Thirty positive actions for a sustainable Earth

Written by Simon Mitchell

There are many ways we can use our human energy to lightenrepparttar load on natural resources and tread lightly on our home planet. Check how many of these you do already:

1. Recycle and re-use Wherever possible, separate waste into compost material, bottles, tins, paper, clothing etc and make sure that these get recycled. See if your local council has a policy for recycling, food reclamation to fuel or even methane extraction from waste. If they don't - start one. Ask your neighbours to contribute to a local composting station.

"The UK has one ofrepparttar 147747 worst recycling records in Europe (12.4%) compared with 64% in Austria, 52% in Belgium, 50% in Germany and 47% inrepparttar 147748 Netherlands. Inrepparttar 147749 UK we bury 80% of our rubbish in landfills, compared torepparttar 147750 Swiss who only landfill 7% of their rubbish." (The Observer 2004)

2. Shop locally or order a veg box Give your local farmers a boost by buying direct - either by visiting farms, farmer's markets or through vegetable box schemes - which are usually organic. This saves transport costs in 'food miles' and guarantees, fresh, local, un-polluted and healthy, in-season food. Try and avoid supermarkets and shop locally when possible to enhance your own local micro-economy.

"The average household [in UK] spends 470 a year (or one sixth of its total food budget) on packaging. In a typical Asda or Tesco shopping basket only 26% ofrepparttar 147751 cost is accounted for by food;repparttar 147752 rest is packaging, processing, transport, store overheads, advertising andrepparttar 147753 mark-up of supermarkets which is sometimes as high as 45%." (National Farmers' Union)

3. Make more of your own food from fresh Stop buying ready-meals and throw away your microwave. Takerepparttar 147754 time to make healthy, balanced and delicious meals and condiments from wholesome raw ingredients. Be likerepparttar 147755 French and live to eat - rather than eat to live ! Eating food isrepparttar 147756 only activity apart from sex that involves all of our senses.

4. Promote community exchange If you can exchange skills, items or energy direct with other people withoutrepparttar 147757 use of money - this makes your activities more efficient. If you can share resources with people around you - then you don't have to earn so much to buy things and you don't have to work as much.

5. Improve local diversity of nature See what you can do to providerepparttar 147758 right ecosystems to promote local biodiversity. Bring butterflies, moths, birds, wild flowers and so on into your local environment by providingrepparttar 147759 resources they need.

6. Review domestic energy use Check whether you can save energy by cutting down consumption or being more efficient. There are government schemes inrepparttar 147760 UK to help with heating efficiency and insulation. Even switching off atrepparttar 147761 plug at night saves power -those little red 'power on' lights add up to over 4 million of electricity used inrepparttar 147762 UK each year ! Look at how your home uses energy and where it can be saved, even if it means putting a jumper on occasionally.

7. Start a local investment scheme If you want to save for a future - doesn't it make sense to invest in something you can see and touch - like a local investment system that brings a return on your money and improves your own locality ? Invest money where you can see what it is doing - and where you can lend a hand if needs be. Community companies, local co-operatives and credit unions are a growing resource for sustainable local investment. What better way is there than to invest your energy directly into your local micro-economy where you can cherish it ?

8. Use an ethical banking system Just what does your money do when you invest it a bank? Do you invest inrepparttar 147763 land mines that blow off children's legs ? Do you support armaments manufacturing,repparttar 147764 over-exploitation of rainforests, globalised cartels intent on rapingrepparttar 147765 planet ? Does your default investment in a bank endorse child slavery and prostitution, international drug running and money laundering ? Checkrepparttar 147766 investment policies of your bank to see just where they are putting your energy as an investment. If you don't like what you see, at least consider using an ethical bank that might invest in things you want inrepparttar 147767 world. Even better - reach for a lifestyle that doesn't include a bank account at all.

