'How I Save the Earth...a Little Every Day'
Beliefnet users recount their personal triumphs in helping to keep our environment alive and well in the 21st century.
1. We Became Calendar Girls
Susan Milette, Fort Pierce, FL
|The Seagrass Awareness|
The Seagrass Awareness Calendar idea came about on a camping, kayak, and yoga weekend trip with several women of a variety of ages and my photographer husband. We shared a desire to do something to help restore the health of the Indian River Lagoon. Since 1950, about thirty percent of the Indian River Lagoon's seagrass beds have been lost. These are true flowering plants that stabilize sediments and provide food and nursery grounds for hundreds of ecologically and economically important species. Our hope is that the Seagrass Awareness Calendar will initiate thought, then create conversation that will prompt responsible action now and in the future.
Each participant gave a voice to the river. We have somewhat bared ourselves in an effort to get your attention. All of the proceeds aid the recovery and well-being of the Indian River Lagoon. Our 16-month calendar (from Sept . '06 to Dec. '07) will be available soon by ordering from Riverscoalition.org.
Rose-Mary Gower, North Wales, UK
|John-Paul Gower, 21,|
As a family we recycle what we can. We separate out glass, plastic, cardboard, cans and newspapers, taking it down to our recycling centre when we are passing it--no point in using the petrol to make a special journey there as that would defeat the object of the exercise! We also turn off the TV standby button, and switch off unnecessary lights, just our small bit to try to save our precious planet for our grandchildren!
3. We're All Vegan
My family is all vegan. This reduces our water usage, soil depletion, petroleum use, and eliminates pollution from animal agriculture.
Susan Porter, Amarillo, TX
|Susan Porter mulches her|
There are so many things we need to do to recover the environment. One of the main things I've done is to have only one child. I consciously made this decision 20 years ago and I have never regretted it. There are too many of us on the planet for us to live sustainably....Americans consume more than any other country in the world. Can we change the way we think about what we need to live? If we don't we will be forced to change at some point, whether we want to or not.
5. I Organize Moms Who Work for Air Quality
Jeri Sundvall-Williams, Portland, OR
I am the director of [an environmental action organization] that in the last 10 years has worked in N/NE Portland to address air quality issues and how they affect public health in the residents of our community. We are mostly a group of low-income moms who work together to educate and speak out for ourselves and through that process have educated ourselves to shut done some of the operations of a steel mill, defeated the expansion of the freeway through our community, built community gardens and worked with each other to alleviate asthma triggers in our homes through utilizing a program designed by the American Lung association.
6. I Sift Sand
Rosa Lee, Pembroke, Ontario, Canada
Every winter, sand is dumped everywhere to combat the ice. This includes the back lawn of our apartment building where some residents walk. In the spring, the sand leaches into the soil, slowing making it harder and harder for the ground to support vegetation. To care for my immediate environment, I sweep up the accumulated sand from the walk way to my back step--yes, I sweep the lawn. Then, I sift the sand to remove debris (grass, leaves, etc.) and return the sand to the sandbox for use next winter. The neighbours may think I'm a nut, but the plantlife around my home has a much better opinion of me :-)