"Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process, heal our own."
- Wangari Maathai

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting and spending we lay waste our powers ....

William Wordsworth wrote this in 1807:

The world is too much with us; late and soon
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

If he thought things were bad 200 years ago,  I wonder what he would have said about the world and what we are doing to his beloved Nature if he were alive today! 

I made up a list of a few simple things that if implemented, could lighten our load on the planet:

What we can do.

1.  Buy natural products and buy local whenever possible.
2.  Avoid all chemicals.
3.  Eat organic produce (it is not only healthier, it is better for the environment)
4.  Eliminate waste where possible and where not possible, reduce, re-use or recycle:
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Organic matter (garden and kitchen scraps should never be sent to any landfill)
  • Clothing, linen, household goods.
5.  Observe at least one 'buy nothing day' per week - more if you can! 
6.  Use your car less - start a lift club or live closer to work.
7.  Read labels.  If ingredients are not listed or you don't understand what they are, don't buy the product.
8.  Buy yourself Ruth Winter's series of consumer dictionaries and educate yourself.
9.  Remember most poisons/chemicals have not been tested for safety (out of 80,000 man-made chemicals, only about 2,000 have been tested for safety).  We have no idea what these poisons/chemicals are doing to our health, our children's health or the health of the planet on which we depend.  If you think you can do without the planet, just try and stop breathing for 10 minutes and see what happens.
10.  As a general cleaning agent use one cup of vinegar per 10litres of hot water.  Stronger solutions of 50/50 water/vinegar or neat vinegar can be used on tougher dirt.  Add essential oil for fragrance if you like.  The vinegar smell disappears within 5 - 10 minutes.  Vinegar is a very powerful cleaning agent.
11.  Make air freshener using 1/2 cup white alcohol (cheap vodka works well) 20 - 30 drops each of 2 to 3 essential oils of your choice.  Pour into spray bottle and fill up with water.  Shake before use. Alternatively, we all know that lighting a flame eradicates unpleasant odours, so leave a lighter and a candle in the loo.
12.  Use natural soaps for personal use and natural laundry soaps for laundry. 
13.  Stop using fabric softeners.
14.  Share this information with all your friends.  Get them to stop using poisons and chemicals as well.
15.  Consider 'right' livelihood options. 

You can make a difference. 

Until next time

Diana Elsmere