Come On People! Let's Save the World!

In this section, we will try to give ideas and opinions about how to make the world a better place, curtail global climate change and maybe even help a few toads and frogs along the way! This is only a small list and is by no means exhaustive. The first thing to do is to realize that you do make a difference with each action you take or fail to take. You do effect the final sum, just like a drop in the bucket contributes to the full amount. Everything we do counts.

What can you do? Here's an easy, pain free one to start with. Bring cloth reusable bags to supermarkets. Most supermarkets sell their own cloth reusable bags now, so they're easy to find. These great bags are also wonderful for storing other things, like yarn and crafts, or a beach bag, or even laundry bag. The possibilities are endless. To see a great video on why we need to stop using plastic bags, check out the video short by the National Geographic Society. Its available at under TV shows. Its free to watch this video and there's nothing to sign up for or join. Plastic bags account for almost as much pollution as cigarette butts and are often mistaken for food by fish and sea turtles.

Here we see a great bag available at Hannaford supermarkets ( Notice how it folds up. When opened, the bottom of the bag is the sides you see one of in this picture. There is a LOT of yarn in this bag! You can fit tons more groceries in one of these than in any plastic bag. Below, see a photo of my hand made solution to reusing plastic bags. This bag dispenser can hold tons of plastic bags neatly and make them easy to recycle and reuse. We mostly use them for garbage bags. We try to avoid plastic all together, but sometimes you will get a few if you run out of cloth bags or if you bring home meat that leaks. If you would like to know more about ordering one of these, come by the toadilytoads free forum and ask.

Reusable bags are a BIG help. How about choosing products with the least amount of excessive packaging? I recall writing to a company back in the late 1980's who packaged deoderant with a plastic vaccu-form around it and put it in a box. I thought it seemed ridiculous. Today, pretty much all the deoderants are sold with just a seal over the product itself, thus eliminating all that vacu-formed plastic and the printed paper box. Now if they can just think of a way to make the container biodegradable. If you see a product that is excessively packaged, write to the company and ask friends to do the same. Many companies do listen because they want to be viewed favorably by the public, plus, they would save money on the packaging. Everybody's happy. And did you know that your one letter is considered to represent the voice of many? It's true. Since few people bother to write to companies, when they do get a letter, they assume it represents lots of other people who didn't bother to write in. So write! A quick email or a one page paper note mailed in can make a difference.

What else can you do? Choose partially recycled paper products and non-tree papers. Many greeting card companies are using environmentally friendly paper alternatives now. If your friends and family are online, send them an electronic card. Since most people throw out greeting cards after the occasion is over, just send them a digital card instead, and save the paper cards for major events like weddings or loss of loved one. Click here to check out our greeting card page. Try for a big selection of great electronic cards.

But there are lots of things besides greeting cards that rely on paper. Everything from toilet paper to paper towels and writing paper relies on paper. Choose wisely and read labels. See what products rely on post-consumer products and which don't. Always buy the product that has the least amount of new materials where possible. Marcal just put out a multipack of toilet paper that is 100% recycled material and it was quite a bargain, too because it has 1000 sheets per roll, plus its virtually lint free.

Try to find alternatives to using paper. For example, hang an old fashioned chalk board in your kitchen. Using that board, rather than a pad of paper can save lots of trees and unlike those dry erase board, that require markers that will end up in a landfill and a nasty chemical cleaner to clean the board, chalk is considered environmentally safe and can be cleaned off with water or a felt eraser. If you need the information to go, either use recycled paper in those cases, or get a used Palm Pilot or other small digital device which can store notes and phone numbers and be used on the go. Some cell phones do this now. There are many alternatives to using paper today. Yes, the factories which make dry-erase boards, Palm Pilots, and other digital devices and who make everything else man uses, do pollute the environment, but the saving of trees is the saving of earth and those items you would use are only bought once and not over and over. Trees and plants help clean the air. The real solution is for those companies and their factories to find clean ways to manufacture goods. And while its true that industry does replant trees for future use, over all, the amount of trees that are sacrificed each year out number the amount cut.


Before choosing things like household cleaning products, consider this. Many products can be replaced with natural substitutes that work really well. I have found that many natural products do work very adequately and only a few situations might call for the old chemical stuff. Window cleaner is a wonderful example. The smell of it makes me sick because I have MCSD (multiple chemical sensitivity disorder), however, I found a completely natural window cleaner in the natural section of the supermarket and it works just as well for cleaning mirrors and curio cabinet glass doors and television screens, as does the old chemical stuff. In fact, take some paper towels with you into the bathroom when you shower. When you get done in the shower, wipe the mirrors with the paper towels using nothing but steam and WoW! Look how clean the mirror is with NO chemicals!

White vinegar may stink, but the smell dissipates in a short enough time and doesn't put off the toxic fumes that bleach and ammonia do. It works very well for toilet cleaning and other fixtures and what chemical companies don't want you to know is that vinegar kills around the same amount of germs as their toxic stuff. To learn more about natural cleaning, I recommend which is a one stop shop for lots of very cool things like free greeting cards, plus cleaning and environmental information.


Humans make more trash than anything on earth. No animal has ever done this. It's nothing to be proud of. Landfills take up precious land that could be used for better things, like growing food, but now are poisoned by tons of garbage, much of which is contaminated or toxic material. People toss in the regular trash all sorts of chemicals which should be disposed of properly, but out of ignorance and sometimes out of laziness, people and businesses don't dispose of chemicals properly. Yes, there are some landfill models that are very efficient and actually are very environmentally concerned, but that doesn't represent all landfills and dumps.

