In honor of Earth Day this year I wanted to share some things that I've incorporated into my daily life - that are earth friendly - and challenge you to see where you can make one or two earth friendly changes.
Easy - everyday - changes
Reusable water bottle - for when you're on the go (on in the house) get a water bottle you love and reuse it instead of bottled waters. I'm a fan of hydroflasks - they have various sizes, everyone in my family has one!
Reusable coffee/tea cup - just like the water bottle, you can fill your coffee and tea if you're out (this is happening a bit more now I think!) it's also great at home - I have a hydroflask thermal cup for this too, but have also seen a lot of people behind Yeti.
Buy in bulk - not only will this save you money, but it also reduces waste. Buy snacks or food in bulk and separate out into your own earth friendly, reusable containers.
Recycle - learn what is accepted in your community and by your trash service and then do it. Take the time to clean out / rinse plastic containers so that they can be recycled and don't contaminate the rest of the materials. Also don't recycle receipts - they contain BPA in the paper and will contaminate the paper, throw them in the trash or opt for paperless where you can.
Shop B-Corps - these are companies that have been certified to have a "triple bottom line" focusing on profit, people, and the PLANET so you know that these companies have more than making money in mind. A few of my favorite are: Patagonia, Beautycounter, Thrive Market, and Athleta.
Not TOO hard changes
Powdered laundry detergent - we pay a lot for the water that's added to make laundry liquid, especially with the cost to the environment with shipping. Switching to powdered reduces the weight and often the packaging. My favorite is Molly's Suds in peppermint :)
Ditch the disposable stuff - this requires an investment and change of habit, but then is easy to keep going. Invest in reusable bags (my favorite is Stasher Bags and they have an Earth Day sale), reusable straws (silicone or stainless work best), reusable silverware (bamboo or just take a set from your current drawer), food huggers for fruit and veggies (to use instead of saran wrap), bees wrap (again instead of saran wrap), and pyrex containers (to "wrap" up food")
Use Refillables - soaps and cleaning products are great to get something that you can refill (usually in bulk) to reduce waste. Instead of throwing away or trying to recycle your next soap container, refill it instead!
Unplug - unplug or get power switches you can turn off appliances when you aren't using them, think about the big items in your house that you could unplug like your computer/laptop, speakers, extra TVs or cable boxes, toasters, blenders, coffee makers, etc.
Use a Clothesline / Drying Rack instead of a dryer - I love the way clothes smell when they are hung out to dry - granted not everyone can do this, but you can also use a drying rack if you're limited to inside only. Something I learned about that I had never thought of, put your clothes on a drying rack and then put the rack outside --> mind blown, I had never thought about doing that before!
Harder, larger changes :)
Compost - you need a place or a system to support this, but it's easy to do once you get started and have a place for your compost. Anything that is vegetable and fruit matter that isn't cooked can go in, along with coffee grinds and I put in my loose leaf tea after I have steeped it
Change electric providers - you may pay more per kwh but you can switch to clean energy vs traditional fossil fuel sourced energy. In PA I can choose from wind or solar and 100% renewable or just a portion. You can't directly see this change, but the earth will feel it!
Consider your home systems - solar, wind, etc when you're upgrading - this is a BIG change - but can also be implemented in smaller ways. Like my friend who installed a solar powered automatic door for their chickens :) or how we added a solar powered motion sensing light outside our house to light the pathway only when it's needed..
Hybrid or Electric Vehicles - my next vehicle will be a hybrid or electric vehicle for sure, the technology has really improved and prices have been coming down - but it's still more expensive to buy than a traditional car. Again a big investment, but consider it with your next vehicle lease or purchase.
There are some thoughts and levels of change - what do you do every day that helps the Earth? Where do you want to implement a change? What other easy switches can you share to help us all be kinder to the Earth? Most of these switches are also healthier for you in the long term as well, WIN-WIN.