Monday, April 22, 2013

12 Easy Ways to Go Green for Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone!

For those of you that know me, you know that I am very into making our lives and our environment healthier.
Going green can seem really daunting at first, so I have made a list of 12 easy ways that you can go green this Earth Day (and after!)Pick one or two, or all twelve! I hope you find them helpful!

1) Use a reusable bag

Don't own one? Most stores carry them near the check outs and usually cost about $1. Bonus: Most stores give you a $0.05 discount per bag used on a given shopping trip! Want a fancy one? Check out Envirosax! Here is my review.

2) Carpool

Ride with your friends or family members to your location rather than meeting them there. This saves on gas and gives you more time to connect with the ones you love! Funny things always happen in carpooling situations! Take turns driving.

3) Visit the library

Checking out books, music and videos rather than buying each one new really cuts down on paper use! Also, you don't end up with a pile of books that weren't as great as you thought they would be!

4) Sign up for online bill paying

This saves a lot of paper! Plus often-times paying bills online is faster and harder to forget for those of us who check our emails often.

5) Ask your employer about direct deposit checks

 Many already use this, but when you think of a small business with a handful of employees, that is quite a bit of paper saved over a year!

6) Take a walk (in your cute shoes)

We live relatively close to a book store that we frequent, so sometimes we like to take a walk there rather than driving. Try it tonight, walk to somewhere you want to visit, or just take a walk around your neighborhood and appreciate your environment.

7) Buy and sell used items

If you have any unwanted items in your home box them up by category (media and books, clothing, furniture etc.) and take them to your local resale, consignment and thrift stores. That way someone else can enjoy the book you bought again. You make a little cash, and you gain a lot of room in your home! Buying used is also great! I can typically find great books, DVDs and CDs that I am looking for, for much less than the new price! Anything left over? Have a garage sale or donate it to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army store. Ask for a receipt and you can write the donation off on your taxes next year!

8) Download your music
I know that CD's can be fun to buy, and I still buy them for select bands or artists, but downloading them is much greener. Think about it: less plastic, less paper and less shipping cross-country involved! Plus, if your computer has a problem or you get a new one, you don't have to take the time to re-upload all of your CDs.

9) Have a meatless meal

Meat processing takes a TON of energy, not to mention the shipping energy to get it to your table. For this reason cutting out meat every once in a while can be a great way to be greener! Meatless Mondays are a trend right now, where people just cut out meat on Mondays. I think even one meal would be great! To do this you don't have to eat anything crazy or strange! Just think simple! Mexican food with black beans and veggies as the meat replacement, pasta with veggies in the sauce, grilled cheese, breakfast for dinner! When you think of it this way, you don't even notice that you are going without meat! I promise, my husband was a BIG carnivore and he has started saying things like, "I like this, but I don't know that it really needs meat.." - woah!

10) Replace one product

Out of shampoo? Instead of running to the store and grabbing a new one, check with the health food store or health food section of your normal grocery store for a great alternative. Look for something that is paraben, sulfate, and artificial fragrance free. This goes for anything you are out of, chapstick, dish soap, mascara, toothpaste, sponges... you name it! I've been doing this as I run out of things for years and I am getting so close to having ALL healthy products! When you do it gradually, it doesn't create a big expense!

11) Recycle something

Even if you normally don't. Research places in your town to recycle. Many Walmart stores have recycling centers even if your town doesn't have an independent one. Often times schools will have large bins by their dumpsters where you can recycle everything but glass without even sorting! Plus the school is often rewarded with money or other gifts for their recycling efforts! Help out your local schools!

Already Recycle? Consider thinking outside of the box. What else can you recycle? Batteries, Electronics, old cell phones etc. What can you safely dispose that you hadn't thought of? Nail Polish, Light Bulbs, Paint.. Dig deeper!

12) Unplug Electronics

Not using your blender right now? Done with your TV, DVD, game systems for the night? Did you know that most electronics use electricity even when not in use? This means that they are wasting energy AND hiking up your electrical bills! Avoiding this is simple, unplug items when they aren't in use, and utilize power strips. Plugging all of your TV related items into a power strip and turning it off at night is really quick way to be green and save green.

One thing I am doing today:

One thing I am doing today is reading this fantastic book The Honest Life, by Jessica Alba. It has some amazing tips, recommendations and facts about greening your life. Her perspective is parental, so she did her research! Can't wait to share more about it with you later! (Read My Review Here.)

What are you doing to become greener today?

All for now,


Want more eco-info? Check out my #green tab above!

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