Tips for Living an Eco-friendly Lifestyle

eco-friendly lifestyleImage courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It would not take too much to adapt an eco-friendly lifestyle, I believe that awareness and education is the key here.  With the advancement of technology our life style changes as well.  From all gadgets and appliances imaginable to newly invented products aimed to make life even more ‘comfortable’ for us.  While we’re choosing ease and comfort ability all the time we’re also harming our planet by leaving carbon footprints with the energy we’re using and trash we’re producing.

Ways to start an eco-friendly lifestyle

green livingImage courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You don’t have to go green all the way all at once, that may overwhelm you and your family and may even result to abandoning the plan all together.  It’s preferable to start small and let yourselves adjust and adapt to the new ways and then gently introduce new green ways from there.

First off, be wary of the disposable items you’re using at home.  From cups to papers to coffee stirrers.  These will accumulate in time and you wouldn’t imagine how much trash this planet will have to deal with from your family’s garbage alone.  You don’t have to eliminate the use of disposable altogether, but let’s say limit using those when you’re out on picnics, when you’re home, make use of your glassware or silverware instead.

Opt for fluorescent light bulbs over incandescent light bulbs.  It may cost more than the latter but you’ll notice the significant decrease in your family’s energy consumption.

Use a water purifier instead of buying bottled water.  You pay for your utility bills so why not make the most of it.  Why pay water bill and then add bottled water to your weekly groceries?  Bring refillable jugs wherever you go so that you won’t have to buy bottled water when you’re out and about.  To give you an idea, line up those empty water bottles in your backyard for one week and see how much trash you have accumulated for that week alone.

Although replacing your appliances with energy saving ones will cost you now, in the long run you’ll benefit from the dollars you’ll be able to save from electricity bills.  Having said that, you don’t have to replace all appliances right this moment especially when you don’t have the budget for that, when one appliance broke make sure that you’ll buy a new one with energy saving features.

Develop a habit of scheduling task to conserve water and energy.  Say for example; have a day designated for washing so that you’ll maximize its use rather than running it whenever you feel like doing the laundry.  Imagine having 4-6 pieces of clothing inside a washing machine with the same amount of water and electricity consumption as you would when running it full load.  The same goes for your dishwasher.  If you only have two or three pieces of dishes to wash, hand wash it instead.

living an eco-friendly lifestyleImage courtesy of tongdang / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Always turn off appliances that are not in used and better yet pull the plug off.  Even if you turned off the TV for example, the little light that you can see still consumes energy.  It may seem very minimal but imagine if millions of TV owners would do that, then it becomes substantially important.  Make it habit to turn off the light as soon as you leave a room.  Open your windows and make use of natural lights whenever you can.

Use eco-friendly bags when shopping and try to limit your plastic bag usage as much as possible.  This may come very bothersome to a lot of people but trust me it does becomes easier as you get used to it.  Soon enough you’ll be offering your own bag to put your groceries into rather than the clerk putting it in another plastic bag.

Support your local farmer’s market and buy their produce.  You’ll not just benefit from consuming organic foods but will also support your farmer’s choice of not using chemicals to boosts their harvest and compete with big companies’ produce.

Always opt for all natural products whenever you can.  Start from using natural deodorizer instead of buying the chemically enhanced ones.  Lemons and vinegar is a great natural deodorizer.

Eco-friendly lifestyle is a choice

These tips are just some of the ideas on how to gradually adapt an eco-friendly lifestyle.  You can research or ask friends and colleagues about their own eco-friendly tips that may work for you as well.  Remember that this lifestyle is a choice.  And making this choice is so much easier when you are aware.  As an empowered woman, I try to create as much awareness and reach out to as much people as I can to help protect this planet.

Earth is our only home, the same home that we’re going to leave to our children’s children and their future generations.  Start today and make your choice to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Here’s my video enjoying a time out adoring the beauty of nature:

 

create your own inspired life

Green Art from Upcycling

Not only do you contribute in the conservation and preservation of our natural resources by upcycling but you also create amazing work of art.

