So, I'm a day late with my ode to the earth post. Luckily I was reminded of earth day as I checked my favorite blogs. My friend Claire is a friend I've met through my cousin Meghan. She's a wife, mom, runner and green enthusiast (among other things)! She did an awesome post about how to incorporate some green ideas into your everyday life. I loved it so much and was so inspired by it I asked her if I could share it on my blog. I am someone who truly does care about the earth and wants to be a good steward of what God has blessed us with, but sometimes I get overwhelmed and intimidated by the whole "Green" movement and I just don't know where to start. I also feel really behind the curve. But, this post gave me hope and I know that if Claire can do it, so can I! Please enjoy these ideas from Claire and visit her blog, she has an ADORABLE son named Jack!
I love that we are more aware than ever that the way we are living is affecting our beautiful planet. And because it's EARTH DAY today, I thought I would share a few simple ways that I have changed the way I live and consequently become more green! Maybe you'll pick up a few tips that you'll incorporate into your own lifestyle and I hope you'll share some of your own green ideas in the "comments" section at the end of this post!
1. Take the paper towel roll off the counter. I have it under my sink, out of sight, and by doing so, I hardly ever grab a sheet here and a sheet there for quick clean-ups that I can easily use my sponge for. And for those of you who don't like the idea of using a sponge in your kitchen b/c of the scary commercials that portray sponges as killers, with deadly bacteria...all you have to do is throw it in the dishwasher every once in awhile OR fill a bowl with water and microwave the sponge in water and it sanitizes it. Additionally, I hardly EVER clean with paper towels anymore. I have a large stack of rags under my sink next to my cleaning products. And b/c I clean with earth-friendly and non-toxic products, I just use rags to clean, wash and use again. For over a year now I've lived by these practices and I've noticed that the ONLY time I actually use a paper towel is to cover something I'm reheating in the microwave. A roll of paper towels lasts well over 2 months in my house.
2. I use cloth napkins for every meal. It's nice to not have them reserved for only the holidays or special occasions! Everyday is worth it! I picked up this practice from a friend of mine. And it adds a nice touch to ever meal when you have a cloth napkin in your lap, even if it's just eating a sandwich alone and checking your email, there's something, old fashioned (maybe?) that I love about it and can't see myself ever going back to using paper napkins or paper towels! And to answer the question I know you're asking yourself....how does washing cloth napkins end up being green when you have to wash them? Well, if it doesn't get too dirty, we fold it back up and use it again. But as for the dirty ones, we simply throw them in the wash (that we are already doing) with our other laundry. And between Matt, Jack and myself (and the size of our washer) I do enough loads to where we've never had the issue of not having a napkin for a meal.
3. Store everything in tupperware. I can't remember the last time I stored something in a resealable plastic bag. And if I do...when I'm done I rinse it and reuse the bag! Even when I pack a lunch for Matt, I go as far as putting chips (for example) in tupperware, same with his sandwich-everything!
4. Recycle EVERYTHING you can!
5. Buy Organic! I try to buy as many organic products as I can. Some items are more important to buy than others. Meat, produce, milk, eggs are some of the ones I always buy organic. Some things can be dramatically more expensive than the non-organic version, so I price shop between publix and super target, and found that super target beats publix's prices when it comes to most of the organic products I buy. And for the baby mamas out there, target has the absolute lowest price on Earth's Best Organic baby food. I use their jar food and rice cereal, and no one is cheaper than target!
6. Make your own cleaning products! This sounds like a huge job. But honestly it's one of the easiest ways to clean green and save green! Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil are natural disinfectants, you mix them with water and clean counter tops, sinks, floors, any surface really. I bought a book by the company Seventh Generation called, Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe & Healthy, Non-Toxic Cleaning it has the recipes for the cleaning products, along with alot of other great information. The oil is a small investment initially, but it last SO much longer than a bottle of product from the grocery store. And it's so much safer...especially if you have little ones crawling, touching and eating everything!
These are just a few small things that I thought of and wanted to share! Please leave any of your GREEN ideas in the comments section to share!