April 10, 2011

Tip of the day—Simple ways to help Momma Earth

The next few weeks I’ll be focusing the tips of the day on the environment in honor of Earth Day celebration.  Today’s tips are some simple things you can to do reduce your carbon footprint. 

I’m not going to get in a debate with anyone about whether or not global warming is real.  Either way you feel about the subject, what does it hurt to live a more simple lifestyle?  You’ll even save a little money! ;)

Simple steps--

  • Recycle everything you can.  If you haven’t yet started recycling, start now.  Find out what your city will accept in their recycling bins.  For instance, some cities will not accept glass, others will only take certain numbers of plastics, others take everything.  Contact your city government to find out details on where recycling centers are located or if they offer free curbside pickup.  Starting with paper is probably the easiest for most families.  Papers are relatively clean and you won’t believe how much paper your family generates in one week!  Move on from there and try to have the end result with you recycling everything you can. 
  • Cut off the paper.  For the next month, watch what catalogs and needless mail come into your home.  Each time you receive a catalog, call the toll free number to have it cancelled.  If it is one that you really like, opt for it to be delivered only for special sales or around the holidays.  There are a few online services that help you to reduce mailings.  I used a couple of them, and frankly I found it easier to just watch the mailbox and make a 2 minute call while I was prepping supper or doing some other task. 
  • If you have more than one car, opt for the vehicle with the best gas mileage when taking trips or driving longer distances.  We opt for my husband’s car whenever we go somewhere on the weekends because it gets such wonderful gas mileage.  We always thought that we would take the larger vehicle for trips so that we could pack more luggage and such, but we’ve been very pleased with how roomy his car is and how much the trunk will hold.  We’ve even made trips to Memphis with my dad in the car and haven’t had any problems with not having enough space.
  • Be mindful of what you are using.  I think that one of the biggest wastes occurs when I’m not being mindful of what I’m doing.  I grab a paper towel instead of a cloth towel.  I forget to pack my cloth bags when shopping.  I squirt out a big blop of shampoo and only need a bit.  I’m betting others are the same.  Today, try and be more mindful of what you are using and to what extent.  You might be surprised at how much you save just by doing this.
  • Grow something.  Plant a tree, start a garden, add a few landscaping hedges to your lawn.  More plants mean less CO2, and when those plants are edible, you are also helping to reduce the need for food to be transported across the world to your table. 

Those are just 5 simple steps to get you started.  Even if you’ve been on the Green Bandwagon for years, I think it is safe to say that at least one of those tips can be improved upon.  I know for me, the “being mindful” tip is one that I constantly need help with—when I’m stressed, not feeling up to par, or super busy, my attention is more diverted. 

I hope you’ll find the tips over the next few days helpful.  If you have an eco-friendly tip that you would like for me to cover, be sure to e-mail me and I’ll credit you with the tip!

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