Here are some Earth Day tips and little things that we do around our house every day that are easy and make a difference:
Not rinsing dishes before we put them in the dishwasher (it was a hard behavioral pattern to stop!)
Collect cold water in a bucket in the shower before the water gets warm and use it to water inside/outside plants
Brush teeth without water running
Collect rain water in barrel and water outside plants
Use low flow toilets
Install a programmable thermostat
Replace air filters regularly
Wrap water heater in a blanket
Unplug electronic devices (they still use electricity if turned off and plugged in)
Change our light bulbs to CFL bulbs
Recycle cardboard, glass, plastic, newspaper, aluminum, magazines, etc.
Hang energy-efficient curtains over windows
Install window liner during winter season to insulate wall
Grocery shop with a fabric bag
Reuse water bottles and cut plastic usage
Plant a tree
Recycle cork at Whole Foods Market or make Cork art and charms!
Reduce junk mail
Cut direct mail catalogs and junk mail – use Catalog Choice to stop receiving unwanted catalogs.
An new organization called 41pounds.org promises to completely remove you from up to 95% of the junk mail lists by contacting each organization from which you receive mail and/or catalogs for a one-time fee of $41.
Here is an opt-out guide to junk your junk mail from The Center for the New American Dream.
Recycle Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones
Have you noticed recycle bins at retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot? In addition to the usual paper and plastic items, you can also recycle rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. Keep these items out of the dump (toxic!) and make sure you recycle them on your next run. To find a drop-off location, visit Call2Recycle.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local
Support local farmers and visit a Farmers Market. There are lots of neat places in Forsyth County like Cumming Harvest, Brookwood Farmers Market, Cane Creek Farm, Cumming Farmers Market. Want to visit a market elsewhere? Check out this listing of community farmers markets in Georgia.
After watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, I learned little things we can all do daily from the Climate Crisis web site. There is even a calculator to determine our personal carbon footprint.
Treehugger.com is another good resource to get ideas and read news.
I also use Freecycle to clean house, avoid taking items to the dump and to share with those in need. I just unloaded a mattress and headboard to a woman for her grandson’s bedroom!
Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle whenever you can. How is your family helping the environment?