Upcycling can be both green and artsy at the same time.  You’ll be amazed at the artistry in products that are being born out materials or items that are once deemed worthless or trash already.

 

You can start living green by upcycling!  Yes, upcycling!  How it differs from recycling?

Upcycling vs. Recycling

In recycling, items such as paper, plastic and glass are broken down into base materials that can be use to make a new product.  That’s why there are items such as recycled napkin, recycled paper, Blue Marbles Project’s blue marbles are made from recycled glass, and so on.

In upcycling, you’re not exactly breaking down the materials, you’re only re-fashioning it to shape or to fit another purpose.  For instance, you cut and sew certain parts of an old pair of jeans to make a sling bag out of it.  The new product is still made of the original material, still in the form of denim only now it’s a bag and no longer a pair of jeans.

Who will benefit from upcycling?

Both the environment and us humans will benefit from it.  Well, suffice to say, upcyling benefits the environment it benefits us as well.  But even with aspects of finance, say your family’s budget, you’ll be saving a considerable amount with your expenses if you’ll adapt the habit of upcyling.

For example, you you can upcyle an old tv cabinet into a coffee table or console table.  Or you can use plastic gallons as plant containers.  There are tons of things you can turn these ‘trash’ into and you’ll be amazed at how it can turned out to be most of the time even better than what they are originally!

Exceptionally great work of arts can be created by up-cycling as well.  Even artists are starting to create green art to express themselves and create awareness.

Sea Turtles: Why Do We Need to Care?

sea turtles

All animals are part of the ecosystem and sea turtles are no different.  These are important sea creatures playing their respective role in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem.  At the rate these sea turtles are declining in numbers, other marine life will also be in danger.

The role of sea turtles in ocean ecosystem

Sea turtles help in maintaining habitat.  Green sea turtles for instance help in keeping healthy seagrass beds properly mowed because they are herbivores.  It’s important to keep these seagrass bed properly ‘trimmed’ so that the whole nutrient cycle under the ocean is kept in balance.

Without the green sea turtles to graze on seagrass beds, it will overgrow and will result to obstruction to currents and light which will then create a suitable habitat for microorganisms, algae, invertebrates and fungi.  It’s all about chain reaction; these fellas really do play an important role in keeping the balance in check.

sea turtle in Costa Rica

Sea turtles also helps to make sure the coral reefs will flourish.  The hawkbill sea turtle, with its beak-like mouths feed on marine sponges.  Why is it important?  Well, marine sponges can aggressively dominate the reef communities which is not exactly a good idea since it will not only compete with space against corals but its physical and chemical defenses also prevents other fish and marine animals from eating them.

So again, there will be a whole chain reaction where other animals will be left with either no or fewer food.  When hawkbill sea turtles feed on these sponges it allows for other animals as well to feed on it which these animals will normally not be able to do (because they can’t break into its exterior) and more importantly, allows for diversity of reef communities.

Beach dunes or dunes ecosystem also benefits from turtles eggs.  Because sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches, whether these eggs hatched or not, it provides nutrients that in turn affect the vegetation, species distribution and shorelines stability.

Sea turtles are also responsible for keeping the food web in check in the ocean ecosystem.  For instance, the leatherbacks, loggerheads and green sea turtles, feed on jelly fish!  Imagine if these jelly fish dominates the sea more than fish!  These sea turtles also provide food for fish and shrimp, by carrying around barnacles, algae and other similar organisms.  The eggs they lay on beaches will not hatch 100 percent; some will serve as food for other predators like ants, crabs, raccoons, and others.  The same goes with the hatchlings, there are studies that show 97 percent of these hatchlings will be eaten within the first hour upon entering the water.  It may sound a little gruesome, but it’s the rule of nature, they are part of the food chain, and majority of these hatchlings will serve as food for other animals.

What’s happening to the sea turtles?

The sea turtles’ population is greatly affected by fishing- either by direct death or by injury brought about by commercial fishing. The continuous habitat degradation also plays a big role and of course the effect of climate changes.

