Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day; And Let Me Rant A Bit...

I suck at remembering special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, even Earth Day. But just so I don't sound like a totally unprepared slouch, I'll try to make it appear as if I planned something special...

Let's see... To celebrate Earth Day:
  • I ate vegan, significantly reducing my carbon footprint - more significant, some statistics say, than driving a Hybrid car (of course, I've been vegan every day for the last five or so years)

  • And I used my new reusable grocery bags instead of paper or plastic. (I've had the bags for months, in the trunk of my car... forgetting to use them!)

  • And we carpooled (my kids and the neighbors', trading rides to and from school as we've been doing all year).

  • We've reduced our household trash output by 75%! I set out the recycling and trash this AM and I realized I am down to one small can a month of 'regular' trash (our neighborhood has a great recycling program, I can say that, but we've also reduced what we use drastically.)

  • I air-dried a load of laundry (which I have done with shirts and things for years, I have a dryer phobia, I don't know.)

  • I used my own travel mug at Starbucks this morning rather than a paper cup.

  • And I purchased three organic hemp shirts today, in my slow attempt to use less cotton. (Don't even get me STARTED on cotton, it's the latest Earth-saving bandwagon I'm jumping on...)

Did you know:

Using 4.5% of the global land area, cotton requires 22.5% of the world's insecticides and 10% of the world's chemical fertilisers. Globally, the World Health Organisation estimates 3m instances of pesticide poisoning and 20,000 deaths each year, mainly among poor cotton farmers in developing countries.
The simple act of growing and harvesting the one pound of cotton fiber needed to make a T-shirt takes an enormous toll on the earth’s air, water, and soil, and has significant impacts on the health of people in cotton growing area.
United States farmers alone applied nearly one-third of a pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for every pound of cotton harvested, and this amount is significantly higher in less regulated countries.
Cotton crops are grown in 19 states, and account for twenty-five percent of all the pesticides used in the entire U.S. Some of these chemicals are among the most toxic and dangerous ones classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Yet environmental impact studies estimate that 90% of those chemicals end up in the soil, air and water around the fields and not on the crops themselves.
(Organic cotton is slightly better; it doesn't use the pesticides, but still leaches nutrients out of the soil, and uses a great deal of water and land inefficiently).

But enough ranting. Think about it though.

To top off the day, my daughter made vegan cookies. (recipe here).

Happy Earth Day!!


VeggieGirl said...

No worries about ranting - your points are valid, for sure!

Happy belated Earth Day! Oh hand those cookies look BEYOND scrumptious :0)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Happy Earth Day Tofu Mom! and I love a good rant - especially when I learn so much - had no idea about cotton. Cookies are a great way to celebrate!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

ooo, those cookies look great!

Kate said...

I didn't know about the cotton, that is really interesting-thanks for sharing.

I feel good b/c I am vegan AND i drive a hybrid, so I'm getting more bang for my green buck :-)

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Happy Earth Day! Those cookies look awesome.

aTxVegn said...

Thanks for the cotton education. I know Texas is a major grower.

The cookies look delicious!

Cynthia said...

I heart you!

Paulina said...

Happy Belated Earth Day to you too! Can you believe I didn't know such a day existed until a couple days ago?