Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Earth Day! But Why Not Everyday?

As we can see in recent years, we are damaging the planet Earth daily. The 14th Degree and Beyond has asked our readers what they've done to erase their environmental footprints and we ourselves have been very mindful of how we treat our planet. What environmental issues do you find most disturbing? What if anything do you do to live a "green" lifestyle? Why is is important or not important to you? What do you love most about the planet Earth? How do you see yourself/Black Woman in relation to th eplanet Earth and all of its processes?
Sci-Honor Devotion

1 comment:

Eboni Joy said...

Global warming is one of the most disturbing environmental issues for me because it is very obviously affecting weather conditions world wide which in turn are creating more powerful natural disasters and worsening the human condition. Animal Cruelty and not supporting the livestock industry is also very important to me - it is what propelled me to become a vegetarian. The energy it takes to raise and confine these animals, the waste created, the pollution emitted from meat packaging plants and transporting meats... it all has an adverse effect on the environment and thus our and our children's lives.

What I do to do SOMETHING (as minute as it may be) to support a green lifestyle is constantly educate myself about renewable energy, sustainable living, and new ways to go green on a budget, then share that knowledge with others. I've maintained a vegetarian diet for 17 years and counting; I recycle the bulk of my glass, paper, plastic, aluminum and tin products/packaging; I conserve by not wrapping presents, limiting the processed foods I purchase by buying mostly produce (goods that don't require packaging); I buy local often and support local and organic farmers; I get my care maintenanced/oil changes regularly; I turn off/unplug unused electrical items; I don't run the water when brushing my teeth or washing dishes; and I keep my thermostat at 70 in the winter and 80 in the summer.

I'm far from perfect though, I take way too long in the shower, I don't carpool often (except for with my God or the seeds), I never ride public transportation (my job requires me to have a car), I unfortunately think it's more sanitary to wash my clothes in warm/hot water so I don't use cold in the laundry either... I got a long way to go in refining my life to be more environmentally friendly; and it's important to me to do this because it will improve the quality of life for future generations and if enough people refine their ways it'll change the tide of our now dying planet and all the living beings suffering from humans' wastefulness (yes, I know, spoken like a true tree-hugger... and proud of it).

As a Black woman connected to my home planet I see the similarities between me and it in the fact that when our creations (children,family) suffer we suffer and when we suffer our creations suffer... like the Earth, women are very giving and nurturing... but "hell hath no fury like a woman scorn" and the 2004 Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Rita showed and proved how the planet Earth's fury is relatable to that statement!

Here are some substantial environmental friendly ways of living that can really make a difference (
- Eat less meat. Raising livestock is one of the most significant contributors to a long list of environmental problems from climate change to deforestation to water pollution. No one is suggesting you go vegan, but anything you can do to cut back on meat will make a big difference. Start by trimming down your portion size to about three ounces (the size of a deck of playing cards), suggests Aaron Huertas at The Union of Concerned Scientists.

- Take good care of your car. Tuning up your engine, replacing your air filters and motor oil regularly, and keeping your tires properly inflated will improve your car's fuel economy by 8% to 20%, according to Jenny Powers at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

- Make changes in how you do your laundry. Wash your clothes in cold water. Up to 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothing goes to heating water, according to the Department of Energy. Rack up even more savings by air-drying some of your clothing.
Want to do more (or something different)?

- Anything you can do to drive less or more efficiently will make a difference. Bundle errands, shop online, walk, bike, and take public transportation whenever you can. Try carpooling or telecommuting once a week. When it's time to buy a new car, purchase the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the class of car you need.

- There are countless ways you can save energy (and money) at home. Here's a short list of free and low-cost ways to make a difference (in order from least to most impact): Turn out unneeded lights, unplug an extra fridge, use the energy-saving mode on appliances, install a programmable thermostat, seal large air leaks, or add insulation to your attic.

Eboni Joy Asiatic