It’s bad enough that sea turtles needed to face natural phenomenon and the natural sequence of food chain, what’s really disturbing is the incessant poaching and illegal trade of sea turtles – eggs, meat, shells – which pose a great threat to this species.  The carefree attitude of most people – in disposing trash, disturbing the animals without regard – also plays a big role in the continued decline in sea turtle numbers.

These sea turtles need us to care more for them – so that they will thrive – but keep in mind that we need them too, so that nature will be in balance. Creating awareness is one way to save these sea creatures.  Educating as much people as we can will make a big difference.  We can do better.  We can make it happen.

How to Express Ocean Awareness Through Art

sea turtle green mission

More and more artists are now using ocean art to inspire changes and raise awareness about the need to conserve and protect our natural world.  These artists are utilizing their talents to produce artworks – not only those that shows the beauty of the ocean or the gifts of life underneath it but especially artworks that communicate the predicament that our ocean is currently in – the problems about pollution and the incessant abuse of natural ocean resources.

Check out this Interview with Claudio Garzon, an eco-friendly

Artist teaching kids about environmental art.

There’s No Denying

plastics are foreverIt’s not very surprising now a days to take a walk along the beach or river, and you won’t get too far without seeing or encountering plastic trash – from plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic wrappers to fishing nets and other plastic debris.  There’s no denying that we are in a ‘messy’ predicament right now.

There are plastics everywhere.

Plastics are not biodegradable.  If you think ‘diamonds are forever’ guess what, so are plastics!

The very plastic you’re using at home, at work, at school or anywhere for that matter – will eventually find its way to our water system and we now know will eventually end up in the ocean.

These plastic will endanger the lives of marine animals – there are instances where turtles or dolphins get trapped with discarded nets or even plastic furniture.  These animals oftentimes die; very seldom will they get rescued from it.  This plastic trash is clearly a threat for these marine animals.

sea turtle caught in plasticsImage source: beaches.uptake.com

Through the years, these plastics get broken into tiny bits – some small enough for marine animals and even birds to mistaken it for food, and into microscopic size over time…but still…it will not totally biodegrade.

plastic pollution kills birdImage source: coastalcare.org

It maybe no longer visible to the human eyes but it’s still there, it’s still plastic, it doesn’t get absorbed into the natural system.  It continuous to pollute our waters and gets eaten by tiny marine organisms that will of course enter the food chain.  And guess who is on the top of this food chain?  Exactly.

seabed pollutionImage source: coastalcare.org

Unnatural Expectation from the Natural

The ocean has been providing us food, water, livelihood and even recreation.  Its abundance is simply immeasurable.  It’s quite heartbreaking to know that not only do people are taking more than he needs but is also showing no regard at all.

We are making unnatural expectation from the ocean.  The bounty that the ocean used to naturally provide us is no longer coming ‘naturally.’  Simply put, we are ‘forcing it’ out of the ocean.

sea turtle defenders, green mission

Artists on the Move

The likes of Claudio Garzon, along with other artists who are choosing to use their talents to inspire people, to educate them and raise ocean awareness are the ‘ocean defenders’ of our time. Facebook Page Sea Turtle Defenders Keeps the Ocean’s Safe for Sea Turtles through education.

We are defending the ocean, the planet and future generations.

It’s nothing short of admirable to have these artists affect a movement by making use of the fact that arts do affect people’s lives.

They communicate their ocean sentiments through paintings, sculptures, murals, songs and or plays that leave a lasting impression to whoever manages to come across such artwork.

The Mission of the Sea Turtle Defenders: endeavors to identify, categorize, and disseminate current environmental and related social educational information to children, families, educators, and community leaders to raise their awareness and  continuously advocate for sea turtle rights.

Sea Turtles vs. Trash Pollution

defend sea turtles

Trash pollution is undeniably one of the reasons that our ocean is facing a phenomenal degradation today.  There is a considerable decline in fisheries, marine habitats are visibly destroyed plus of course the effects of climate changes that can be felt everywhere.

You can argue that the earth is an ever changing world, that it continuous to evolve through the years, that changes are bound to happen – but we cannot deny the fact that humans are a big factor in creating unnatural changes and shift in this planet.

