Nontoxic and Natural – Earth Day – April 22, 2018

“Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waving…wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our very being, making us glide and sing.” John Muir

Here is a sample of one student’s responses to the “Save the Planet” assignment for an Introduction to Ethics class – in honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2018.

Some of the changes we have made to make our home to be more eco-friendly are:

  1. We are trying not to eat processed foods. In December of 2007, I changed my eating habits and with this change my husband, who does the majority of the cooking, starting cooking healthier. We are able to buy honey locally and use it as a sweetener in many recipes. We have garden and apple orchards so we can many of our vegetables and make jams.
  2. The computers sleep whenever they are not in use and are turned off every evening. I use cruise control, a commercial car wash, and keep my car properly maintained. I volunteer my time with Habitat for Humanity; our local Affiliate’s homes are Energy Star and Green Build Certified. When we purchased our new appliances, they were all Energy Star rated.
  3. According to the EPA, each person in the United States creates about four and a half pounds of trash every day. We are reducing that number by recycling anything and everything we can. We recycle our newspapers, one four-foot high stack of newspapers is the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree. We also recycle our plastic, glass, tin, and aluminum. We are very fortunate that our city has weekly curbside recycling of paper and plastic. My daughters and I carry canvas bags when we shop, when rolled they are small and fit in your purse. When we clean our closets, and we donate our items locally.
  4. I use a stainless steel bottle for my water and carry a coffee mug. When you buy one liter of water at the store, you’re actually buying about six liters of water because when manufacturers make plastic bottles, it takes five liters of water to cool the plastic.
  5. We have eliminated “phantom power” at home. If a gadget charger is left in an outlet, it continues to use power—even if it’s turned off. Not only are you using energy you don’t need to be using, but it goes on your energy bill.
  6. We are trying not to use paper napkins on a regular basis, the average person uses 2,200 of them a year, per person on average, 6 a day. If everyone gave up one napkin a day, we could save a billion pounds of paper waste from going to landfills each year.
  7. I just learned this — Receipts from 8 billion ATM transactions every year are one of the biggest sources of litter on the planet. If everyone left their receipts in the machine, it would save a roll of paper more than 2 billion feet long—enough to circle the equator more than 15 times. I will do this!


   Quotations for your further reflection:

“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness” (John Muir)

“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.” (William Wordsworth)

“The earth has enough for every person’s need, but not for every person’s greed” (Mahatma Gandhi)

“The expansion of human power has hardly begun, and what we are going to do with our power may either save or destroy our planet.  The earth may be of small significance within the infinite universe. But if it is of some significance, we hold the key to it.  In our own age we have been forced into the realization that there will be either one world, or no world.” (Abraham Joshua Heschel)


One – liners:

Buy products with no high fructose corn syrup.

Do not over hunt an area.

Use old clothes for rags.

Shop at second hand stores.

Buy used books or use the library.

Donate unwanted items.

Buy better made products; they will last longer take less room in landfills.

Turn lights off during the day.

Use a programmable thermostat.

Wear sweaters instead of turning up the heat.

Buy children’s toys at rummage sales.

Wash in cold water.

Drink less sodas and more water (less energy used).

Make a grocery list throughout the week, shop once.

Only use cell phones, television and computers when necessary.

Decorate a lawn with flowers and trees not lawn ornaments.


“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”  Aldous Huxley

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