Mar 3, 2006

Carrying On Earth Day Founder’s Legacy

ORLANDO, FLA July 6, 2005 – When Porter McNeil read about Earth Day founder Senator Gaylord Nelson’s passing on July 3rd, it was a poignant moment. “For some of us, that first Earth Day was more than just a reason to join in our school celebration for a day,” said Porter. “We’ve tried to make a small difference for the planet ever since.”

Raised in Jacksonville , Porter moved to Orlando soon after college. “All of a sudden, it seemed, 2000 was here,” Porter said. “If I was going to do something, this was the millennium to do it in.” Before long, Conservastore was born. It’s a website where people can find out about and buy earth-friendly products. “Conservastore is still not my day job,” Porter said. But if the growing diversity of his customer base is any indication, that could change pretty quickly. Clients range from teenage New Zealanders to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev (“They bought solar lights.”) Any State Department repeats? “Not yet,” Porter said. “Solar lights last a long time.”

Porter’s 9 simple steps to make every day your personal Earth Day:
Keep your thermostat at 80 degrees in the summer, 65 in the winter. Reduce lawn watering. Plant species native to your area take less water. Go solar. Recharge your cell phone with a 20-watt panel. Summer months: plant annual trees on the west and north sides of your home. Live in an apartment? Talk to the landlord. And how about where you work? It’s a low-tech money-saver. The trees will break the sun’s rays. Throughout the winter, no leaf blockage means sunlight will help warm the structure. Drive a hybrid. Use fluorescent and LED bulbs. They burn longer, less hot than incandescent. Start a “new wave” with water-saving devices. Examples: low flow aerators, hands-free faucets, and 1.6-gallon flush toilets. Hang your clothes out to dry. Even occasionally. Have concern for fellow citizens. The more efficiently you power your life, the more power there will be for the 6 billion other folks populating the planet. You’ve got the power. Use it!

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