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Conservation Tips from Drew Searing

by Drew Searing/Zenger's Newsmagazine Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 at 3:12 AM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

First in a regular series of tips on how to conserve resources and energy, and generally to live with a softer footprint on the earth.

Conservation Tips from DREW SEARING

Second Hand Clothes

Apart from food, clothes shopping has the highest environmental impact of all consumer activities, with about 40K gallons of water used in the production and transport of new clothes bought by the average American household each year. Instead, resist artificially created fashion cycles. The garments found in a vintage or thrift shop are often better than new items in quality and cost a fraction of the price (your cost and the environmental cost!). Better yet, resist wearing clothes at all and join a nudist colony!

As Nature Intended

Organic produce, grown without the use of fossil fuel-based fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or genetic modification, is not only healthy for you but infinitely better for the environment (greater biodiversity at all levels of the food chain, especially the health of the soil). Unprocessed food reduces the risk of obesity, allergies, heart disease and cancer. Organic produce also contains significantly higher concentrations of essential vitamins and minerals. As an added bonus, it TASTES better too!

Refuse PLASTIC bags

The abuse of plastic bags has created a giant garbage gyre in the middle of the Pacific — double the size of Texas. Only 0.6 percent are recycled; instead most go into the landfill or worse, an estimated 100 million are let loose in the wild. These “urban tumbleweeds” clog sewers, gutters, waterways; entangle birds, and are swallowed by hundreds of thousands of whales, turtles and other marine life. Say NO to plastic bags offered at shops; instead, take not just one, but several reusable bags with you whenever you shop. Keep a few in your bike basket or your car so you’ll always remember. Take that extra walk back to your vehicle if you forget the bags. The Earth will love you for it!

Rain, Rain: don’t go away!

If one million people used RAIN BARRELS, they could collect enough water for the daily usage of about one million others! Consider installing a rain collection system for your home. With just one inch of rainfall, 600 gallons can be collected from a 1,000 square-foot roof; then water your home garden with the water saved. Plants respond better to the nitrogen-rich rainwater than to city water. For a local, environmentally-conscious rain barrel company: http://www.rainthanks.com/

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