Green living
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As a part of her I'm Making It program, Sandra Magsamen shares daily activities that will help you live greener and fill each day with awe.
We all know that the earth is precious—after all, she is our home. But, most of us know that sadly, the earth is sick, worn out and not feeling well. Overuse, oil spills, pollution, global warming, overpopulation and neglect have all taken a toll on our precious planet.

Just like human beings when they are sick, the earth, too, needs care and healing. Together, people all over the planet can help the earth heal. We must collectively live lighter, be nurturing and consciously help to relieve the burden we have placed on our beautiful and vital home.

Miss the first 12 weeks?

There are simple things we can do to help the earth heal. I have offered suggestions that can be easily incorporated into your life each day this week.

Each one of us must be responsible for the way we live on this planet. The suggestions below are not just for a week—they're for a lifetime.

Day 86
Make a habit out of recycling, reusing and reinventing.

One of my favorite sayings is: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

Recycle cans, bottle and paper. This is a no-brainier. Get bins for each and separate as you go about your day.

Find ways to reuse stuff.
  • Wash out jars and use them for storing buttons, flour, cat food or anything that fits. Use plastic storage bags more than once.
  • Instead of buying a new sweater, update a classic and sew vintage buttons on it.
  • Cut up old T-shirts for rags instead of buying paper towels, or sew them into bags to use at the grocery store or farmers' market.
  • Instead of paper plates, use the good china.
  • Use the million small bottles of shampoo you have been saving from hotels instead of buying more.
  • Go through your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and take inventory of what you have and use it. You will not only be saving money, but you will be saving the planet.
Invent new ways to do things that require using up stuff you already have.

Day 87
Make "green" transportation decisions.

Walk when you can, share a ride with someone, take the train or bus or ride your bike when you want to go places.

Make fewer trips in your car. Make a list of all the errands you need to do, and do them all at once. Try to do them with a friend who also needs to run errands.

Challenge yourself to use less gasoline. Keep track each week of how much gas you use and try to figure out new ways to use less. The less oil we use, the better.

Get your next set of activities for Week 13
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Day 88
Make a garden and grow some of your own food.

Growing your own food is fun, easy and healthy. It also saves you money and saves the planet since the food you grow at home does not have to be transported so far.

Grow herbs in a pot on the porch, plant hanging tomatoes or some arugula in a bed next to the front door, or create a plot in the community garden where you grow everything from eggplants to cauliflower.
Instead of growing weeds on a fence, plant a row of peas and enjoy their beauty and fresh taste. Whatever or however you decide to do it, please grow some of your own food.

Decide what you can do, challenge yourself and grow things that you love. You can freeze extras for later in the year, give and trade with neighbors and enjoy the sense of pride that comes from growing your own food, all while reducing your carbon footprint.

Day 89
Make your own cleaning supplies.

Say no to chemicals. There are many common household products that you can easily use to clean your home that really work.
Vinegar is great to clean windows, showers and sinks. Baking soda works wonders in the toilet and as an abrasive for cleaning tubs, and lemon freshens the air.

Day 90
Make lights greener in your home.

By simply turning off lights in empty rooms, you are not only saving energy, but you are also saving money. Ask yourself if you need the lights on during the day. So often we are in the habit of turning lights on at the office—perhaps there is enough natural sunlight to do our job without turning the switch on.

Be conscious about using electricity, and if you do not need an appliance, unplug it.

Get your final activities for Week 13

Water faucet
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Day 91
Make water choices that are green.

There are little ways to use water wisely, like fixing leaky faucets, and even bigger ways, like tearing up the front lawn and planting a vegetable garden!
You decide what works for you, but think about how you use the precious commodity that is water. How much of it do you use? How do you use it? Can you use less? Can you install a water filter instead of buying bottled water? Do you need a shower every day? How often do you really need to water your lawn? Can you plant something that does not require as much watering?

Wash your clothes in cold water, as heating the water uses tons of electricity.
If we all can use less water, we will be doing the earth a favor, and if we all keep water systems clean, we will be helping to save her.

Day 92
Make visits to your local farmers' markets.

When you buy locally grown products, you support the local economy, local farmers and crafts people.

Buying what is in season is also healthy for you and your family and healthy for the planet.

When we buy fruits and vegetables that are out of season, they are driven or flown from far away. This requires the use of loads of gasoline to transport them to our local supermarkets.

Have fun creating beautiful and delicious meals from what you find at the farmers' markets. Use your journal to jot down menus and recipes that you're crazy about.

Enjoy your outing at the farmers' market, bring bags with you and get to know the farmers. I promise you will love your farmers' market adventure, and you will be celebrating and supporting the earth and her bounty!

Get your daily activities for Week 14

Woman smelling flowers
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Make each day awesome.
This week, we are going to explore what it means to be awed and what people, places, events or things fill your heart with awe.

I long time ago, I heard a little verse that went something like this: "There are two ways to live your life...filled with awe or not at all." It made me stop and think about what awe is. Awe is awesome, and if it is not a feeling or word that you currently use in your vocabulary, this is the week to try it out.

Recognizing what fills you with awe is a gift you give to yourself. As you come to be aware of awe-filled places, experiences and events, you can begin to make deliberate plans to fill each day with awesome moments.

Awe is defined as a mixed emotion of reverence, respect and wonder inspired by authority, genius and great beauty. This week, each day will be filled with searching, seeing, feeling and discovering awe.

Allow yourself to tune in to that magical feeling of wonder and become awed by the song of an oriole, the moon as it fills the sky, the wind in your hair, the notes of a Mozart sonata, the beauty of the color in a beet, the quiet time right before the sun rises or the miraculous way dough rises when you bake bread. Notice the dew drops on a tomato plant first thing in the morning, taste the awesome flavor of a ripe melon, listen to the rain as it hits the roof playing a melody all its own or read a poem where the words speak directly to your heart.

Become an awe explorer—there are no boundaries, there are no rules. Just be awed.

Day 93–99
Make it an awesome week.

Each day this week, open your heart and eyes to beauty, wonder and awe. Write in your journal how you feel and what inspired your awe-filled experience.

Come back to your notes throughout the year and remind yourself how important awe is and give yourself the gift of living in awe.

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