This is a guest post from Eliza Cross who writes over at happy, simple living. I’ve been reading her blog for a while and encourage you to go check it out – she’s always got great content. For the fans of the weekly links, they’ll be back tomorrow.
As a big fan of Sustainable Life Blog, I’m honored to be guest posting here today. This blog and mine, Happy Simple Living.com, are both members of the Yakezie Network. Yakezie is one of the world’s largest networks of personal finance and lifestyle blogs, and community members are encouraged to collaborate and support each other’s efforts. This month, a group of Yakezie lifestyle blogs were paired up to exchange guest posts on each other’s sites, and the topic is, “What are 5 new green things you can try, that you haven’t done before?” I enjoyed writing about this topic, and hope you’ll also check out Jeff’s posting on my blog today.
Here are my five new ideas:
Become a Bone Marrow Donor
I tend to think of sustainability in terms of being green and caring for the earth, but really – what could be more sustainable than giving another human the gift of life? I signed up to be an organ donor years ago, long before my stepdad was the recipient of a new liver, but I hadn’t gotten around to registering with the National Marrow Donor Program. It took me about ten minutes to register on the program’s ‘Be The Match’ registry, and I’ll receive a kit in the mail in about a week with materials to do a simple cheek swab. If you’ve been thinking of joining either of these programs, why not take a few minutes to register now?
Barter for Something
Life is funny sometimes. I had jotted ‘barter’ down when I was first brainstorming ideas for this article and wondered how I might try applying this principle to my own financial situation. A few days later, an editor I work with asked me if I’d be interested in trading my press release writing services for her editing services. Voila! We both just saved several hundred dollars. (Keep records and talk to your accountant if you barter for business services, so you can properly figure out taxes due.)
Take Up a Cause
Sure, I’ve often felt strongly about issues, but I’ve never really, really stepped up and tried to lead the charge to implement change. This month I’m changing that. My son’s public school cafeteria uses non-biodegradable Styrofoam lunch trays, which are disposed each day and end up in landfill. Styrofoam can take hundreds of years to break down, and there are questions about its safety for use in food service. I’ve already written other parents and met with school officials, and this month I’ll be launching an online petition to bring awareness to the issue. (By the way, you may want to investigate what type of lunch trays your child’s school uses. Parent groups all over the U.S. and Canada are trying to get these trays banned.)
Try Seed Saving
Mother Nature gave us a perfect system for growing food, since many plants contain seeds that we can harvest and use to grow more food. Sadly, planting commercial hybrid seed makes this practice impossible since the hybridized plants don’t produce seed that remains true to type. This year, I’m going to learn more about the art of seed saving and try it. I’ll plant open-pollinated vegetable seed, and I want to try saving the seeds from some of the harvested produce. In Canada, you can buy organic, non GMO, open pollinated, and heirloom seeds for organic growing from companies like West Coast Seeds and YUKO. In the U.S., try companies like Baker Creek and Victory Seeds. The Seed Savers Exchange also has a wealth of information and a large community of like-minded gardeners.
The Freecycle network is a worldwide group of people who give each other things they no longer want or use – all for free. I’ve been lurking on the Freecycle site for over a year, and it’s time to actually post something and get involved with the community. I love the idea of giving something away to someone who can really use it, and I love the idea of getting something for nothing. Freecycle has groups all over the world, and membership is absolutely free.
How about you? If there are some new green ideas you’ve been considering, we’d love to hear your thoughts.