Are you doing enough to be green?

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Feeling a little guilty on Earth Day?
Are you doing enough to be green?

You might be more eco-conscious than you think!

For some, Earth Day means that they may clean their local beaches, get involved with a local tree planting, a habitat preservation society or drive to a fair of some kind to learn more about being green.  Beyond these activities, you may want to take a look at some of the things you may already be doing to make an impact every day.

Become a home-office commuter
If you aren’t already doing this, try to find a way to work from home, even if it’s only a day or couple of days per week.  A proper set-up (with no distractions and much discipline) can help you achieve a lot more at home than at the office and you just might be a happier boss, co-worker and employee.  Beyond the money you are saving in gas, just think about the carbon emissions that you are not spewing out into the atmosphere by working from home or having a home office.

Bonus Points: You are also doing a favor for your fellow commuter by not putting another car on the road which slows down everyone in getting to where they need to be.

Make your own coffee in the morning
Now this one may be a toughie for some (finding slippers in the morning, can be an achievement in itself without coffee) but try skipping the drive to your favorite coffee conglomerate and make your own java at home.  No lines to wait in, you can come as you are (au naturel if you like) and you may get so good at it, that your eyes don’t actually need to be open to make your own coffee (which means more sleep).

Bonus Points: More green in your wallet (especially if you tip yourself) and no driving anywhere.

Get into wine (or learn more about other organic things you like)
It sounds funny but the more you understand about what it takes to get the things that you love to eat and drink to your table, the more in tune you are with the world.  You may not have thought much before about agriculture when you walk through the aisles of abundance in your local store, but understanding the challenges that farmers overcome each year to establish, nurture and bring their treasured products to market (whether its getting produce to the supermarket or crafting grapes into vino) reminds us of our connection to the earth.

Bonus Points: Learning about farming makes you a smarter (maybe even healthier) consumer and enjoying wine makes you a happier person.

For the love of Lovelace, cut up those six-pack plastic ringie-thingies!
For anyone who’s seen the movie Happy Feet you will recall the six-pack plastic rings ‘bestowed’ upon the neck of rock hopper penguin, Lovelace.  Just a subtle reminder of where our trash can end up and how it can hurt sea life.  If you have any of those ringie-thingies, then cut them up so that they can’t be caught around the beak of a dolphin or stuck around the neck of a bird.

Bonus Points: Watching the movie with your kids also teaches them about their role in the environment.  Make it their job to cut up those plastic rings before the go in the trash.

Convert to a single-car family
Is it possible?  Sure.  It just takes a little scheduling.  In my household, we are now in our sixth month of having one car as our primary mode of transportation.  And I have to say, it feels good.  We are also saving money on car payments, insurance and maintenance.  Certainly, it can be challenging if you have children, go to school or can’t work from home, but you can at least try to consolidate trips or find places you can walk to on the weekends.

Bonus Points: Walking to the sound of cash in your pocket.

Once upon a time, there were these places called “libraries…”
Being a book lover and author, I probably have at least ten new “must have” books that I want to buy every month.  But for every paperback I buy (even used) there are at least one or two books that I will probably never pick up and read again. Before you buy, first try to find it at your local library (yes, unlike the Easter Bunny, they DO exist).  See if this is a book you want to purchase to add to your own library.  Of course, another way to do this is to start a book exchange with your friends to keep a steady flow of titles in circulation (look, you’re recycling).

Bonus Points: You – only unplugged.  While some books are great on a kindle or might be ‘readable’ with your ears in audio books, there is still value in the tactile tangible pages of a book that doesn’t require you to be plugged in to get lost in the portable pages of a book.

What are some of the green things that you do each day?

About the Author:
Heidi Butzine is the founder of Wineopolis Press, author of the Wineopolis® Wine-travel Guidebook series and the Certified Wine Expert® Program Director for Bartenders Association Internationale. Her obsession is creating fun experiences and learning tools to make it easy for anyone to set foot on their journey into wine and food discovery. Follow Heidi at or on Facebook.

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