As many of you know, I have a great love of animals. Wild and domestic. All shapes and sizes. Okay, with the exception of cockroaches and fuzzy spiders. But everyone has a critter they don’t care too much about….. I also have a great love for nature. There is so much we, as humans, can learn from nature and the animals that rely upon her.

For far too long, we have done things to destroy Mother Earth. It is true, that until recently (in the last 20 – 30 years) we did not know that our actions were damaging the environment. But now is the time to change. Now is the time to commit to making a difference and protecting Mother Earth and all of her children; the plants and the animals.

There are many ways we can all make a difference. Replace your regular light bulbs with compact florescent. It reduces the amount of energy your home requires. If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. Also compact florescent bulbs put of 75% less heat than a traditional light bulb, which leads to lower bills for cooling a home.

Drive your car less. Now many of us are doing this because of gas prices these days, not for environmental factors. All of us have to drive our cars some where, but while you are out, do other things as well and plan your trip to minimize back tracking.

When you get a new cell phone, recycle your old one. There are more than 150 million cellular users in the United States alone. About 40 million phones turnover or “churn” annually. If you add in the rapidly growing number of out of use phones, it is estimated that by 2005 there will be over 700 million retired phones in the U.S. Seventy-five percent of these out-of-use phones will be in people’s drawers at home or at work. The balance is going to landfills or is recycled. The EPA estimates that this quantity of cell phones is equal to about 250,000 tons of toxic materials. The printed boards alone from this quantity of phones, if discarded improperly, would release over 300,000 pounds of lead into the environment. Eco-Cell is an organization that will recycle your cell phones.

Did you know that an average TV or computer monitor contains 4 pounds of lead? For years, developed countries have been exporting tons of electronic waste for inexpensive, labor-intensive recycling and disposal, mostly to China. It’s been illegal to import e-waste into China for dirty recycling and dumping since 2000, but smuggling, corruption and China’s appetite for scrap keep it coming. Ever wonder why items coming from China have lead in the paint? Yes, it is partially due to the lead from our electronics that have been exported. China mostly takes our e-waste because of the gold in them. But they end up with left over lead and need something to do with it. Adding lead to paint is an inexpensive way to make the paint more vibrant.

For locations to recycle your e-waste go to:

There are things you can do to help domestic animals and wildlife. Donate time and money to any animal organization. Write letters to your representatives about bills that effect the welfare of all animals. Get involved. Three organizations that I get up dates from every week are:

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The killing of baby seals, for their fur, in Canada, is a big issue right now in the animal world. The Humane Society of The United States did a video report about this awful practice. Men will literally walk up to the baby seals and beat them over the head with a club. The seal hunting is an off season acitivity conducted by Canadian fishers. They primarily sell seal pelts to European fashion markets. The United States imports Canadian Seafood at the rate of $2.5 billion annually. Because of this, we as consumers can impact the Canadian economy, if we boycot Canadian seafood. Many companies, resturants and grocery stores, have joined in pledging to boycott some or all Canadian seafood until the hunt is finally ended. Please support these companies. You can find a list at the following website.

The Humane Society of the United States

We can not longer afford to “hind under the covers” hoping everything will take care of itself. It is time for us to step up. We need to nurture and protect Mother Earth and her children. We need to stop being wasteful and distructive in our activities. Start recycling, start using reuseable bags for grocery shopping, start making fewer trips in the car, volunteer to do a clean up, write letters or emails to your representatives encouraging them to work toward protecting our environment, and spread the word. Each one of us can make small changes in our lives and our homes, that will improve our planet.

Remember, The Change Starts With You!

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