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Monday, October 4, 2010
how to protect yourself and environment.
Protecting the environment is something we're hearing
more about all the time.The old saying "you are what you eat" a new twist these days--what you eat affects both you and the environment. At the same time, what you do and howyou do it affects the air you breathe. It's important to learn how to protect yourself and the environment at the same time--here's how.
Let's start with what you eat. Produce grown by agribusiness (large corporate-owned farming concerns) are grown with pesticides, chemicals and products that have been proven to be harmful both to the environment and to us. Washing produce in water before you eat them barely removes a fraction of it. Eating organic fruits and vegetables cuts those pesticides dramatically.
Garden organically without chemicals or pesticides, including composting and soil amendments. Your vegetables will be fresh, vibrant and contain more nutrients than what you'd buy in supermarkets. It's not hard to do. And eating food that you've grown yourself that's healthy just tastes better.
Protect yourself indoors. Start by eliminating household toxins and chemicals, including all scented aerosols and those plug in air fresheners. All of them can trigger allergies in both humans and pets. Cleaning with white vinegar is an effective way to disinfect and deodorize. For cleaning surfaces, dilute with equal parts water. Store in a new or clean spray bottle for regular use. Use small dishes of cider vinegar to eliminate household smells. It may take longer, but it works as well and you aren't putting chemicals into the air.
Use baking soda instead of commercial abrasive cleansers to scrub kitchen surfaces. Use it as a deodorizer in freezers and refrigerators.
Minimize perfumes in your environment. If you wear a strong perfume or cologne, consider lightening up. More people are experiencing environmental allergies and perfumes are often triggers. Be aware and use restraint with these.
Cleaning and laundry products are full of perfumes. Next time you walk down the laundry product grocery aisle, notice the strong scents. There are natural alternatives that don't overwhelm your senses.
Vinegar's great for laundry. Use a half-cup in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. It also helps break down laundry detergent, helping to eliminate residue.
Buy scent-free or natural laundry products. Many clean just as well as those others.
Indoor heating can harm the environment, inside and out. With rising gas and electric rates, more people are using wood stoves. Check out stoves burning alternative fuels such as pellets, corn or biomass. These don't produce creosote (like wood does) and many have near zero carbon output.
People in rural areas know about air pollutants. Traditional outdoor trash burning creates a smoky permeating haze that can cause health hazards. Many counties are banning this practice, encouraging people to take green waste to local dumps for proper disposal. This helps protect people and the environment.
Look at what you drive every day and how fast you drive it. Is your car a gas guzzler? If so, consider replacing it with a more gas efficient one, or even a hybrid. The more efficient it is, the less greenhouse gas goes into the environment.
Drive at or under the speed limit. It saves gas, it's safer and puts less pollutants into the air.
There's a lot you can to do protect yourself and the environment. Start with one or two things - even that will make a difference.