Posts tagged to-do

Saving the Planet from your Browser

I’ll admit it – I’m addicted to the web. Putting in around 50 hours a week, it’s more than a full-time job! So when I see way that I can help the planet without even getting up from the computer, it’s a big deal. Here are a few “goodies” from the internet that I’ve come across lately. None require more than a minute or two to make a real contribution to a world-saving cause.

Surf the Web, Save the Planet

First up, Friends Green. This Google replacement allows you to run a search using Google technology. The bonus? For every search you run through their site, they make a donation to saving the rainforest. There aren’t a ton of features, like with Google, but if you know “Search engine speak”, you should still be able to find everything you need. Including a piece of pristine rainforest when you need one.

Next, email. Planet Save has been providing planet-friendly email accounts for years. Their service is reliable and fast, and every time you send an email, they donate to a worthy cause. Their site is also a storehouse for environmental news and activism opportunities.

Want to donate to someone in need? Here are four sites that let you do it (for free!) with the click of a button. Visit each often, or if you use iGoogle, get a widget that places all four links together for easy access here: Add to Google. Poverty Fighters even lets you count clicks toward your college alma mater, keeping tabs on the most philanthropic school out there.

Hunger Site
Hunger Fighters
Por Los Chicos
Poverty Fighters

Finally, when trying to cut down on your carbon consumption, it can be hard to tell when you’re making progress. Enter The Carbon Diet. This site lets you create a profile and enter your daily carbon expenses, based on the carbon “accounts” you set up (these are the sources of your carbon emissions). It will then make a nice “diet chart” for you, showing your progress. You can even compete with your friends to see who makes the biggest cuts. Kind of like Weight Watchers for greenies.

So next time you think, I’m too _______ to do anything right now, you can jump online, make a quick contribution to the greater good, and get back to your excuses.

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Trashing our Oceans

Stuck in a rut trying to motivate yourself toward a greener life? Here’s an animation that you should see. Greenpeace – The Journey of Trash . Just click on the link above to view it.

Plastic Beach, Hawaii

If you want to help the world out in some tangible way TODAY, just take a look in your trash can. See a lot of plastic? Remember that these days, recycling companies are able to take many more types of plastics than even a few years ago. According to one site I visited recently, there is enough dissolved plastic in our oceans to place a saran wrap thickness of it over the surface of every ocean on earth. And most of that is in little tiny bits, which sea animals easily mistake for plankton and other small prey. If, as recent studies have shown, you absorb plastic chemicals into your body when drinking from plastic containers (see this USA Today article for starters), then imagine what eating a fish who’s spent his life dining on plastics might do. Scary thought. Every piece of trash that you recycle is one less that can find its way out to sea. As it stands now, there are areas of the ocean so think with floating trash that shipping boats can’t even pass through them, so they route their ships around them, using more fuel.

When I first heard about the “North Pacific Gyre” as the largest water landfill on earth is called, it seemed impossible. Why not just load it up on ships and haul it back to port for proper(ish) burial? But the problem is, we put so much INTO the ocean every year, even with dredging, we’d hardly be able to keep up. So do yourself, and the planet, a favor today. Make a commitment to put ONE LESS PIECE of non-biodegradable trash into your trash can, whether you find another use for it, you buy a product with less packaging, or you take another look at what might be recyclable in your can. One. How hard is that? Do that every day for a month (okay baby steppers, start with a week), imagine how happy the fish (and the people in Alaska, Russia and Japan!) will be. That’s reason enough for me!

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