Today we celebrate our EARTH! It is the day that millions of people around the globe gather together to heighten awareness of how much the Earth needs our love. Pollution of the air and the ocean, toxicity of the land we grow our food on, and the chemicalization of household products are some of the pressing issues that Earth Day is here to address. Earth Day is the largest environmental movement in the world that is designed to raise our consciousness in all the positive things you can do to heal our planet.
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For this special day, I gathered some tips that are easy to apply and will hopefully trade the ‘convenient’ lifestyle with the ‘eco-friendly’ one.
RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be mindful and recycle everything that it is recyclable. It takes a little effort to keep things separate but we save the environment big time.
OPT FOR TAP WATER AND REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES
Believe it or not, according to National Geographic, water in plastic bottles is not better than tap water, and so much more expensive! By investing in a good water filter you save lots of money and have ten times less plastic waste.
COOK FROM SCRATCH and DON’T WASTE FOOD
Cooking from scratch is healthier, fun and way more economic. Again, bought food fills up your trash can with more plastic than you realize. Buy only what you can consume in several days. According to research, in America 40% of our food gets wasted. So many people overbuy produce that ends up being thrown in the garbage disposal or trash. Also understand the expiration dates. Manufacturers put a date on the package that would be best by, but that doesn’t mean that if it hits that exact date the food needs to be thrown away.
If you have extra fruit and vegetables, learn to can and preserve or put food in the freezer to create small meals.
Some people will never eat yesterday’s meal; instead make a habit to eat leftovers. If you dine out, always take the food you didn’t eat with you, so you can have lunch the next day. You can also freeze leftovers or repurpose scraps.
Buying food by the pound is always more economical and creates less waste.
AVOID PLASTIC AND NET PACKAGING
Try to visit farmer’s markets and markets where you can buy loose fruit and vegetables. There is nothing worse than the styrofoam trays and the nets used to package produce. These materials are not recyclable and they create tons of debris. Unfortunately there are some fruit and vegetables that are hard to find loose any more. Often I will find one or two bad pieces of fruit in these bags; so we pay for a rotten orange, lemon or potato… crazy, right?
DITCH THE ‘EVERYTHING DISPOSABLE’ HABIT
Many people prefer to use disposable plates, cups and silverware to avoid washing the dishes. I know it is so tempting to ‘throw it in the trash’ but the garbage bags pile up . . . more plastic, more waste and more trash. Ugh!
There are a lot of creative ways to repurpose many things that normally would go to the trash. Find ways to repurpose the things you don’t need any more and have fun creating.
USE CLOTH NAPKINS
At home we use cloth napkins every day. You don’t have to have a formal gathering to use cloth napkins. Cloth napkins are pretty and very easy to clean. They are more durable and down the road way more economic than paper napkins. At the end of the day, you will have less trash, which means less plastic bags.
ELIMINATE PLASTIC BAGS
The debris created by plastic shopping bags is extremely painful for the environment. Every so often we see and hear in the news how plastic bags destroy our ecosystem. It takes little effort to remember to keep cloth or basket bags in our car to carry our groceries and everything else we buy.
START A COMPOSTE PILE OR BIN
Composte piles are great for many reasons. First, you save a lot of money on fertilizers and chemicals that you would normally use to grow healthy plants. Second, you have way less trash by adding all the food scraps to your composte. And lastly, foods that would take some years to decompose in the landfill take only a few months in a composte pile and they make the best, most nutritious plant food.
CHANGE LAUNDRY HABITS
Washers and Dryers–especially dryers–eat the biggest amount of energy in a household. If you haven’t done it already, switch to a energy star front load washer and dryer–you will save lots of money in electric bills. Try to use clothes more than once; not everything used needs to hit the dirty clothes hamper with the first wear. Avoid chemical detergents and dryer sheets that end up in the landfill. Even better, try to use less dry cleaning. Hang your clothes outside to fresh dry. We used to do that when I was a kid in Greece and the clothes always smelled so clean and fresh!
If you have clothes that have a stain that you can’t clean or other minor imperfections, don’t throw them away… Instead, donate. Even the things that you think are not worthy to give away will always cover another person’s need.
PLANT A TREE
There are so many benefits for the environment by planting a tree. Trees give oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, conserve energy, and so much more. Besides, planting a tree is fun and rewarding. Plant a tree and give it a name of a loved one. It becomes a very special activity with everlasting gifts in return!
ORGANIC, REUSABLE AND WASHABLE GROCERY BAG:
Invest in a high quality washable shopping bag that you will use again and again. $12.87
SIMPLE MODERN WATER BOTTLE
The Simple Modern Wave water bottle is stainless steal, double walled and vacuum insulated, which keeps your favorite beverage hot or cold for hours. It comes in beautiful colors and patterns $10.99
AFRICAN DYE-FREE HAND MADE OVAL SHOPPER
This dye free basket is woven of natural grass. $35.19
100% COTTON NAPKINS SET OF 12
Colorful and Comfortable napkins made from all-natural fibers. $16.99
NEW ZEALAND WOOL DRYER BALLS
- NO FILLERS, NO CHEMICALS, PURE LOVE FROM NATURE! Kintor wool dryer balls are totally natural and made with no chemicals. They shorten drying time, soften laundry, reduce wrinkles, static, cling, twisting, tangling, lint & pet hair! $10.97
Happy Earth Day!