In our household, we practice lots of ways to stay green and to lower our environmental impact. This not only benefits us in often healthier choices, more physical activity and cost savings, but also is leaving a cleaner and hopefully more bountiful environment for our children, subsequent generations and all the other critters that we share this world with.
So to celebrate Earth Day, here are a few of the ways that we reduce our environmental footprint. Hopefully this may inspire you to make a few changes in your home to become 'greener' and help restore the planet (and save some money at the same time).
- Recycle - We are lucky enough to live in a community that are strong supporters in recycling. We recycle a lot. We recycle far more than we throw away. This also saves us money because we have to pay by the bag for our trash. We also are planning to start composting soon which will reduce our trash waste and also benefit our garden.
- Cloth Diaper - When I was pregnant I started exploring our diaper options and was really intrigued (and overwhelmed at times) by cloth diapers. Did you know that it takes a disposable diaper 250-500 years to completely decompose? Shocking, right?! Cloth diapering is super easy, exposes your kiddo to less toxins, saves a ton of money and drastically reduces your waste. You do spend some times and energy washing and drying, but the water and electric use is much less than what it takes to manufacture disposable diapers. We spent about $200 for our diaper stash and it has paid itself off numerous times within the first year. If not able to do it full time, considering trying it out part time (there are times that we use disposable during travel or sickness). Plus, fluff butts are sooooo darn adorable!
- Waste-free lunch - Packing your lunch with reusable containers and real silverware can reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount.
- Garden & plants in the home - By gardening we save a ton of money. If not able to garden, shop your local farmers market as doing so will support your local economy and your food will come from a closer source so less toxins are put into the environment during transportation. Our harvest from last years garden saved us so much money since we didn't have to purchase many vegetables through summer & fall. Plants in the home are a great way reduce toxins in the air and has even been shown to provide stimulation to make you more productive.
- Walk more - Ditch the constant use of the car and walk or bike to your destination. If not able to walk, then consider carpooling or taking public transportation. You can often find me taking a walk to the store, park or yoga classes. I get extra activity, get out in nature, burn calories and lessen my carbon footprint. My husband carpools with a co-worker often and this saves us so much money on gas costs as well.
- Go paperless - Try to print less. Most people have constant access to mobile devices so printing is often unnecessary. Buy digital copies or magazines, newspapers or books. Instead of using paper towels, use old t-shirts for your cleaning needs or use dishtowels to mop up messes.
- Use natural cleaning products - Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean so much. We never buy cleaning supplies anymore and I don't have to worry about my toddler getting into toxic supplies and the residue of using them. It's also very economically savvy.
- Turn off and unplug - If you're not using something, turn it off and unplug it. Many devices still draw power when plugged in, even if not being used. If not using your monitor (lunch break, meeting, nighttime), turn it off. Unplug your charger devices, toaster, coffeemaker, etc. when not in use.
- Use a programmable thermostat - This investment pays itself off in no time. There's no point having the heat turn on during the day when you're not home or when your nested in bed under covers. While you're at it, put on a sweatshirt and lower your thermostat a degree or two.
If you're interested in seeing what your carbon footprint is check out the free carbon footprint calculator on The Nature Conservancy website.
|Source: She Knows|
What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day everyday?
What's one small way you can help reduce your carbon footprint in the home or at work?