pm

      Great ideas, Triva! I’ve been trying to do the same. I feel like my house is really dark now at night, because I don’t leave unnecessary lights on anymore. And maybe soon you will be the most EFFICIENT person ever! :]

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