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So What Can One Person Do?


TOP 10 TIPS


1) Join a community garden and grow your own food. Get your friends together and create a coop so you can buy bulk organic food at wholesale price. Chemical free, GE free food is No 1 and the vision of the world we wish to see in the future. Avoid ALL corporate food and supermarkets as much as you can.


2) Think ENERGY – we are directly supporting nuclear and coal burning power stations every time we turn on the switch. Limit time online (imagine how much energy is needed to power the brain behind facebook). Did you know the power used by the worlds iphones is the same as 2.2 million cars on the road!!! Its easy to make a difference...Power down and every night turn off all electronic devices (modems,tv, sky, dvd player, computer, printer etc) at the wall and let the Earth sleep deeper. Replace lighting with led’s that are super efficient. Our main objective is to reduce power consumption. Go solar or support renewable energy companies by paying your gas and electric bills to http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/
its win/win as they are also cheaper than the BIG 6.

also
www.ecotricity.co.uk/


3) Buy Less! Consider packaging and transport of goods - is it local, over packaged? How can we cut down on the amount of rubbish we are responsible for? REFUSE first then REFILL, REUSE, REPAIR and lastly RECYCLE. Create a demand for refill stations. Commit to saying "NO" to bottled water and carry your own refillable bottle. Change to re-usables (napkins, washable nappies and sanitary towels) Say “No” to take away cups and containers. Look at every piece of plastic in your life and think oil, rubbish and pollution and "Do I really need it?"
If you really DO NEED to buy something check out for all your purchases The Good Shopping Guide.  It really is a fantastic book listing all you could possibly wish to know to make the right choice.
http://www.ethical-company-organisation.org/ethical-shopping-book-bulk.htm

Also see
http://www.gooshing.co.uk



4) Think POLLUTION - Is this toxic to the environment? If you can't read the ingredients the Earth says "Yuk", please don't send it down the drain. It’s not the few drops in the product it’s the support of barrels of chemicals being produced. There are so many great effective biodegradable products available in the health food stores. Better for you and the planet.



5) Be conscious about the resources you use and the amount of water you consume, short showers and compost toilets are the go….. If you do have a flush toilet remember the great ozzy saying "If its yellow let it mellow , if its brown flush it down" Dont flush after a pee or leave the water running when you do the dishes or your teeth. Water is more precious than gold…



If we want to save the forests we really have to commit to buying recycled paper and checking all wood comes from a sustainable source. Don't wipe your bum on the old growth forests of the world!!

6) Who are you banking with? Do you know how your money is being used? Most high street banks also invest in nuclear, oil, coal and gas, the arms trade, GMO's, mega dams and all sorts of dodgy business.
Move your money to an ethical bank such as

www.triodos.co.uk


or

The Cooperative Bank

http://www.goodwithmoney.co.uk/why-do-we-need-ethical-policies/


7)  Join an organisation you believe in and support them with your time or money. Its time for tithing again and giving away some of what we earn to worthy causes and helping to make the world a better place. Imagine if everyone just gave away £1 a week?



8) Cut down on driving and flying unless its really necessary. Make as few trips as possible and if you travel abroad find a voluntary program to be a part of. Walk and cycle more. If your car is idling for more than 20 seconds turn it off. Get a hybrid as soon as you can and lets get serious about car pooling and organise our communities to travel to events together. Lets move past the day of one person per car.

9) Always stop and think....Who are you supporting? Green energy companies, ethical banks, local and organic shops or the large corporations who are primarily contributing to the problem we are facing. Remember your money is your vote and you can make such a huge difference with what you purchase. Together we can change the world.



10) Spread the word, every day in every way we are making a huge difference by the footprint we leave behind and the seeds that we sow. Embrace the change.



Preserving Fresh Water

We may think there is an abundance of water, but in reality if we imagined a 4 litre/1 gallon container only 1 tablespoon would actually be fresh drinking water on Earth. Most of the water is either in the sea or held in ice. As every day, due to climate change, more ice melts we are losing fresh water. Be aware of this precious commodity and give thanks. 

What You Can Do

* If you grow a garden ensure you collect rainwater in the winter ready for use in the spring & summer.

*Collect rain for greywater use ie. washing dishes, laundry and flushing toilet. (Best still get a compost toilet)

* Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth.

