Happy Earth Day! Being "green" is definitely trendy right now, so there is tons of information on how to help protect our Earth. Below are some easy ways to go green.
Reusable shopping Bags
Last year on Earth Day I purchased six reusable bags to use when I shop. These six bags have a lot of room and hold up to 20 lbs. I easily fit my cart load of groceries into them. Plus, I get around a 5 cent discount for using them. Using 6 bags each week is a 30 cent discount which adds up to a $15.60 savings each year! I purchased these bags from Baggu. I liked them better than the canvas bags because they can all fit inside my purse in their little pouches and I don't have to worry about forgetting them. They are pricier than the canvas bags, but I think I use them a lot more because I always have them in my purse. I've also heard good things about ChicoBags.
I've also been thinking about all the small plastic bags I use when I purchase produce each week. Those add up! I've been starting to save those plastic sacks and reuse them for other uses and may start bringing them to the grocery store with my so I can reuse them. I know they also sell reusable produce bags, but I think just reusing the bag works just as well as is more economical.
Use reusable water bottles
We used to live in a town where I didn't feel comfortable drinking the water. It tasted funny to me, so I bought a case of individual water bottles each week! I thought since I was recycling the bottles, that it was okay. However, statistics show 90% of bottles purchased aren't recycled and end up sitting in our landfills. Recycling also takes a lot of resources so it is better to buy a water filter or buy those big water jugs that you can refill with purified water. Our fridge now has a filter that we use and I just fill up a reusable water bottle. It takes 1000 years for plastic bottles to even begin to decompose! More facts here.
I am surprised how so many people don't recycle. I believe people just don't think before they toss something in the trash. I am constantly pulling things that can be recycled out of our trash cans because my husband didn't grow up recycling and he just forgets. I made a recycling bin for my fifth grade science fair and it was something my parent's encouraged at an early age. I believe it is important to get kids involved early so it become second nature to them. If your neighborhood doesn't have recycling pickup, you can check here to find the nearest recycling center. I don't have pickup where I live now, so every Monday I take my recycling to a center near here on my way to the gym. I found home trash can weren't big enough to fit all my recycling each week, so I bought a huge wicker hamper at Ross that came with a fabric bag inside and it has worked well for fitting our recycling and it easy to transport.
A couple months ago I had a whole post on recycling unusual items such as electronics, batteries, oil, and hazardous material. Click here to check out that post.
Think before you buy
Freecycle and Craigslist are great places to look for items before purchasing. Not only do you get a better deal, you are saving something from going to the landfill.
Also, consider borrowing rather than purchasing items such as books, cds, movies, lawn tools you won't use often. Purchasing music online in digital form rather than a cd also saves material.
Do you already do some of these things? Are you making any resolutions this Earth Day?