By being careful, each of us can help make a total difference. Buy products with less packaging. Buy stuff you really will use. Avoid excess. Just because something is on sale doesn't mean its necessary to buy unless its something you really need and use. Buy stuff that comes in biodegradable containers where possible. For while it might be true that the landfill problem is exaggerated and we aren't literally swimming in trash, the fact is, people throw out chemicals into the regular garbage with no thought and this stuff is sitting in the earth seeping into the soil. Buy less chemicals. They really are overrated. Chemicals used in the home cause indoor air to be more polluted than outdoor.


And did you know that the vast majority of physical litter in the United States is comprised of cigarette butts? Not to mention the plastic wrapping on the box and the foil in the box and the box itself which is covered with toxic ink that seeps out of the paper when it gets wet. Even Big Tobacco is willing to admit this is true. Philip Morris, the richest tobacco company on earth, makers of Marlboro, admit that cigarette butt litter is the majority of liter on earth! They urge smokers to be responsible and not to toss butts on the ground or in water supplies.

Yes, it's true that if every smoker kept their butts in an ashtray and then emptied it directly into the garbage, it would help the problem a lot. In the end, however, those butts will end up in a landfill. What's the big deal? Did you know that cigarette filters (butts) are not made of cotton at all? They are made of plastic fibers that do not easily biodegrade. If that wasn't problem enough, once smoked, the butt contains deadly chemicals which have been combusted, making them much worse than if they'd been unburned. These spent chemicals lay in the butt which lays on the ground. When it gets wet, the toxins seep out and are leeched into the earth. Butts tossed in water bodies, like ponds, rivers and streams, begin leeching out their deadly toxins directly into places where toads and frogs must breed, feed and soak themselves! Did you know that many fish die because they ingest a floating cigarette butt that they mistake for something edible? If you could leech out only the nicotine from 200 butts, it would be enough to kill a human. When that much, plus all the other 4,000 spent chemicals from butts leech into the soil and water, you can begin to see the danger.

Many smokers think they are doing the right thing by tossing butts into the water to eliminate the danger of starting a forest fire. In the end, the forest fire would undoubtedly be much more of a disaster, but that doesn't justify tossing the butts into the water. Even Philip Morris suggested that smokers buy and carry portable ashtrays. Here is the most environmentally friendly model around:

The fact is, as you sit waiting for the next red light to change, look at the gutter along the road. Depending on where you live, there could be as many as a few thousands butts lining the curbs and road sides! I've seen this first hand. Its not only dangerous when it gets into sewers and water supplies, but its gross and unsightly, especially to non-smokers, who comprise 80% of the adult population in America. The fact is, if an average smoker consumes 20 cigarettes a day, that equals 7,300 butts per year and based on the knowledge that most smokers will stay addicted for up to 20 years before quitting, that means 146,000 butts tossed to the ground per smoker.

What can you do? Well, if you are a smoker, aside from the obvious (quitting), start using a portable ashtray and become conscious of your contribution to pollution. I know one person who smokes unfiltered cigarettes so that there are no butts left, but this is not a solution most people would opt for, especially women, for whom the filter was mainly developed for back in the 40's and 50's.

If you are a non-smoker, buy anyone you know who smokes a portable ashtray as a gift and tell them why it is important for them to use it. It is far better to have the multi-millions of butts in just the dumps and landfills than lining every water way, street and road in the country!


One very important thing everyone with a garden can do is to stop using all chemicals on your lawn and on your flowers and vegetables. Companies that produce these products are not going to tell you they're dangerous to the environment or to you and your family or pets. They are. Learn about organic gardening. While it might seem easier to just spray some horrible pesticide to kill whatever's eating your vegetables, think about the long term, far reaching impact. Frogs and toads are VERY sensitive to whatever is in the soil. After all, they live in the soil. If you use pesticides, you are poisoning frogs and toads. Meanwhile, if you had frogs and toads in your garden, they could eat up to 1,000 insects a day each!

Big industry doesn't want you to know that their lawn and garden products are dangerous. Get educated. What goes in your soil goes in your vegetables and that goes into your body and the body of your family. Not good!


A big impact can be made by each person if you just turn off electrical appliances that you are not really using. Stuff that stays in "stand-by" mode is often draining lots of energy per year. Entertainment systems are an example of that. If possible, unplug these systems or turn them off using an off switch on the electrical strip everything is plugged into. You will save a lot of electricity each year just by doing this.

Another thing you can do is where possible, use clocks around the house that run on a single AA or AAA battery. These clocks only use one battery every year and a half to two years on average and you can even use rechargeable batteries. Imagine the overall savings, even though its arguable that clocks generally use very little energy, the rechargable battery idea uses even less.

Replacing standard light bulbs with energy saving bulbs is another great way to cut electrical use. Be sure to read packages. Check out our page on bulb safety and learn about the mercury in compact fluorescent issue: Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs here:

In the kitchen, try to use glass Pyrex bowls for storage. They last a long time, are versitile and keep food fresh a long time. They are safer for you because they're glass and glass recycles much better than plastic. Avoid using kitchen plastic bags if you can help it. Store that other half of an onion in a small pyrex bowl, or at least a reusable plastic container, rather than a plastic food bag. You'll save money and make a big difference in plastic bag litter.


There are a million more things we can do everyday. The internet is a great place to find information on how to be green. It doesn't take much and most of these things wil save you money and be safer for you anyway.

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