Back to Nature (Published on - May 3, 2007)
Go green
Photo by Rick Tremmel
Monarch butterfly on milkweed.
Recently at the internationally televised Global Warming Conference, ultra conservative Newt Gingrich sparred against “Go Green” John Forbes Kerry. After quite some time of bantering back and forth Gingrich astonished the audience, as well as visibly startled Kerry, as he paused in thought and then publicly announced he agreed with Kerry.

Serious measures need to be taken against global warming – “Not tomorrow, but starting today, this minute.”

Although each man has his own approach on how to begin these new policies and efforts, this moment will stand in time to, at the very least, declare: It’s a beginning.

It’s no secret we are in trouble. Conservationists have been battling the same issues since the ’60s. But since major political figures have become directly involved, such as Al Gore and John Kerry, public awareness has greatly increased. The problem for the average person is that the task seems too overwhelming or impossible to solve. What can be done to save our planet, our future and the future of our children? And even more thought consuming we ask, “What can just one person do?”

We as individuals must start small. It is necessary to take baby steps to save ourselves and the earth we walk upon. As the child becomes more confident that she can stand upright on two feet that child will learn to run. There are so many small things that one can accomplish and when all those small things are added together they may become global solutions.

Twenty suggestions for saving our planet:

1. Adjust your home heating and cooling systems for efficiency.

2. Buy used.

3. Carry baskets or canvas totes to carry groceries.

4. Commute to work with a friend.

5. Compost food scraps.

6. Donate old cell phones to a Crisis Center.

7. Donate printer cartridges as a assist with Wildlife Rescue funds such as: Big Cat Rescue.

8. Eat less meat.

9. Install a low-flow shower head.

10. Invite nature into your back yard.

11. Recycle.

12. Save the cold water that is spent while waiting for water to turn hot.

13. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer.

14. Turn off the tap water when brushing your teeth or shaving.

15. Unplug (not just turn off) appliances when they’re not in use.

16. Upgrade your toilet.

17. Use CFL light bulbs.

18. Walk or bike.

19. Check your tire pressure.

20. Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Ancient African saying: If you think you are too small to make a difference consider being closed in a room at night with a mosquito.

Old Native American Indian saying: You can’t fight a forest fire all at once. You can only combat the fire one flame at a time ... back to nature.

Karen can be reached at

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