City Pulse

By Charu Suri

What would we do without the first sprig of spring? The clear pools fed by melting glaciers? The wilderness of the Kalahari and the snows of Kilimanjaro? Well, the loss of these natural fading beauties might very well be a reality we’ll have to face if we allow global warming to continue at its alarming pace. So, what can you do to help? Plenty. Read on:

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o Do you know if that if you recycle, you can save 1,000 lbs. of global warming emissions per year? If you shave just two minutes from your daily shower, you’ll save 342 lbs of emissions. And if you can take the train instead of a Boeing 747, do it!*

o If you’re caught in traffic, like the movie Office Space, try carpooling or using transit to work just one day of the week. This can improve the quality of air around you and for others.

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o When it comes to your beauty regimen, several companies are going green. We visited the Burts Bees hive that was set up near Grand Central Terminal in honor of Earth Day. The Bee-utify Your World mobile tour showcased all of Burts Bees products in the tents and educated consumers on the benefits of choosing a natural beauty regimen. www.burtsbees.com.

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o Instead of using regular dish detergent, invest in organic cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer’s. From the Liquid Dish Soap to the Countertop Spray, everything is biodegradable, with natural essential oils and safe synthetics and minimal preservatives. www.mrsmeyers.com

o Choose clothing wisely. Companies like Patagonia strive to do good for the environment, and harm the earth as little as possible. It donates at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups. Plus, all of its shoes are made of environmentally responsible leather (which leaves the smallest possible footprint). www.patagonia.com.

o Drying dishes? Use Rawganique organic cotton dish towels instead of the dish dryer. www.rawganique.com.

*Source: The Green Guide, March/April 2007; www.thegreenguide.com

And if that’s not enough incentive for you to get “green,” come tax day next year, you can deduct all these “going green” expenses from your gross income. How much greener can saving the planet get?

Originally published April 2007
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