post celebratory environmental sadness

The festival is over...but remnants remain.....

This may be the Santa-Cruz-environmental-steward in me - but my environment needs help. If you'll notice the red firecracker debris, the coal soot buildup, or the discarded garbage frozen in the ice pack...it all needs to go. No, that is not dirt - its coal soot from the Plants that heat the city.
What is an ecological-minded gal to do? Can I make lasting change? .....

My mom (bless her heart) was fanatical about recycling, organic foods, homemade everything, simplicity, and saving the earth - which has deeply influenced my sense of responsibility to care for the earth as a steward of an irreplaceable gift. I remember as a child crushing cans with such gusto - knowing that I was going to earn some cash in return. Maybe I didn't fully understand the lasting impact of those acts as a child, but it has shaped who I am today. Recycling is something that is ingrained in my being, and even more so as I see the Earth as a gift to mankind. There are many other ways we can preserve the planet - but it starts with ME first.

Here are some small ways we have chosen to live lightly on this planet, and be mindful consumers on earth.

Avoid being excessive - home-size, waste
Downsize: clothing, toys, gear, kitchen items
Walk/bike instead of using the bus/taxi
Take stairs more often - save electricity, be healthy!
Turn off unneeded lights, electric items, heat
Take shorter showers (yikes)
Don't let water run while we wash dishes
Use less paper - go paperless with bills!
Use more cloth - less paper waste
Wash only full loads of laundry & hang laundry to dry
Make meal plans: stop wasting food
Strive to buy things with less packaging
Take a canvas bag to the market for my groceries (no plastic bags!)

Cups! ...less dishes to wash
Use biodegradable items
Reuse water bottles (carry one with us!)
Utilize hand-me-downs, pass on what we don't use
Buy second-hand items

Recycle our plastic, glass, cardboard, tin/aluminum (give rebates to needy)
Pick up others' trash when appropriate

These simple ways of stewarding the earth will leave a smaller ecological footprint on the future, even in this nation! I am sure there are more ways we could live greener, so please share your ideas with us! I know that even one persons/family's lifestyle-change will add up to BIG change. You don’t have to be a radical tree hugger to take care of creation. It’s just part of stewardship.