* Take showers rather than baths

* Fix leaks and repair them quickly.

* Use the "short cycle" on your washing machine. Consider purchasing a high-efficiency washer.

* Install a water-efficient showerhead. Did you know that a 10-minute shower with an inefficient showerhead can use up to 200 litres / 50 gallons of water? Installing a water-efficient showerhead can save up to 24,000 litres / 6,000 gallons of water a year?

* Install a low-flush toilet. Doing so for a family of four will save 200 litres / 50 gallons of water per day. Put a plastic drinks bottle filled with water in the sistern!!

* Reduce household pollutants. Avoid buying toxic household products. Look for a label on soaps, washing up liquids, laundry detergent, disinfectants, bleach, drain cleaners etc  that says "biodegradable" and "no phosphates". Or use vegetable-based cleaning products and biodegradable detergents available in most natural food shops.

* Do not dump hazardous chemicals, like painting supplies, lawn-care, or cleaning products down the drain. Follow disposal instructions.

* Make low-impact food choices. Routine agricultural practices contaminates groundwater with more than 47 pesticides. Buy organic foods, whose production reduces the chemical run-off into our waterways.

* Avoid wasting precious resources by buying only what you can eat.

* Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Recycling reduces the need to use raw materials for making new products, a process that is not only water-intensive, but increases water pollution

* Water plants at appropriate times. Hot weather does not necessarily mean your lawn or garden needs watering. It is best to water your garden in the cool of the morning or evening. Watch your garden for signs that it is thirsty: flowering plants will lean or wilt, lawns will leave tracks when stepped on.

* Use mulch. Wood chips, shredded hard and softwood bark, grass clippings, or tree leaves laid 3 to 4 inches thick over your garden can reduce the evaporation of water and hold back weed growth. Group plants according to water need so you avoid over or under watering each plant.

 

Preserving Oceans

Two-thirds of the Earths surface is covered by the sea. If there were no mountains, the entire planet would be covered by a layer of seawater 2,500m (8,200ft) deep. Under the ocean is the most extensive mountain range, deepest trench, the largest structure built by living organisms and the largest animal in the world, the blue whale.

Life on Earth depends on healthy oceans - from coral reef communities teeming with life to mangrove swamps that provide a home for thousands of species. Our planet's oceans are in trouble and the plant and animal life they sustain are being threatened.

Scientists believe that accidental drowning in fishing gear is the single greatest threat to the survival of many of the world's 86 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The most recent study on entanglement estimates that it kills more than 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises annually. 

What You Can Do 

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the impact on marine ecosystems and species:

* Be an informed consumer of fish and other seafood. Ask where the fish comes from and the status of the fishery. Avoid products from fisheries with excessive levels of bycatch.

* Avoid purchasing over-exploited stocks such as Atlantic swordfish, wild-caught Atlantic salmon, and sharks. 

*If you visit somewhere where there is tropical reef, ensure you do not stand on it or break it off. Coral is very fragile and some takes 50 years to grow 1 inch.

*Remember what goes down the drains ends up in the oceans. Chemicals destroy the delicate balance of life in the ocean.

*There are now over 200 "dead zones" in the Earths oceans. High nitrogen levels, from artificial fertilisers, sewage and factory run off has killed ALL life in some parts of the sea.

For more information see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology)

Protecting Forests

Forests are essential to the web of life: they are home to millions of species, protect soil from erosion, produce oxygen, store carbon dioxide, and help regulate climate. Forests are also essential to human beings: they provide us with food, fuel, shelter, medicines, and a variety of wood products. They also purify our air and water and provide us with places of recreation and renewal. With irresponsible forest practices, many of these functions are severely debilitated.

Almost half of the planet's original forests have disappeared. Of what remains, only about 10 percent are protected. In the minute it has taken you to read this page, some 64 acres (that's roughly the size of 60 football fields) of forest have been lost. Threats such as illegal or irresponsible logging, land clearance for agriculture and development, and fires destroy these ecosystems at astounding rates.

About 2.3 million square miles of forest are harvested annually to supply global consumption. And this is where you come in. As a consumer of forest products - things like paper and furniture, - your purchasing decisions have an important impact on forests. The companies that produce and sell forest products depend on your money, so they will listen to your opinions and react to your behavior.

