Earth day is a great way to bring attention to environmentally kind ways to live your life. But why make it one day when you can do things everyday that will add up to a lifetime of good habits. I want to share a few easy things I do all the time.
Recycle as much as you can. Not just when you are at home but everywhere you go. If they don’t have a recycle basket near you then take it home. When I eat fast food I take the extra napkins home to use, I take the kids bags or boxes home to recycle and I don’t get a lid or a straw. Some places like Subway give you extra bags and packaging you don’t need. Last time I went I asked them to just give me the sandwich and I held it with a napkin.
Go vegetarian. Beef and everything involved with producing meat or milk is harmful to the environment. I honestly couldn’t tell you all of it but there are plenty of websites that can. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=environmental+harm+of+cows
Also salads, or fruit and yogurt don’t require cooking and can be a healthy alternative to eating meat. I like to add kidney beans or walnuts to my salads for protein substitutes.
Pack your own lunch. Not only will this save money it usually means eating more healthy you can save on packaging by using reusable water bottles and plastic containers. I have used the same water bottle for 8 years and I rinse it clean every night with out any problems. Also I cook a few meals on the weekend and then store them in containers. Then I’m not cooking a new meal every night. And don’t think frozen dinners are an answer. They are full of packaging material and unhealthy. Instead get foods that you can prepare and freeze for later.
Buy used items instead of new when possible. It is another cost saving technique and it save the energy used to make new materials. Also buying used items keeps money in your community rather than going to large companies. I use Craigslist to sell items, I use eBay to buy items and whenever I have clothes or items I want to get rid of I donate to the Goodwill rather than throwing it away. This also creates money for an organization that supports local jobs.
Buy a fuel saving vehicle. If you aren’t getting 30 mpg then you are wasting fuel. If you can get an electric car you’ll save on carbon emissions, get a tax credit and cut your “fuel” cost by about 60% when compare to the price at the pumps. Also ask your company if they sponsor car pools or park and ride options to reduce traffic congestion. I sometimes leave early or late from work so I won’t get stuck in rush hour.
Don’t be an aggressive driver. Not only is it unsafe it usually burns fuel and your brake pads at a higher rate. This means don’t floor it on the green lights, don’t zig zag through traffic and don’t speed. Also slow down before coming to a stop light. Usually you can slow down enough that the light may turn green before you stop and you can save fuel accelerating again.
Use all natural cleaners. Lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda are common and usually cost less than chemical cleaners. Also there are biodegradable or earth friendly cleaners available.
Reuse plastic bags and buy reusable grocery bags. I know you think it is tough to remember to bring a reusable bag into the store but you get use to it. I keep them in my trunk and they are nice because the handles don’t rip like the plastic bags. And many stores give you 5 cent credit for using them.
And finally raise you thermostat 2 degrees or more if you can stand it. It will save money and electricity.
I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to save the world but these are simple ones that I do all the time and I think if get my girls to do it then that’s 3 people doing it. To me that’s enough to make a bit of a difference. I hope everyone else does their share too. www.boywithoutlegs.com