Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day 2011–Tips

So I meant to have this up yesterday (you know, on Earth Day) but we’ve been hit my severe storms multiple days this week (it’s actually pouring and thundering right now) so I’ve been forced away from the computer a lot (and into the hallway under a blaring tornado siren at one point). But better late than never, right?

I’m not going to do a long post that goes deep into details and statistics – I know a lot of blogs covered all of that in great detail yesterday. Instead I thought I’d just list some of the things we’ve done to work toward a green lifestyle. Like I’ve said before, we have a long way to go until we’re as green as I would like, but every little bit helps. And if you have any tips please share them!

*Use reusable bags – This is the first change I made. I started with one bag from CVS and now have a nice little collection of a wide array of bags. I have everything from that first cloth bag to an insulated Trader Joes bag to a foldable Envirosax. You don’t have to spend a lot or really search much for these – just take a look near the checkouts next time you’re at the store. The first time I used reusable bags for my big grocery trip I was amazed – what would normally have been probably close to 10 plastic bags full of groceries fit into 3 reusable bags.

*Use reusable water bottles – This is another easy change that’s great for the environment and your wallet. Buying bottled water adds up – both on your grocery bill and in the amount of waste you have. But buying a reusable bottle and filling it up yourself is so easy, cost effective, and cuts down drastically on waste. And you can find bottles almost anywhere in a wide array of prices.

*Hang your clothes out to dry – The clothes line in our backyard is one of my favorite thing about our house. I use it a lot in the summer to dry towels, blankets and random other things (no underwear though, I’m not that green). I really cannot wait for it to warm up enough to start using the line again. It’s so great to be able to bypass using the dryer.

*When you have to dry get some dryer balls – Dryer balls are one of my newest purchases. I think they are great and really do work – I’ve noticed that our towels dry a lot faster now than what they did before – which means less energy being used – yay! I got mine at CVS but you can find them in a lot of places, and you can get the wool ones on Etsy.

*Recycle – You knew this already I’m sure. Our town has been slow to embrace recycling but there are now bins just down the street from us. Although life would be so much easier if we had curbside pick up here. Maybe some day. But Doug did build me an awesome cart to sort my recycling. I’ll blog it soon.

*Grow a garden – I plan to blog this more when we get our garden up and going but what’s more green than local food? And what’s more local than your own back yard? Plus there’s no packaging from garden-grown food which means no waste!

*Plan your errands – We don’t have public transportation here and riding a bike isn’t an option, so I try to plan my errands so that I’m not running all over town and instead can group all my errands by location. This is an even more enticing plan now that gas prices are rising!

*Use green cleaners – This is one area where I definitely have a lot to learn still but I have been trying to use vinegar more to clean. I also have started using green cleaners from the store – such as dish soap – but I still have really limited options here. I can find some Seventh Generation items in one store and our CVS has some store brand green cleaners (I use their disposable wipes to clean my desk at work). I really want to do some more research into this topic though.

So those are my main tips and tricks that I can think of right now. But since trying to be more eco-minded isn’t just something that I think about on Earth Day I’ll probably have more posts about my efforts to go green in the future.

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