Thursday, April 22, 2010

Easy Earth Day Ideas

A baker's dozen of easy changes to reduce your carbon footprint and save time chasing all that trash.

  1. Carry cloth bags to the supermarket AND to the mall, to Target, to the farmer's market, everywhere. Keep them in your car.
  2. Buy a Klean Kanteen for water and To-Go Ware for your take out lunches.
  3. Ask servers to package your leftovers in aluminum foil, which you can recycle at home rather than in plastic or styrofoam boxes. Skip the plastic bag to carry it in.
  4. Refuse the plastic or paper bags at shops. Stuff your purchases in your pockets, carry them out in your hands, or see #1 above.
  5. Buy bar soap instead of body wash.
  6. Buy condiments in reusable glass jars rather than plastic squeeze bottles.
  7. Buy at least a dozen cloth napkins and kitchen towels from the thrift store. Use these instead of paper towels or paper napkins.
  8. Buy unwrapped fresh produce. Try the farmer's market or a buying club.
  9. Choose products packaged simply in recylable paper or with as little plastic as possible.
  10. Skip the receipt at the ATM, the gas station, and at Starbucks. You're just going to crumble it up and throw it away.
  11. Unplug small appliances when not in use like the coffee maker, microwave oven, and the toaster and electronics like TVs and your computer.
  12. Install low flow showers and low flush toilets (do this on the cheap with a small brick, a rock, or a small plastic bottle filled with gravel or stones--these take up space in the toilet tank and fool it into filling less)
  13. Reuse a plastic spray bottle and make your own all purpose and glass cleaner. Mix 50% water and 50% white distilled vinegar. Add a drop of essential oil or tea tree oil if you want. Use this everywhere except on natural stone surfaces.
  14. I know, 14 is not 13--wrap fresh produce in cloth kitchen towels instead of plastic wrap or plastic Ziploc style bags.
  15. And 15 is still not 13--wrap messy foods in unbleached wax paper or aluminum foil (you find both made out of recycled materials and both are recyclable). Better yet, use glass or stainless containers with lids. I found a great set of glass bowls at Target for $29 that includes 4 sizes. We loved it so much, we bought two.
Calculate your carbon footprint with these interactive quizzes . . .

Earth Day Footprint Quiz
Is Your Lifestyle Sustainable?

And for inspiration, check out Beth Terry's blog
Fake Plastic Fish

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post, Heather. Yikes, those quizzes -- I need to clean up my act!