Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy a la carte Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

What will you do to celebrate Earth Day?

Here are 10 simple ideas that you could adopt today and forever.  In a la carte fashion, you choose what will work best for you, and what you can stick with for lasting change!

  1. Reduce - reduce what you consume.  When you are at the store, take a critical look at your cart and think, do I really NEED this item, or is this purchase retail therapy?  Reduce what you consume for the good of your pocketbook and the planet, and only buy what you really need.
  2. Reuse - reuse items you already have.  If you are done using an item, think about how else you could use it.  This could be as simple as, reusing a ziplock bag, or reusing your lunch bag.  How about reusing those velcro lettuce/veggie gizmos? The possibilities are endless, and reusing things also adds green to your pocketbook because it reduces what you consume.  Win, win :)
  3. Recycle - we all should be doing this, but America lags far behind other countries in what we do recycle vs what we can recycle.  Did you know that we import plastic water bottles to be recycled into fabrics for fleece, t-shirts, and carpet because we do not recycle enough in the US?  That is just sad!  Do your part and recycle all you can, it's a matter of retraining yourself, and putting those recyclables out to the curb!
  4. Spring is here, and that means getting outside more, and being in our yards.  Think about reducing the amount of yard waste that ends up in the landfills.  Did you know that 20% of municipal waste comes from yard waste, mostly grass clippings?  Why not add those clippings to your compost heap, and creating some rich soil.  Or use the clippings to mulch around the base of your trees, adding back nutrients, shading the tree roots, and helping to maintain moisture for the tree?
  5. Take a waste-free lunch.  Instead of throwing out lots of lunch waste, how about packing smart, and reducing your environmental footprint?  Bring your sandwich in a reusable pouch, or if you don't have one, how about recycled aluminum foil?  Then turn around and recycle the foil you've used.  For your sweet, salty, and fruit/veggie items, use reusable snack bags, or reusable plastic containers.  Better yet, bring fruit that's in it's own packaging such as clementines, bananas, apples, or pears.  Don't forget to compost the "packaging"!
  6. Use both sides!  Don't recycle that paper yet...instead, reuse the other side for notes, in the printer, or for drafts.  After you've used both sides and are done with the paper, THEN recycle it.  You'll be helping to save trees twice, once by reusing, then by recycling.
  7. Vanquish the vampires!  What is vampire power?  It's known as standby power, vampire draw, phantom load, or leaking electricity, and refers to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode.  A common type of vampire power is a power adapter which has no power-off switch. So unplug things that are not in use, or install power strips that can turn off multiple items with the flick of a switch, and bye bye vampire power, and hello green in your pocket.  
  8. April showers bring May flowers.  All the spring rain, can be saved for watering those flowers if you capture it in a rain barrel.  They are simple to make, or they are available at many home improvement stores.  You can conserve gallons of water, reduce your water bill, and keep your flowers, and veggies watered at the same time :)
  9. Green your spring cleaning.  So many of us are ready to fling open the windows, and do some spring cleaning.  Why not use products that won't add to indoor air pollution, and your chemical load?  There are many options available to purchase, and even more options to make your own green cleaners.  Happy green cleaning!
  10. Get outside!  Pick up the trash that's blow into your yard.  Take a few bags (recycled of course), take a walk down the street, and beautify the neighborhood while doing a good deed for Mother Earth.  If it's misting or drizzling, consider it a free facial from Mother Nature.  Do some yard cleanup, get your hands a bit dirty, prep your gardens.  Just think, you'll fill your lungs with fresh air, get some exercise, and feel good about helping.  There are proven benefits to getting outside and working the Earth!
Happy a la carte Earth Day!  I hope you decide to give one or more of these ideas a try today, or in the future :)

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