It IS easy being green
I am a firm believer in Going Green. I celebrate Earth Day every year. I believe in Mother Earth.
What better way to say thank you to her the Earth Day (April 22) than to give something back. Last year we planted flowers and made Earth cookies. This year I’m not necessarily making any yummy goodies, but I am going to make some simple changes at home that will do some good for the Earth.
The tips I picked are VERY easy and there is no excuse to not get in the habit of them.
I will be gathering ingredients to make my own laundry detergent. The “Green Reason” is that making it will cut down on trash and (Are you ready for this?) you can SAVE MONEY!! Being a household of five with an oil field working husband, us both being in martial arts (lots of gi washing) and three kids which includes a very messy toddler, we go through lots of detergent. I usually buy that big sucker of detergent with the nozzle at least once a month for about $17. This recipe will give me months of detergent for only $20.
Buy produce locally. On Fridays in Pleasanton in front of the Atascosa Livestock Exchange there is a booth that sells locally grown produce. I’m not sure of the hours. I think they’re open until lunch. (If anyone does know send me an email.) Another thing to do with produce is to get reusable produce bags. You can easily make some from (you guessed it) old T-shirts.
If you have old cell phones, electronics you can recycle them. Best Buy has bins at the entrance of their stores where you can dispose of them properly. Electronics have mercury in them and need to be treated differently from regular trash.
I use A LOT of paper towels and my biggest goal this Earth Day is to convert to a cloth only kitchen. I am going to “repurpose” the scraps from my old T-shirts and use dishtowels more often.
Things I already do and you can too
Reusable grocery bags are key. I have a very large selection of reusable bags now. One thing you can do is to turn your old T-shirts into bags. This eliminates waste. H-E-B is having an Earth Day special. If you bring in five plastic grocery bags on Earth Day between 11am and 3pm you can get an H-E-B reusable one for FREE (while supplies last).
Get rid of unwanted mail. I signed up years ago on Catalog Choice. My unwanted mail has decreased, but some companies don’t like to stop sending so easily, it may take a few requests before it completely stops.
Donate your items to Salvation Army/Goodwill. Not only will you declutter your home and cut down on trash, but shopping there you can also help out the local economy.
Of course, switch your light bulbs to CFLs. These are the lights with the curly look. We changed ours years ago and have only had one go out on us. So once again. YOU save money. You can also use your lights less and use the natural light.
I purchase Green Works cleaning products and while some of them didn’t make the grade for me, the toilet bowl cleaner is on the A honor roll. I’ve been using this one for quite some time. It does a fantastic job and is green. You can find it in the cleaning aisle.
Sign up for paperless billing whenever you can. I receive most of my statements and bills through email. This saves on so much paper and cuts back on waste tremendously.
For the Office
At our office we take used printer paper, cut it in half and put it in a basket next to the main room phone to use the backs for messages. I also have turned most of my co-workers into plastic conscious peeps. I began putting the water bottles I finished on the end of my desk to take home to recycle. Eventually others began leaving their bottles too. I now fill two or three trash bags with plastic bottles a week. I take them home and put them in my bin.
RECYCLE! If your town offers recycle pick up the DO IT! When we first moved to our house I didn’t have a bin. All I did was pick up the phone and call the City of Pleasanton who had one delivered to me. It is that easy.
Do something GREEN this week and send me pics to feature online. I’m an Earth lover and would love to see you contributing to Mother Earth.
Here are a couple of sites to get more GOING GREEN tips: