In honor of Earth Day today I decided to post a little something on how we can all be a little "Greener" in our everyday life. The following list is a great way to becoming Earth friendly without changing your lifestyle too much. And if we all just implement one of these things it can be a huge step in the direction of fighting global warming.
1. The Three R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)!!! I think I learned about this simple saying in kindergarten, but I didn't start applying it to my lifestyle until I was in my 20's. You can take the simplest steps and make the biggest differences. Examples: Reduce- Turn off water while you brush your teeth, Reuse- Instead of using plastic bags at grocery stores spend the extra dollar and buy reusable cloth bags, and Recycle- This is my favorite. Many of the things we use everyday is recyclable material (ex. pop cans, milk cartons, water bottles), so pay attention to where you throw things away and if you happen to be by a recycling bin, make the effort to throw things there.
2. Skip on the bottled water. Here is a fact for ya. Each year Americans throw away 25 billion individual bottled waters. This is stuff that just ends up in landfills producing large amounts of container waste. So the solution, buy a water filter and a reusable water bottle.
3. Eliminate "Phantom Power". Basically, if any sort of appliance or charger is left in an outlet (even if it is turned off) it will continue to use power. So to help stop this, simply unplug your devices or invest in a power strip. It will even help cut back on your power bill. Saving money is always a plus.
4. Stop junk mail! By subscribing to the following two websites you can eliminate up to 70 to 90% of your junk mail. That in return is not only nice for you but it will help cut back on the over 100 million trees that are destroyed each year and saves the 20 billion gallons of water that is used. So visit www.41pounds.org or www.greendimes.com and for a small price you can be pretty close to junk mail free.
5. Use reusable dishes instead of plastic or styrofoam. A great example I found was when you go out for ice cream, get the cone instead of the cup. You are basically eating your silverware instead of using and then just throwing away plastic.
6. Use natural chemicals to clean your home. Check out the Green Works Natural Cleaners by Clorox. I love this stuff. Not only does it make my house super clean and sparkly, but I am not putting any harsh chemicals into the environment. Double Plus!!!!
7. Change your bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. They may cost a little more, but they last up to 15 times longer.
8. Buy organic produce. Honestly I didn't understand the big hype over organic foods, but after I researched it a little more I can see why it is such a good thing. Since organic food doesn't use pesticides, it uses less energy. So not only is it healthier for you, but it is healthier for the planet.
9. Take advantage of your local farmer's markets. This is one that I totally want to get into. It may cost a little more, but the quality is likely to be better. And it helps save energy by reducing the fossil fuels needed to transport foods and other items all over the world.
10. Save water to save money. This is the one that will be the hardest for me, but I am willing to try. Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will help cut back on water and heating bills. For every two minutes that you take off your shower, you save 10 gallons of water. That can add up to so much.
And here are some facts on how long it takes to biodegrade:
Brown paper bag
1 to 5 months
Cigarette butts and filters
Plastic bags, caps, and lids
2 to 5 centuries
Styrofoam cups and clam shells
Now lets be honest. Do I do all of these? No. But I do what I can to be aware of my surroundings and what I can fit into my everyday lifestyle to do my part in being eco- friendly. So with that said, I hope that everybody had a fantastic Earth Day, and I hope that we can all strive to be a little "Greener".