Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love Your Planet . . .

Earth Day turns 40 today, and we have made significant strides in the last 4 decades:
-Smog levels have dropped by a quarter since 1970
-lead levels in the air are down more than 90%
-Formerly burning lakes and rivers are now open to swimmers
-In 2009, 1 in 50 adults traded in their vehicle for a more fuel-efficient hybrid, electric, or alternative fuel vehicle

In spite of these gains, there is still a long way to go:
-Since the first Earth Day, carbon dioxide levels in the air have increased by 19 percent, pushing the average annual world temperature up about 1 degree Fahrenheit, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
-Only 1% of China’s 560 million city residents breathe air that is considered safe by the European Union.
-Every day in the U.S., we produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building.
-At least 50 million acres of rainforest are lost every year, totaling an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined.
-Average temperatures will increase by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current pace.

 Fortunately, there's a lot we can do to try to make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren:
-Change the bulbs in your house to compact flourescent bulbs; they last longer and use less electricity!
-Americans use more water than any other country! Conserve water by taking shorter showers, planting a drout-friendly garden or lawn, and turning off the tap while you brush your teeth!
-Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Upcycle your current wardrobe rather than throwing away old clothes, recycle your trash in blue bins and bags, and use reusable bags every week when you grocery shop.
-Buy local and in-season, or grow your own produce! This not only supports local organic farmers, but it keeps harmful pesticides out of your body and the air.
-Unplug appliances when not in use, especially electronic chargers, which draw huge amounts of electricity just by being plugged in!
Remember this last statistic: If every country used resources like America does, we would need 5 planets to sustain us! Love your planet, be a responsible human, and protect your home for posterity.
Happy Earth Day!
  What do you do to protect the Earth, dear readers?

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