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Earth Day and the Environment

by UMW Green Team - Northeastern Jurisdiction

United Methodist Women’s Green Team – Northeastern Jurisdiction

United Methodist Women!!  EARTH DAY is April 22!  Let’s Celebrate God’s Creation and Let’s Clean Up the Earth and Restore God’s Natural Environment!

What are Some Environmental Justice Problems We Are Facing Today?

  • Diminishing landfill space
  • Air and water pollution
  • Natural resource depletion
  • Toxic poisoning of neighborhoods
  • Pervasiveness of cancer, asthma, and learning disabilities in children

Cancer is second only to accidents as the leading cause of children’s deaths in the United States.

One flush of your toilet uses as much water as the average person in the developing world uses for a whole day’s washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking.

What Can We Do?

  • Practice garbage prevention
    • Reduce disposables
    • Repair not replace
  • Recycle and buy recycled
  • Maintain zero tolerance for producing toxins-avoid products bleached with chlorine, such as paper  
  • Avoid plastics: disposable, decorative, plastic wrapped
    • use recyclable plastics: milk/soda bottles
    • use compostable plastics: food storage/garbage bags, party cutlery, foam shipping peanuts
  • Conserve energy
  • Produce and consume locally grown food
    • Family farms or farmer’s markets

 Source:  Green Guidance


Household Cleaning Toxic-Free Solutions:

  • Baking soda
  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar

Drain Opener

  • Use a drain strainer
  • Flush drain weekly
  • Pour a ½ cup of baking soda into drain, then add a cup of vinegar; it will start to fizz. Follow with mixture of two cups boiling water and salt. Repeat if necessary.

Ant Control

  • Pour a line of cream of tartar where the ants enter the house.
  • Sprinkle red chili, paprika, or dried peppermint where ants enter the house.
  • Mix 2 tbsp boric acid, 2tbsp sugar, and 1 cup of water.  Soak paper towels in solution, place on dishes, and set out for ants. Keep dishes away from pets and children

Furniture polish

  • Use 2 parts vegetable oil and 1 part vinegar or lemon juice
  • Use 1 tsp lemon oil in 1 pint of mineral oil.

Dispose of safely

NEVER pour harmful chemicals down the drain or on the ground, including:

  • Pesticides
  • Paints and preservatives
  • Automotive products
  • Home hobby chemicals
  • Dry cleaners
  • Drain cleaners

Source:         Clean Housekeeping: Toxic-Free Solutions
                       Natural Resources Council of Maine

Earth Day Eco-Tips from the UMW Green Team in Maine

Tired of pumping too much of your paycheck into your gas tank? Want to make a difference for Maine’s environment? Try our money-saving travel tips this Earth Day—and every day.

Tune In To Savings By Tuning Up
Follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule and your car will use less fuel, run better, and last longer. A tuned engine and clean gas and oil filters can save you almost $4 on a $25 fill-up! 

Keep ’em Pumped
About one in four cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups have tires filled at least eight pounds below proper levels. Properly inflated tires can save up to five percent on gasoline.  

Lighten Up
Spring cleaning should include removing unnecessary weight from your car or truck and removing that roof rack when you’re not using it. They can be a real drag on your mileage.

Take It Easy
Accelerating and braking gently can improve gas mileage by up to 12 percent. Slowing down from 75 to 65 miles per hour reduces gasoline consumption by about 15 percent and saves lives, too. Each mile per hour you drive over 60 mph is like paying an extra 10 cents per gallon, according to the Department of Energy.

Don’t Idle Away Your Money
Turn off your engine while you’re parked or waiting or at drive-thru windows. If the wait is longer than 30 seconds, starting up a car again uses less gasoline than leaving it running.

Get It Together
Combine errands and carpool when possible.  If you commute 10 miles each way, carpooling with one other person in a 25-mpg vehicle can save you nearly $500 a year on gas. 

Shop for Savings
Buy the most fuel-efficient car that meets your needs.  Compare models you like on www.fueleconomy.gov and pick the one with the highest miles-per-gallon rating.  Make it a gas-electric hybrid and in 2005, in addition to fuel savings, you get up to a $1,000 federal tax deduction and a $300 – 500 Maine tax credit. The mid-sized Toyota Prius costs less than the average car and gets more than 50 miles per gallon. If new cars got 40-mpg, Americans would save more than 15 times the likely potential yield of drilling the oil from the Arctic Wildlife Refuge!

Get Active
Let your state and federal lawmakers know that you want more less-polluting and efficient cars, trucks, and SUVs that pollute less. 

 Source: Natural Resources Council of Maine   http://www.nrcm.org

Date posted: Apr 15, 2005