Updated: Apr 23, 2019
We all know we should do our share to take care of the world around us. This not only pertains to the people in the world but also the earth itself.
Don't worry I am not about to lecture you on all the ways you are destroying the earth and shame you for every little thing you do. Instead, I am going to give you some quick and simple ideas of ways to do just a little better.
Most of the things I will be discussing are free, quick and easy to do!
No Earth Day Post is complete
without a word or two about Recycling
I know. I know. Of course I am going to talk about recycling. Nobody can talk about earth-saving measures without mentioning how recycling keeps things out of the landfills and so forth and so on. This is all true, and you all know this already, so I am going to move on to giving you some easy recycle options for your day to day life. Keep in mind that convenience is key! If it is difficult to make a better choice, then you are more likely to keep sticking to your good ol’ ways.
Here are two simple ways to encourage you to recycle (at least some of the time):
1. Find out if your neighborhood waste service offers curbside recycling pick up. If this is a service in your neighborhood it is merely a matter of tossing your junk mail and milk jugs and cans into the recycling bin instead of the trash can. If you have a recycling bin next to your regular waste bin there is not much effort needed. Yes, a can or jug needs a quick clean out before you recycle it, but again, this is not a lot of added time or effort.
2. When you are done putting your groceries away, put all your grocery plastic bags into one bag and bring them with you next time you head to the store. Most grocery stores have bins out front where they collect plastic grocery bags. Of course, you can always opt for paper bags instead and put those into your recycling bin at home.
Next, let's talk about making Green Choices
Our days are filled with choices and decisions. What do I wear today? Where will I eat lunch? When will I schedule that appointment? Almost everything we do is the result of a choice we made at some point. Now, what is stopping us from making better choices, in this case, greener choices? Is it convenience? Is it lack of information? No matter the cause, we can make a conscious decision (a choice) to be more mindful of our own actions.
5 ways you can choose to be more green for little or no money:
1. Put it on a plate.
Use your re-usable plates instead of paper plates, on a regular basis. You know, the breakable china plates in your cabinet? I know how convenient paper plates are but since most households are equipped with dishwashers (or children of dish-washing age) the clean-up is pretty quick with regular plates too!
2. Pack a lunch.
Use reusable containers for lunches. Not only are they a great alternative to plastic baggies, but think of all the non-smooshed food you can enjoy! No more, crushed-at-the-bottom-of-my-bag-sandwiches, or my-baggie-leaked-and-my-purse-smells-like-tuna. There are so many reusable varieties and materials to choose from so you are bound to find one you like. Stainless steel, glass, plastic, you do you!
3. Tote it with you.
You know those tote-bags with some company logo on them that you brought home from an event you went to? The re-usable kind that you probably stuffed into the back of your cabinet. Why not dig them out and use them the next time you head to the grocery store? You can keep them in your car, you can keep them by the front door with your keys. If they are easy to see and get to, then there is a much better chance you will actually grab them. And don’t fret if you forget them from time to time, even bringing them some of the time is better than not at all.
4. There is no time like Ragtime.
Use rags to clean up spills instead of always reaching for paper towels. For most day to day spills and messes, you can use a rag. It is ok to keep some paper towels on hand for particularly messy tasks, think motor oil, or for specifics like draining bacon fat or patting dry a raw chicken. But for tomato sauce spilled on the counter or a milk glass knocked over by a toddler, a rag will do the job just fine! Wipe, rinse and wring out. Ta-da! If you don’t have any rags but you have some old t-shirts on hand, you can cut them up into sizable squares and use those.
5. Hand it down.
When I say hand-me-downs you might think of cousin Susie’s lace-collared blouse or big brother Josh’s worn out tennis shoes. But keep in mind that hand-me-downs can be so much more than that! I think it is a shame that second-hand is often viewed as a negative thing, because handing down clothes or belongings to someone else who can use it is both smart and green. Keep this in mind when your kids grow out of something that is still in good condition. Do you know someone who could use it? If not, donate it to a resale shop so it can find a new owner. This also goes for toys, home goods, and your own clothes. There are also numerous organizations that will pick up donations, making getting rid of them a breeze!
Last, but not least, let’s talk about clutter.
Did you know that getting organized can directly impact your earth-friendliness too?
3 ways less clutter benefits the world around you:
1. You can find your stuff so you don’t go out and buy it again.
When something gets "lost" in our house we often head out and buy it again. Doing so just adds to the mountain of duplicates that eventually will end up in the trash because, let's face it, we just don't need 17 staplers! If your things are organized, you can find them when you need them and stop the seemingly never-ending "stuff cycle".
2. You free up your time!
If you are not constantly looking for things or spending endless hours cleaning up stuff strewn about in your home, then you can free up time to do other things. Maybe you can volunteer at a donation site or food pantry? Maybe you can participate in a beach or park clean up, or plant trees at a nature center? You have time to make an impact.
3. You will start looking at your things as valuable and worth taking care of.
When we don’t have an endless supply of things we start to truly realize their value. Maybe your son has one favorite car that he plays with all the time. If he only has that ONE car and not ten similar ones, he will soon learn to take care of it so he can keep playing with it. This goes for most things in our house. Most of us strive for owning only things we love and use and by clearing clutter we can be on the path to achieving just that. As soon as we stop viewing our belongings as merely temporary or disposable, we will start to take better care of them. Same goes for the world around us, we need to train ourselves to treat it as the indispensable and precious thing it is!
I know taking care of the earth and the world around us is a big task that will not be achieved in one single day.