What You Can Do 

* Buy recycled paper and always use both sides.

* Purchase conscientiously. Look for wood and paper products displaying the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label. The FSC label guarantees that your chair, plywood, snowboard, guitar, or hairbrush is made from wood harvested to rigorous environmental standards, and your purchase supports responsible forest management. You can find these products on the Web at www.certifiedwood.org. Ask for FSC certified products at hardware stores and from your housing contractor or architect.

* Encourage suppliers. If you cannot find the FSC logo on the products, ask the shop to stock them. The more customers request for products from well-managed forests, the greater the incentive for forest owners and retailers to provide them.

Specify FSC. If you work in a company, organization or statutory body encourage them to request FSC-endorsed sources every time they make a purchase.

* Join an environmental organisation and help reach out to lawmakers, corporations, and other institutions that influence forest management.

 * Protect an area of rainforest forever. A brilliant birthday gift and a real way of having an immediate effect.

www.cloudforest.org

Saving Endangered Species

 

Although no one knows exactly how many species there are on Earth, one thing is for sure the biodiversity of this planet is in rapid decline. Some estimates say more than 5% of the planets species are disappearing each decade and humans are largely to blame.

Though they may seem too large and fierce to be threatened, many species are today forced to the edge of extinction

What You Can Do 

* Buy less! Consumption of natural resources is one of the top threats to endangered species around the world, leading to habitat destruction and climate change.

* Buy organically-grown fruits, vegetables, and cotton products. Look for foods grown locally whenever you can. Non organic food is grown with pesticides and fertilisers which is extremely harmful to all forms of wildlife. Many native birds and insects are becoming extinct in the UK.

* Avoid products that contain toxic chemicals and high levels of phosphates.

* Choose products with minimal packaging and take reusable bags to the shops. Millions of animals die every year from eating plastic, especially dolphins and turtles.

* Join an environmental organisation who are protecting the worlds endangered species.

* Say "No" to Bad Souvenirs
Some souvenirs could end up costing a lot more than you paid for them. Think twice before you buy any products made from any endangered species, including animal hides and body parts, tortoise-shell, ivory, or coral - they could be illegal.

 

 Climate Change

Climate change is among the most pervasive threats to the web of life, yet we have the power to address its root causes and limit its impact on the planet. Smart energy choices made by individuals and businesses can dramatically reduce CO2 emissions and slow global warming. Without action, climate change will cause the extinction of countless species and destroy some of the world's most precious ecosystems. 

What you can do 

* Choose clean energy. Where possible select a power plan that uses at least 50% clean energy. Ask your energy supplier for green energy.

* Drive a hybrid or fuel efficient car. Save the environment and money by driving a car that gets higher MPG

* Recycle. Recycling saves a lot of energy needed to make new products. Recycle 50% of your glass, aluminum, plastic, cardboard and newspapers. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 2,400)

* Adjust your thermostat. Turn it down 3 degrees in the winter and up 3 degrees in the summer. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 1050)

* Buy a programmable thermostat. Automatically lower your monthly energy bill by giving your heat and air conditioning a break while you are asleep or out. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 1,050)

* Replace a worn-out refrigerator with an Energy Star model.

*Turn your computer off overnight and put it into a power save mode. A standard monitor left on overnight uses enough energy to print 5,300 copies. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 950)

*Do not leave computer, tv, dvd etc on standby, turn it all OFF at the mains.

*Drive 15 miles less each week
. Shrink your petrol costs and your waistline by walking, biking and taking public transportation. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 900)

*Avoid idling. Give your engine and the climate a break by turning off your car when you aren't moving. Try to cut out 10 minutes of daily idling. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 550)

* Wash clothes in cold or warm water. Skip the hot water on 2 loads per week. You'll save energy and should have less wrinkled cloths. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 500)

* Use compact fluorescent bulbs. It's a bright idea to replace 3 incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs that last up to 10 times as long and use 1/4 of the energy. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 300). Dispose of them responsibly, do not throw in the landfill. 

* Keep your tyres filled. Your ride will be smoother and you'll save up to 5% on your fuel bill. (Pounds of CO2 Savings Per Year = 275)


So, go on, do it now, write down a few things you remember from this list and easy changes you can commit to. Every one of us can make a difference, we just need to put the planet first.

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