Are sea turtles paying the price?

Time and again sea turtle casualties has been reported due to fishing nets and boat accidents (still debatable whether intentional or not), but cases where trash is involve is not too new either.

Sea turtles are literally dying from our trash, from our plastic trash.

Some mistakes plastics for jellyfish, would feed on them until such time that it causes fatal internal problems.  Some are being caught in abandoned nets or ropes and drown.  Some gets trap with these plastics, would eventually survive but with disfiguring effects on them.  While some more others are basically falling ill due to polluted waters.

So yes, sea turtles are paying the price for the incessant trash pollution.

What can we do?

We can begin by respecting the ocean as a sign of gratitude for all the abundance it’s giving us.  We have to recognize the fact that not only does the ocean provide us with food and water, it also house magnificent creatures as well as organisms that made our very existence on earth a possibility.

We must learn to care for the ocean and protect it.  Protecting the ocean means protecting all the marine lives that live in it, and protecting their lives means protecting ourselves as well.

We can create awareness about the effects of trash pollution that all leads back to the ocean.  We have to educate the people on how the existence of marine lives including the sea turtles are being threaten because of the enormous trash we are dumping in our waters.

plastics and sea turtles

NOW, is a good time to start making changes.  We can defend the sea turtles by creating awareness.  People will tend to care more for something that they know more about.  We have to continually educate other people about the importance of caring for the ocean.

We can start small by being more aware on how we dispose of our trash.  Remember that it all leads back to the ocean.  Start considering a greener lifestyle, it’s not only good for our own health, but for the environment as well.  Say no to plastics whenever you can, always opt for biodegradable and recyclable materials.

Quite frankly, to care for the ocean and defend the sea turtles we have to be more proactive.  We have to make sure that our voices are being heard.  And we have to continue on doing that until radical changes are finally taking place.

Changing the World One Blue Marble at a Time

The Blue Marbles Project is started by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a scientist, an activist, a community organizer, an author and also a father.  This project is creating awareness and reminding people especially the youths about sharing, giving, and gratitude towards one another and our blue planet.

blue marbles 10

This project involves passing a blue marble from one person to another who has shown concern for our planet.  It’s a sign of gratitude, an appreciation for that act of kindness to our environment.  It doesn’t question how big or small your part is, if you have a blue marble in your hand, it simply shows that you care.  And as long as people care, there is hope.

If you want to be a part of this cool project simply share a ‘blue’ marble to a person whom you believe is doing something good for the planet, it’s a sign of gratitude.  Then you encourage that person to do the same and pass the blue marble on.  You can then share your story with the world however you like.

Preferably of course, share your photo with your blue marble, that way we somehow connect with each other!  You’ll be amazed to see where these blue marbles have been to and who have touched them so far.

Why blue marbles?

The Blue Marbles the famous photo of the earth taken from the moon by astronauts.  That is how our home looks like when viewed from the outer space – a glowing marble of blue oceans and green forest.  Hold a blue marble at arm’s length in front of you, and it will be like looking into earth from million miles away.

blue marble

We love the ocean, my family love to surf and we just love the beach!  We’re living an eco-friendly lifestyle and support social awareness about green living and protecting our environment.  Whoever or wherever you are, you can do something to lessen carbon footprints in our planet.

Try to walk or bicycling whenever possible as opposed to just jumping into your car whenever you need to be somewhere else.  Mind your trash, no matter small or tiny piece it is.  Be wary of the materials you’re using, opt for biodegradable stuff.  Don’t be afraid to venture on new things, and hide on the premise that it’s something you’re not accustomed with therefore could be a waste of time.

For instance, I took a chance and tried affiliate marketing which is just one of the perfect home business ideas and opportunities for women.  It’s simply awesome and doing really great for me!  I’m now working from home and glad to say that I no longer take part in producing carbon footprints along with other commuters.

Be appreciative of the planet we live in, yes that’s a good start actually.  Once you realize what we have been blessed with and how precious and how vulnerable this planet is, then perhaps you’ll start paying attention and be more caring and responsible.

create your own inspired life