Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Today is Earth Day. What does that mean? Today is the day we are supposed to renew our love for our planet. Appreciate our environment. And also to reflect upon what WE can do to make it a better place.

Here's 7 easy ways to start (if you aren't already!)

1. Recycle
Seriously, just do it! There's no excuse to pick the garbage bag over the recycle bag. That 1/2 a second of effort really makes a difference not just for you, but for generations to come. 

2. Reuse
Use a cloth shopping bag. 
These have almost become a fashion statement in recent years. I like to get cloth ones that I can toss in the wash.
Here's a cute one to show off your love of all things green:


Use a coffee mug. 
Bring your own and most places will even give you a discount. My favorite? A double walled insulated travel mug like this
Get a reusable water bottle. 
My #1 pet peeve is bottled water. Seriously, how hard is it to use a glass? Or a reusable bottle? People survived for centuries without plastic bottles of water every where. For the laziness convenience, our landfills are being clogged. They never deteriorate! Each bottle is petroleum based (higher gas prices anyone?) And the plastic can leach chemicals into the water. And we all know that the same people who are using bottled water are not likely to even be recycling all those bottles. Just say no! 

I have a filter installed on my sink but and even easier fix is a Brita pitcher. They make super cool water bottles with a filter built in too:

3. Buy organic produce
If you can't afford to buy ALL your food organic, at least start with these. This "dirty dozen" list makes it easy to focus on the top offenders. Biggest surprise? Celery!

4. Meatless Monday
Or if it suits you, make it a Tuesday. Reducing our consumption of meat products makes a big impact. It takes a lot of veggies to produce a pound of meat. At my house we eat less meat and what we do buy is organic, +/or grass-fed. Quality over quantity.

5. Buy organic dairy
Hormones and antibiotics in my daily bowl of cereal or cup of yogurt - no thank you!

6. Shop local
This is a great way to help yourself AND your local economy. Buy from the farmers, stores and vendors in your city or region. It keeps your dollars in your local economy, there's less transportation cost and pollution, and you'll be able to see where your products come from. 

One of my favorites is Fresh Fork. Instead of a true CSA, it's a weekly subscription service for local foods. Almost every product comes from within 75 miles of Cleveland and includes veggies, fruit, bread, meat, cheese, milk and more. This is how I found out about my favorite yogurt Velvet-View Farmstead. Sign ups are going on now.

If you prefer a classic CSA, click here.

Avoid big box stores when possible. Instead of running to Home Depot or Lowes for everything, seek out local businesses. You'll likely find what you need at a competitive price with great service. I love to go to my local hardware store - they are also super friendly and have an amazing assortment of products.

Buy locally made unique items instead of shopping at the mall or Walmart. Need jewelry? I'm in love with Heather Smotzer.
My birthday is right around the corner...hint hint
CLE Clothing Co is another favorite. Super cute designs. Local company. Made in USA. Yes please!

7. Ride your bike
Put a basket on that bike and use it to run errands. Or use a backpack if that's more your style. It's super easy to pick up a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, or a 1/2 gallon of milk using only pedal power. Plus, that extra fresh air and exercise is good for you!
And in honor of Earth Day, you can enter a $250 giftcard giveaway from Whole Mom by clicking here.

6 comments:

  1. Great suggestions! Drew's school is only a couple miles away and I plan to bike him down there and pick him up that way as much as I can this year (as soon as it's not freezing at 7:30am!)!

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  2. I couldn't live without my Brita pitcher or reusable water bottle. I take that thing with me everywhere! I also just got a bike a couple of weeks ago and I am LOVING IT! We've been taking advantage of the sporadic warm days to go on 6 to 7 mile rides.

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  3. Great list. We've been doing meatless Monday for a while and lately have found it's been not only Monday more and more often. As soon as we bought our house we started to go to local businesses more and more.

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  4. Great tips! In my dreams, I'm one of those people that creates zero trash. I try to throw as little away as possible, making "compost soup" for for the garden in my Vitamix and using washable Re-pac bags instead of Ziplocs. However, my family of 2 still has a bag of trash per week and I have to keep perspective- am I furthering the cause if I have to wash/iron cloth napkins each day instead of tossing away paper? Probably not. But, choosing a glass instead of a plastic bottle of water is a more obvious answer! I also buy the largest (recyclable) bottle of things like dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent or even coconut oil and transfer a portion of the contents to a smaller, everyday bottle. It's an easy fix and it saves money. Even though the bottle is recyclable, it still takes energy to process it and it's more effective to use less in the first place.

    As always, a great post that got me thinking of what else I can do to be part of the solution!

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  5. Great tips! In my dreams, I'm one of those people that creates zero trash. I try to throw as little away as possible, making "compost soup" for for the garden in my Vitamix and using washable Re-pac bags instead of Ziplocs. However, my family of 2 still has a bag of trash per week and I have to keep perspective- am I furthering the cause if I have to wash/iron cloth napkins each day instead of tossing away paper? Probably not. But, choosing a glass instead of a plastic bottle of water is a more obvious answer! I also buy the largest (recyclable) bottle of things like dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent or even coconut oil and transfer a portion of the contents to a smaller, everyday bottle. It's an easy fix and it saves money. Even though the bottle is recyclable, it still takes energy to process it and it's more effective to use less in the first place.

    As always, a great post that got me thinking of what else I can do to be part of the solution!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy belated earth day!! I am all about organic produce and dairy when possible. Not only are they better for the planet, they usually taste better too :).

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