Going green in February and March

I know this column will reach you all a little late, but I’d like to throw it out there anyhow. I’m sure plenty of you have figured out what, if anything, you are giving up for Lent. Today I’d like to ask you to add one more thing, and that’s disposable cups (i.e. coffee cups, etc.) and plastic water bottles. Make a commitment to yourself and the planet to refuse these items for the rest of Lent. It is my hope that by the end, you will develop new habits (like bringing your own travel coffee mug to the coffee shop to have it filled) and using a reusable water bottle.

In October last year, Pepsi Corporation admitted that Aquafina is not purified or spring water, rather it is plain tap water from a “public water source.” It is expected that many other bottled water companies will follow suit with this admission. If you are concerned about tap water safety, consider purchasing a filter, like Brita or Soma, and use the filtered water to drink at home or take with you in a reusable water bottle. Soma uses glass to contain filtered water rather than plastic, and Soma as a company is committed to sustainability in terms of packaging and office practices.

When you bring your own travel coffee mug to Starbucks or Erie Island Coffee, you will get a $0.10 discount on the drink of your choice. If you bring your own mug into Panera or Mojo’s, you will get a $0.30 discount on regular coffee! The price to fill your own at Panera in Westlake is $1.59 as opposed to $1.89, and at Mojo’s in Bay it is $1.50 compared to $1.80. Bringing your own mug is good for your wallet AND the planet!

Turn off the lights on March 19

On Saturday, March 19, the Bay Village Green Team and I hope you will consider joining millions of people around the world in celebrating “Earth Hour.” Earth Hour is easy to participate in: All you have to do is switch off non-essential lights (including televisions and other unnecessary electrical appliances) in your home between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. as symbol of your commitment to the planet. It is a good reminder that each of us has the ability to make a difference for the environment.  

World Wildlife Fund, which launched Earth Hour in 2007, claims that the event has grown to become the largest grassroots environmental movement, with 172 countries participating. WWF estimated that last year more than 10,000 of the world's most iconic landmarks went dark for the hour. It has even been observed in Antarctica and on the International Space Station.

Earth Hour offers a guide about how to participate on its website, earthhour.org. Please talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about participating too! Also, a great idea to spread the word is to post on social media like Facebook and Twitter that you are participating. The more people that get involved, the bigger impact we can have collectively on the environment. To encourage Bay Village residents to participate, Bay Village City Hall will be posting about Earth Hour on their electronic board on March 17, 18 and 19. We hope everyone has fun with this event!

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:54 AM, 02.16.2016