So, you have decided you want to be a Superhero and save the world! If no one has ever told you or shown you how to treat the Earth with love & respect, then how are you supposed to know? My grandma always said, “monkey see, monkey do”. So, for the purpose of this article we will focus on, waste, water & pollutants. Along with providing some action steps to get each of you on your way to being a superhero & saving the world TODAY!
Superheroes start by examining their own environmental practices first. While unable to control the behavior of others, we are completely capable of striving to bee our best selves. In fact, the best way to influence the actions of others is to live by example and inspire others to do the same. When one lives by example, they are also telling companies that I will not purchase your goods and services if you continue to destroy my home, the Earth. One of your first action steps to BEEcoming the change you want to see in the world is to go to BeeAmazing.com & become a Bee Hive Club (BHC) member. As a BHC member you will have access to my video blog series “Tips & Tricks to Save $ While Saving the Earth” (T & T). This series covers everything from repurposing suggestions to my water wise way of washing the dishes. Also found on the site is my “Bee Better” page, a list of companies to avoid due to the havoc they reap on the environment. At BeeAmazing.com not only do you find guidance on how to hone your Superhero skills. This is also where BHC members are reward with points & prizes for doing just that. So, join today and help SAVE THE WORLD!!!
Now let’s discuss those three main pivotal areas of personal environmental practices & behaviors that we are looking to improve, waste, water, & pollutants.
Currently, the world produces 2.3 billion tons of trash. Not sure how much that is? If you were to stack up 700 million limousines it would weigh roughly the same as one year of solid waste produced by people on the earth. Currently, the United States is the largest producer of waste, at roughly three times more than the global average. With each American producing 1,704 lbs of garbage a year, I say to this nation “we amust all Bee Better!” So here are a few of my thoughts on waste. The proposed questions can help you to examine and identify areas in which you can bee better.
Waste, we all create it, but the question is how you dispose of it? I propose that much of what we see as waste is actually an item that no longer fulfills its intended purpose, yet still has value. Try viewing the item as separate and new from its original design. What remains in your hand & how could you use that?
Do you re-use, re-purpose, recycle? In that order? Do you dispose of your hazardous materials properly? What about old batteries and electronics? Do you throw them in your garbage or take them to electronic recycling centers? When you throw them in the trash you add to the 49% of waste actively killing our planet. Old clothes Goodwill, homeless or cleaning rags? Each item you have discard should work its way down a list of options depending on its wear. Sending an item to a landfill should always be our last resort. As a Superhero it is also our responsibility to purchase products made from recycled goods. Grove.com is a resource for green products like recycled plastic trash bags. Also look for my video blog series “Tips & Tricks: Re-using & Repurposing”.
A good way to always remember those reusable shopping bags is to put them by the door as soon as they are empty. Take them to the car before your trip to the store and of course, being a Superhero, means walking back out to the car if you forget to take them inside. Only use single use products, when no other option is available. Superhero’s go for a rag to clean a spill, rather than a paper towel.
Water, it has been said to be the elixir of life. Not surprising considering every living organism on Earth depends on water for survival. Making clean water the most valuable resource on Earth. Nationwide it is believed that Americans waste approximately 900 billion gallons of water annually. This number only reflects what is wasted not what is used. Unless we drastically reduce our water use immediately, there will be no more clean water on the planet within the next 20 years.
Always SLOW THE FLOW (STF). This is an area that I need to pay personal attention to. I find that when first turning on the faucet I have the habit of turning it on full blast. It’s remarkable how little water is necessary to complete most of our daily tasks. The average family can save 13,000 gallons of water and $130 annually by switching to low flow toilets. One should strive to have only “WaterSense” labeled fixtures & appliances. Look for your local petition brought to you by Emerald Ambassadors & Bee Amazing for residential rebates for converting your home, into a “WaterSense” home.
If we are going to save the world, we are also going to have to get creative. My cat is picky when it comes to her water bowl. Rather than pouring it down the drain, I keep a small decorative watering pot on the window seal, in the kitchen. When its full I use that water to water my plants. A great way to save water & $ is to use drought resistant landscaping for larger yard areas & only water when needed. Make sure to fix any leaks or drips immediately & always turn the water off when not being actively used. This includes while brushing your teeth. Now that we have talked about conserving water, lets discuss preserving the water supply we currently have.
Pollutants are our final topic today. They have a devastating effect on every aspect of the environment. While today’s society cannot avoid introducing pollutants into the environment, we can however altar how much and which ones.
Bee sure to always dispose of hazardous waste (HW) properly & take precautions to keep it out of the water supply. Remember what goes into the ground soil eventually makes it into the water table. Commonly used household items contaminating the water supply include; batteries, paints & paint thinners, motor oil, cleaners, pesticides. All of these and more are destroying the precious little water we have left. Disposing of HW properly cost time & money making it less preferable to many. Yet, superheroes are willing to do what it takes to order to save the world!
I understand that green products are more expensive and not everyone can afford them. Part of the reason they are more expensive is because there is a smaller demand. Therefore, if you can go green you have a duty & a responsibility to do so whenever possible. One thing everyone can do to save money and save the Earth is to turn off your car when in the drive-through or better yet go inside. The biggest offenders are almost always the large corporations. When you buy a product from a company that repeatedly & unapologetically chooses profit margins over the continuation of life on this planet, you are saying you agree with their choice. Just to name a few in no particular order; ExxonMobil, Coca Cola, Nestle, Chevron, Walmart & IKEA. This is why, Superheroes educate themselves about which companies to avoid. Greenpeace as well as Bee Amazing’s “Bee A Better Business” page are reliable resources on companies to avoid.
As we wrap up, here is a list of action steps to take to be a Superhero & earn “Pollen Points” (P.P.) for completing. Just upload videos of your Superhero feats, to your Bee Hive Club member page and collect your P.P. to spend in the Hive Market. Turn off lights every time you leave a room or better yet install motion sensors. Build gardens rich with plants that attract your local pollinators. Plant a tree or support a tree planting organization. Volunteer and spend your time building your own personal environmental project or join one already organized. Save your takeout containers, re-fill them and feed the house-less.
It is no longer enough to simply not litter. Rather now we must go the extra and pick up trash for others. Being a Superhero means speaking up politely, yet firmly when you see others destroying the Earth. Not because you are trying to get them in trouble, but rather you are trying to model proper behavior. If the person refuses to pick up the trash, pick it up for them. It’s not always about affecting the person who littered but rather all the other people watching the scene play out. I have no doubt that if enough of us strive to bee our best selves, the rest will follow. So, I implore you to please “Bee the Change”!!!