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Happy Earth day everyone! It’s raining here in the north country today, and I can’t help but realize how appropriate it is. Excuse me for being a bit melodramatic, but it’s as if the earth is crying.
We as humans have not been very kind to our mother earth. Before science had advanced to a point where we could understand the ways our actions and way of life affects the planet, I guess you could say it was forgivable. Now we are very aware, and now there is no excuse as to why we can’t try to reverse the damage we have done as a species.
I try my best to be as earth conscious as I can be in the way I go about my day. While there is still a LOT of room for improvement, I have a few habits that make me feel like I’m trying best to do my part.
I use my reusable shopping bags…
Unfortunately that’s not to say that I don’t ever acquire plastic bags, they’re everywhere. I collect every single plastic bag that is recyclable, such as the bags that hold the boxed cereals and the air pockets that protect the products we buy online. At your local Walmart or Target, they should have a big bin that they use to collect all of these bags to be recycled, and that’s exactly what I do with them.
I recycle everything that I can…
New York is a very recycle friendly state, and we are very fortunate that my husband has been assigned here. Our on post housing provides a recycle bin along with our trash bin and picks up every other week. While our trash bin only has about one or two trash bags on trash day, our recycle bin is always overflowing with recyclables. Before I throw anything out, I check to make sure that it is in no way able to be recycled, and my 5-year-old daughter does too. That makes me such a proud mama.
I’m conscious of the packaging the products I buy come in…
We used to use tide pods, then I realized the bag they come in is not recyclable. The plastic tubs are, but then I discovered something new. I came across and recently switched to Tide’s new pure clean liquid laundry detergent. It’s a bio based detergent made with 100% renewable energy, contained in a 100% recyclable bottle, and manufactured in zero waste to landfill facility. It smells of honey lavender and is a product I’m totally crushing on at the moment due to its earth friendly elements.
Little Tikes is one of my favorite brand of kids toy’s, because all of the plastic they use can be recycled. If you go look at one of your kiddos Little Tikes toys right now, I guarantee you’ll see that little recyclable symbol on them. Which is great, because they make some great toys for and my kids have a lot of their products.
Instead of using Lysol disinfectant wipes that are not biodegradable, I now use Seventh Generations disinfectant spray cleaner. It kills germs botanically, and the entire bottle can be recycled. Now I try to purchase as many of my products as I can with their content and packaging’s afterlife in mind. Buying in bulk helps reduce the amount that needs to be recycled, and I try my very hardest to not buy any product that comes in a non recyclable packaging. Little steps that I hope lead to a big impact.
I collect and ship to Terracycle…
Terracycle is a company that you ship your hard to recycle waste to, free of cost. Those Malt o’ Meal cereal bags, your toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, the Febreeze air care products, Brita filters, even contact lenses! There’s almost no limit as to what they accept. It’s as simple as signing up for their many campaigns based on what you use, collect, print your label and ship!
I donate and reuse as much as I can…
Being the crafty mama that I am, I find many was to reuse products in our home as much as I can. Old socks are great for dusting or staining furniture. Before I send our toothbrushes off to Terracycle I use them for cleaning hard to reach nooks and crannies.
I have a system with my sponges, the dish cleaning ones become sink and stove cleaning sponges after their dish cleaning life. By the way, you can disinfect those sponges in your dishwasher to help give them more life.
I use linen napkins instead of paper napkins whenever possible. They’re very easy to make and really good for the earth. I’ve included to tutorial link here.
Finally, when it comes to something I no longer need or use but is in great condition, I donate it to our local thrift shop.
I keep my car well maintained…
This one is pretty simple, a well maintained vehicle runs cleaner. So get your emissions test done and keep up with your oil changes folks.
I curb impulse buying…
This is something I used to be terrible at. I’d see something I like, and just bought it. That led to clothes and shoes I never wore, and stuff that just hung around with no purpose. Before I purchase anything now, I make sure I have something to wear it with, a reason to wear it, and that it fits like I want it to! If something is not going to have a frequent use or purpose in our household, I just don’t buy it, as pretty as it might be.
I’m always going to try to up my game when it comes to ultimately having a zero waste lifestyle. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, but I’ll never stop trying. I want my kids to have a clean place to live and to raise their children. If we all took little steps like these, it could have great impacts on this beautiful planet we all call home.