Not very long ago, most people realized that their survival depended on the wise use of resources. Although this is much less obvious to us in our daily lives now, the well-being of humanity (as well as most other living things) still depends on our wise use of resources. This page has some ideas to help you reduce waste and still have fun.
If you must travel to work or school, walk, cycle, use transit or carpool (transit and car pooling give you extra work or "down time" that sitting at the wheel in traffic wastes)
Participate in your school's "walking school bus" program if it has one, and if not, start one
If you must drop off or pick up your child by car (for an appointment etc.), do not idle your vehicle
Teach your older child how to safely ride transit and encourage him or her to do so with friends (offer to pay for their bus pass, but not for gas)
Teens very rarely need a car, and really do not need to drive to school!
Live as close to your workplace as possible
IF you tend to travel often for work, consider how necessary each trip really is--can it be accomplished without travel via conference calls, videophone, faxes, email, internet, etc.? Can trips be combined?
pack a litterless lunch by using your own reusable containers, cutlery etc.
Voice opposition to vending machines in your child's school
Label your containers so your reusables don't become disposable by getting lost
Bring your own lunch as much as possible
Eat a large meal at home before going out so you will need to pack less food
Many reusable drink containers can be frozen; experiment with the timing so your drink can serve double duty as a cool pack as well
If your workplace provides coffee, encourage them to try organic fair-trade varieties
If you must have that coffee for your commute, set up your coffee maker timer the night before, use organic, fair-trade coffee, and your own reusable travel mug rather than wasting fuel in a drive-thru for plantation coffee in a disposable cup (it will be much faster to bring your own)
Trendy Disease is what I call the perceived need to continuously update to the newest fashion, electronics, toys, etc. with little or no consideration for the actual need involved in such purchases.
As humans, we have some basic needs that cannot be ignored including food, shelter, clean air, clean water, a sense of personal security and a sense of belonging--love. We do not really have a need for a new IPod or bling. We do not really need to own a brand new sports car and an SUV. These are desires, not needs. Those with "Trendy Disease" find this distinction difficult to make.
Wherever we go, we are bombarded with advertising, so it is no wonder that we all suffer from this to some degree. But this is a disease we cannot afford to ignore. It is one thing to become cosncious of it for ourselves, but much harder to shelter preteens and teens from its debilitating effects. And it is important, for the earth, yes, of course, but also for the psychological and emotional well-being of our kids to solve this one. So many of us become lost to our culture's intense materialism--owned by our possessions--that we lose sight of ourselves and the things that are truly important to us. We become defined by status symbols (and judge others by theirs) while losing our identities.
I don't have many answers for this one, but I am working on it, and I encourage you to do the same.