The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
I’m re blogging this post as my Earth Day round up.
It was originally posted via Facebook by
I like to do some checking up at this time of year.
“I’ve updated this post and I’m sharing it again, just in time for Earth Day.”
I’m going through the list to see how I’m doing.
Stop buying fruits and vegetables that have been imported from another country, for so many reasons.
Yes, we’ve been counting the food miles for a long time.
Buy real food. If you can’t trace its origin, it shouldn’t go into your body (ahem, IMHO) and it’s surely not doing our environment any good.
There’s plenty of cooking going on here!
Quit relying on takeout food. If you succumb, find a restaurant that uses compostable packaging and say no to plastic straws.
One to work on. We reuse take away container if we do have one.
Learn to cook some really simple, really fast meals so you won’t be tempted by fast food.
That’s good advice too!
Find a local butcher that uses butcher paper instead of buying your meat cuts on Styrofoam.
No meat here!
Find a source for
local meat and eggs.
Eggs? Back yard!
Turn up the temperature on your refrigerator, just a touch.
Don’t understand this one!
In the wintertime, put fire bricks in the oven to hold heat and keep the room warm.
We don’t use our oven that much. But the wood stove is a good substitute.
Switch to glass storage containers instead of plastic.
We’re moving to jam jar for lots of things.
Get rid of your Teflon coated pots and pans.
Haven’t done this but will think about it.
Use a dish cloth instead of a sponge.
Bring fewer containers into your home. Be sure to recycle those that you can’t reuse.
We try to shop less and less. Repurpose is best.
Compost your food waste.
Off to the allotment and the wormery!
Make your own salad dressing, mustard, mayonnaise, and other condiments. It’s not that hard.
The salad dressing is delicious.
Cook double batches. Eat one lasagna tonight, freeze one for the crazy busy day that’s tempting you to turn to fast food.
We rework our leftovers all the time.
Switch to bulk teas that can be made with a tea strainer. No bags, no packaging, and no risk of ingesting plastic.
been doing this one for years. Great tea pots!
Nix the chemical cleaners.
Take shorter showers. Less hot water used, less energy used.
Three minute timer and not every day!
Switch to less chemically laden soaps and shampoos, or try your hand at making your own.
Still using disposable razors? (Stores are still stocking them; somebody must be using them!) Switch to one with a replaceable blade.
My replaceable blade lasts at least a year.
Use your bath towel more than once.
Eh? I thought only hotels didn’t do this! Shocking!
Try a fabric shower curtain instead of a plastic one.
Nk shower curtain. We squeegee the door after every use to cut done on cleaning.
Office at home
Switch to padded envelopes that don’t have a plastic bubble liner.
We reuse ours over and over again. Never buy them.
Stop junk mail before it gets to your house.
Holland has mailbox stickers that turn the junk away!
Consider online banking. You’ll eliminate the envelope as well as the use of much fuel to get your payment where it needs to go.
Opt to receive your monthly statements via email. Again, you’ll eliminate paper waste as well as fuel usage.
Use public transportation. Not an option? Find someone to carpool with.
Great buses and teams here. Then there’s a bike option!
Transform the water cooler at work: request paper rather than plastic cups. Better yet, encourage fellow employees to bring a cup from home.
Keep cup is my friend!
Refill your ink cartridges instead of buying a new one when you’re out.
Don’t print! Better still!
Not using your computer? Turn it off or put it to sleep.
Wash only full loads of clothes.
Switch to a more eco-friendly laundry detergent. Or make your own.
No detergent. Half the water!
Get clothes out of the dryer as soon as they’re dry, so you’re not tempted to “give them a little fluff.”
Better yet, set up a clothesline and hang your clothes to dry some of the time.
Install a timer on your hot water heater.
The rest of the House:
Find out where your power comes from. Is it generated by diesel? Coal? Wind? Knowing that your energy usage is tied directly to environmentally unfriendly sources might make it easier to cut your energy use (good for the planet and your bank account).
Say no to products that come in plastic clamshells.
Avoiding but it is difficult. We try not to shop!
Keep a blanket on the sofa.
Under it now!
Turn down the thermostat on your heater, just a touch (with that blanket, you won’t notice).
Next time you need to buy linens and blankets, skip the man-made materials.
Turn off the TV if you’re not watching it.
Install window blinds to help keep the house cool in the summertime and warm in winter.
Shop second hand.
Wash your windows with newspaper instead of paper towels.
Also with no detergent!
If you have an arbor, plant a deciduous vine that will shade you in the summertime and allow sunlight and warmth in during the cold winter.
Don’t really need much shade! But we do have an umbrella (second hand) made from natural materials.
Grow your own food. If you’ve never done so, start small. Plant radishes. Or lettuce.
If you’re a gardening veteran, consider sharing your knowledge with amateurs.
Giving away seeds and plants all the time!
Plant an extra row for the food bank.
Gavent done this yet but we do share our produce.
Collect some of your rainwater and use it to water the garden during dry spells.
Added a new butt to the existing three this week and then there’s the rainwater toilet!
Stop using chemicals on your lawn.
If you regularly forget to turn off your porch or garage light, set it up on a timer.
We don’t forget!
Deal with pests and weeds without chemicals.
Of course. What would the bees think?
Mulch. It will help hold moisture in, and mean less water used. It will also help keep the weeds in check.
Mulch has been a big thing thus year. No dig!
Compost your kitchen waste. No space? Get worms to do the dirty work with a worm composter. (You can make your own for less than $5.)
Didn’t I say we have both earlier?
Stop accepting the bags that stores offer (plastic OR paper) and bring your own.
Five years of this!
Switch from plastic to glass bottles when buying goods at the grocery store.
As much as possible. Then we use the jars for jam and our honey and as glasses.
If it’s only available in plastic, skip it (bonus points for writing to the manufacturer to complain).
Choose fruits and vegetables that are sold loose. There’s absolutely no reason for peas, peppers, or tomatoes to be wrapped in plastic or strapped to Styrofoam.
Could do better but when the allotment is working no packaging at all!
Seek out local produce at the supermarket or (better yet) farmers market.
On our own plot!
Eliminate excess baggage in your car. If you don’t need to carry it around, don’t. You’ll use less gas.
Take your own insulated mug for your coffee stops.
Combine errands so that you use less fuel.
Always have a route!
Live near town? Walk, sometimes!
Always! The parking a a nightmare!
Seek out one wild food source in your area. Maybe it’s dandelion greens. Or maybe you’ve got a source for wild asparagus or blackberries.
We use foraged natural remedies and crab apples!
Go meet your neighbors. Having a friendly community means a chance to share equipment rather than everyone owning the same snow blower or tractor.
Spend a lot of time ‘greening’ them!
Those same neighbors? May share their garden surplus or help you tackle all of those excess zucchini.
Keep giving it away!
Think about needs versus wants. We’ve become a society of shoppers. Do you really need that new pair of shoes?
No new clothes for two years!
Choose to live with less stuff.
That’s the big one!
The original post has this suggestion:
Got another simple change to add? Please share it in the comments! And, hey. If you’re on Facebook, come join us there. We’re always tossing new ideas around!
There are so many small things that can collectively make a difference in our footprint on the earth. Will you try to add one or more of these to your list of changes for the new year?
Will you share this list with your family and friends or on your social networks? Even people who are reluctant to step out of their comfort zone will find something here that they can embrace with relatively little effort – we just need to convince them that it needs to be done, and that making small steps truly is not painful
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