Did you invest in this ? "Japanese physicist Professor Yagasaki calculated thatrepparttar 147768 500+ metric tonnes of depleted uranium (DU) thatrepparttar 147769 US unleashed on Afghanistan wasrepparttar 147770 radioactive equivalent of 51,875 atomic bombs ofrepparttar 147771 size dropped onrepparttar 147772 Japanese city of Nagasaki. Duringrepparttar 147773 2003 Gulf Warrepparttar 147774 amount of DU used wasrepparttar 147775 equivalent of 103,750 atomic bombsrepparttar 147776 size of that dropped on Nagasaki. DU fallout will travel fromrepparttar 147777 Middle East torepparttar 147778 UK, US and parts of Asia." (International Physicians forrepparttar 147779 Prevention of Nuclear War)

9. Review car use and petrol consumption The real price of petrol, if you apply economic principles to its production - that includesrepparttar 147780 timerepparttar 147781 earth has taken to make it - comes in at over 1 million per gallon. Its use produces awful chemical pollution and extreme noise. Most internal combustion engines run at an incredibly low efficiency (usually about 20%). The logic of having something that weighs over a ton to transport a single person defeats me. Yes, I know they're incredibly convenient compared torepparttar 147782 alternatives and that many motors have cult status but - come on - there has to be a better way than this ! Boy am I looking forward to hydrogen / oxygen fuel cells. Cycling is great!

10. Start a local energy collective Your roofs are a resource ! Take a look at some ofrepparttar 147783 rooftop energy panels available today. Chat with your neighbours about a collective approach to local energy needs. Sell your excess energy back torepparttar 147784 grid ! Intermediate technology combined with modern technology in wind, solar or water power has come of age so start your own power supply.

11. Learn more aboutrepparttar 147785 nature in your local environment Which wild animals and plants live in your environment? Share some time with them and see what they can teach you. Become a direct 'friend of nature' and explore how other species seerepparttar 147786 world we share. You could even adopt some wild nature near you and 'look out' for it.

12. Make things from found or recycled materials Do you rememberrepparttar 147787 fun you had whittling wood when you were younger? Keep an eye out for interesting wood you can prepare to make useful things. So much stuff is just thrown away or destroyed that could be useful again given a little T.L.C. Wild wood can make attractive coat hangers, boxes, shelves, even furniture. Waste skips often have objects that can easily be given a 'new life'. Working with your hands to make things 'new' can be a deeply satisfying experience.

13. Make your own Christmas and birthday presents Take time out to make things that you enjoy and give them away to people you love. These have a value way over anything you can buy. If you have a creative hobby - use it to make gifts instead of buying them. If you don't - find a hobby or activity that puts you in touch with natural things.

Clearing out hallways

Written by Mary Lambert

The door and hallway is consideredrepparttar mouth and throat ofrepparttar 147598 home in feng shui,repparttar 147599 ancient Chinese art of furniture placement and energy flow, so if yours is cluttered up with junk, your home is basically choking and you will feel depressed or uncomfortable living there. Appraiserepparttar 147600 area from a neutral viewpoint. Walk out of your front door and in again as though seeing how your hallway looks forrepparttar 147601 first time.

Porches and doors If you have a porch, sort this area out. If you keep walking shoes and boots here, install a neat shoe rack to keep them tidy. Store any discarded sports equipment neatly in a shed, a cupboard underrepparttar 147602 stairs or inrepparttar 147603 room ofrepparttar 147604 owner. Throw out or give away anything that is no longer used. Sweep out and leaverepparttar 147605 door open for a while to cleanserepparttar 147606 area of any stagnancy. Look atrepparttar 147607 front door and paint it withrepparttar 147608 colour of its energising Chinese element. If it faces north, paint it white, for south paint it green, for west and northwest paint it yellow, for east and southeast paint it blue, for northeast and southwest paint it red. Position tubs of winter flowering plants either side ofrepparttar 147609 door so that they welcome people in.

The hallway Clear out allrepparttar 147610 clutter inrepparttar 147611 hallway and, if necessary, install a good coat stand or cupboard for all the

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