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Pono Moment

Make Choices That Care for Our Earth

Caring for our land is pono. Our planet is experiencing global warming and pollution that’s showing up on our beaches and in our marine life. It can be overwhelming to think about what we can do as individuals to help fix the matter. So here are some suggestions for easy changes that we can make in our day-to-day lives that can make us better stewards of our earth.

Use Less Gas: Car pool to work, take the bus, or ride a bike. If you’re planning to replace a vehicle, consider getting a hybrid or electric one. Other ways include:

  • Keep tires properly inflated and perform routine maintenance.
  • Avoid speeding and unnecessary acceleration to reduce gas consumption up to 33 percent.
  • Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Preserve Water:  The average American household uses about 400 gallons of water per day. Treating and pumping all that water uses a lot of energy. Here are some tips that can not only save water, but also reduce the energy needed to provide it.

  • Use a shower bucket while waiting for the water to warm up instead of letting it pour straight down the drain. Use this water for flushing toilets or watering plants. Also, take fewer and shorter showers.
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and washing your hands, then turn it back on to rinse.
  • Fix leaks in pipes, faucets, toilets and appliances.
  • Re-use pasta cooking liquid to water plants.
  • Implement xeriscaped landscape by incorporating water-wise ground cover, succulents, and other plants that need less water than grass.
  • Run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine instead of partial ones.
  • Harvest rainwater by installing a rain barrel to capture water for plants.

Boycott BAD Ingredients: Stay informed and read labels. There are some ingredients that are just plain bad. Here are a few examples.

  • Stop using microbeads. Manufacturers of some toothpastes and face scrubs are putting tiny grains of plastic or microbeads into their products to act as scrubbing agents. These wash down the drain and into our rivers and oceans, and end up in fish and other marine organisms. They also attract toxins, enabling them to concentrate in the food chain. There are movements in some countries to ban them. Some plastics commonly used as microbeads are polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon (PA).
  • Use sunscreen that’s safe for our reefs. DO NOT buy sunscreens that contain the following: oxybenzone, avobenzone, butylparaben, homosalate, octinoxate, and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor—these chemicals are killing our reefs. Look instead for sunscreens that use natural ingredients.
  •  Avoid toxic ingredients in cleaning products. They’re hazardous for personal health and the earth. Avoid products that contain chlorine, ammonia, phthalates, triclosan, quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS), 2-butoxyethanol, and sodium hydroxide. For safer alternatives, check out Jeani’s GreenMax Pro for all-purpose cleaning without chemicals.
  • Stop using styrofoam containers. Use metal, glass or paper-based containers from home when getting carryout instead having it packaged in those white styrofoam containers. Just let the restaurant know before the meal is packed. Styrofoam is made from styrene, which leaches into food that is packaged in it and has been identified as a possible human carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It’s also not biodegradable and discarded containers end up floating in our oceans and onto our beaches.

Eat More Veggies and Buy Local:

  • Eat more vegetarian meals. Start by implementing at least one meatless day per week. Meatless Monday sounds like an easy way to start. In addition to the overall health benefits, less meat consumption contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Studies show that the production of meat generates significantly more greenhouse gases than growing vegetables. It’s estimated that the energy used to produce grain for livestock could be used to feed 840 million people instead.
  • Buy locally produced and naturally grown food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels and many fertilizers are also petroleum based. It is estimated that 13 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. So, buy from local farms that use natural fertilizers and don’t use chemical pesticides and weed killers.

Pono Moment is provided as a regular feature to share how being pono affects our life. 

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