July #GetKind: To our old brown earth

#GetKind

We know that sometimes, our supporters are inspired to make the world a bit more kind – but aren’t sure about the next steps. What’s the best way to help? What should I be doing?  The #GetKind program is here to help! Each month, we will have a new theme to inspire your kindness quotient. Please use the hashtag #GetKind so we can share these great ideas, all year long!

The seasons are changing! As we look around us at the weather, it’s a good time to think about July’s #GetKind theme – the environment. No matter the time of year, respecting our natural world is important; representing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that provides so much for all of us. There are many creative ways to give back to our earth – here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • When you go camping, how can you leave the land in better shape than you found it? Organize a beach or forest cleanup and remove litter and debris left by others.
  • Plants make air for us – return the favor by seeding some new trees or flowers. Weed out invasive species that are impacting local habitat in favor of native plants that will protect the environment and aid local wildlife. Rotate your garden crops each year to reduce the wear on the soil and use natural fertilizers.
  • Tread lightly when you go into the forest — don’t rut trails with your bike, atv or truck. Leave them for everyone to enjoy!
  • Beware of ghosts! Be energy conscious and unplug items that use electricity when you aren’t around to use them.
  • Plastic bottles take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill – perhaps up to 1,000 years. 90% of bottles aren’t even recycled. Bottles made with Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) will never biodegrade. Instead, use reusable drinking containers rather than buying bottled water.
  • Share your ride! Offer a lift to work for your colleagues or start a car pool. Less cars means less emissions. Meet with your friends and walk to school instead of using the bus. You can perform random acts on your way.
  • Go solar! Put solar panels on your house and talk to your neighbors about adding solar panels on their homes.
  • Start a group at your school and develop ideas for new ways to go green. Your group can collect plastic bags for recycling and teach younger students about environmental pollution. See which class can recycle the most bags!
  • What’s in your (dirty) water? Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many different sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, which picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. Use non-permeable materials in your driveway and garden, capture stormwater with a rain barrel, and remember less is better when it comes to fertilizer.
  • Did you know that many beauty products use tiny pieces of plastic called microbeads? These photodegrade (instead of bio-degrading) and become more toxic over time. These beads end up in our waterways and oceans where animals mistake them for food. Use more earth friendly soaps for hair, cloths and dishes that don’t contain these products; avoid products with “PP” or “PE” and look for those with natural ingredients.
  • Have creepy-crawlies in your house or on furry friends? Use diatomaceous earth (a naturally occurring rock that is safe for humans but toxic to bugs) rather than bug killer and flea treatments.
  • Did you know goats eat poison ivy and nuisance plants? They are one of the greenest ways to maintain a large area! (Make sure these are legal and appropriate in your town.) Need a workout while you go green? Get out the manual rotary lawn mower. It’s quiet, low maintenance and the pushing is a great workout.

Need more inspiration?  Check out the Random Acts forums.  You can contact your local Regional Representative, find areas of the forum dedicated to your home region, and view proposals and requests for help.

How do you #GetKind?

Thanks to the late Pete Seeger for the inspiration for this post’s title.