5 Ways To Help The Earth Every Day
Happy Earth Day 2017 friends! Today I wanted to share with you 5 simple ways to help reduce your use and keep Mother Earth happy so here they are:
1. Use Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are very popular right now and I have been impressed with a lot of the places I shop at frequently who offer them. For example, ALDI (my fave) doesn't even offer regular grocery bags; you have to buy or bring your own reusable bags or you can use some of their boxes or maybe you don't even need a bag! I love this concept because it forces you to use less and because of it, I have plenty of reusable bags at all times in my car for all of my shopping needs! Besides using reusable bags for shopping, there are a ton of different ways you can reuse a plastic shopping bag, such as Target's. Here are a few, they can be used as small trash liners, doggy clean up bags, shipping package padding, lunch bags (my husband always leaves his lunchbox at work so I do this one A LOT), dirty diaper bags, and I keep Mac's extra diaper bag clothes in an old Target bag so that I can put the icky ones in the bag when she needs to change!
2. Reuse Old Food Containers
I may have learned this one from my Mom or Grandma because they are really good at it! Instead of buying more Tupperware (am I the only one who has an obscene amount?) or using Ziploc bags you can use old jars and plastic containers to store food. Since I've been making my husband's lunch every day, I have noticed I go through so many Ziploc bags and not only are they bad for the environment but they're not cheap either. The food sits in it for a few hours and then when it's empty, you just throw it away; such a waste! Cool Whip, yogurt, pickles, lunch meat, and jelly jars are all really good items to hang onto and once washed can easily be used to store anything. I also like to reuse mason jars or glass bottles to put fresh or fake flowers in.
3. Conserve Water
You've probably heard this one a million times, and forgive me if I sound like your mom, but don't leave the water running when brushing your teeth! Did you know that you use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth? I didn't and I was shocked! That's a lot of water! Other ways to conserve water include, fixing leaky faucets (a leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons of water a day), use a reusable water bottle, wash dishes by hand, and defrost frozen foods by letting them sit out or in the microwave vs running water on them. All of these awesome ideas and facts about water conservation and more can be found here.
4. Conserve Energy
Growing up, my Dad was constantly reminding my sister and I to turn the lights off and not stand with the fridge doors open and now, at 29 years old, I can finally say, I get it! Thanks Dad! Every time you turn off a light, shut the fridge doors, turn the TV or computer off you are not only conserving energy but you are saving money, and who doesn't like saving money? A few other ways to conserve energy in your home are, use compact fluorescent bulbs, use cold water when washing clothes, keep curtains closed on hot summer days and use plastic sheeting on windows in the winter to help heat from escaping.
5. Make Your Own Green Cleaner
I saved the best for last! My husband, Mac, and I go to an ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) class every week and this week we learned about a super easy way to make your own all purpose cleaning solution. Before I tell you what it is, I want to share with you something else we discussed during class. Thanks to excellent marketing skills, we have all been tricked into thinking that we NEED a different type of cleaning product for every room/item in our house. After hearing this, I went home and counted every container of cleaning solution I owned and I have 25! Those 25 items included everything from glass cleaner to carpet cleaner and toilet cleaner and everything in between. I have to admit, I kind of feel duped by those marketing companies, because do we really need all of those different products? The answer is NO. I also have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first about this DIY cleaning solution because for so long I've believed that I NEEDED all of those chemicals to get stuff clean and in reality I don't. I have been using this solution on everything from the kitchen and bathroom counter tops to the toilet bowl and I have to say I am really impressed and never going back to those other icky products! So here it is:
If you don't like the smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils! Also, on hard surfaces, instead of using a paper towel, use a wash cloth or Norwex towel. I've been using a Norwex towel that my MIL gave and I love it! Thanks so much for reading and if you make the Green Cleaner or have any other tips or tricks I'd leave to hear from you in the comments below! Happy Earth Day!