A Second for the Earth

It only takes a second or two to live more lightly on the planet. Follow these easy tips and begin your journey to a greener lifestyle today.

Choose the product with the seal. Green Seal, EcoLogo, USDA Organic and FSC are valid certifications based on standards that gauge the effects of products on environmental and human health. Beware of “green washing”—labeling claims like “eco-friendly” and “all natural” that are not substantiated—and instead look for authentic certifications.

Order the wild Pacific salmon. Fishing methods, fish-farming practices and declines in marine populations mean that some seafood options are better than others. Farmed or Atlantic salmon, for example, is on the Shedd Aquarium Right Bite program’s “avoid list” due to the pollution produced by farming. Alaskan salmon is the best choice. See sheddaquarium.org/rightbite to learn more about the best and worst choices.

Save your old athletic shoes. Nike has kept more than 25 million pairs of athletic shoes out of landfills since 1990 by recycling them into running tracks and ball courts. The Solid Waste Agencies of Northern Cook County and Lake County have partnered with Nike in this effort. Drop off your shoes at Skokie’s Spring Greening or visit swancc.org or lakecountyil.gov/swalco for more information.

Meet the Author
Lee Hansen is the facility manager of Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie. Upcoming green community events include Skokie’s Spring Greening on April 10 (skokiespringgreening.org) and the Earth Day Celebration on May 1 (skokieparkdistrict.org). All are welcome!