It's Earth Day, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite resources and practices that have helped me to "green" my life. We all know plastics are a major culprit to landfill contribution, oceanic pollution, and toxins in our environment - including our own bodies. A few ways I've reduced my plastic usage include:
- I no longer using plastic bags when shopping. My absolute favorite shopping bags are the EnviroSax. They come 5 bags in a little pouch, have fun designs, are light weight, super strong, and very roomy. They have an Earth Day special going on today, if you buy a set from a couple designs, you get a single bag for free. A single bag folds up tiny, so I keep one in my purse at all times. (I found them on sale at another site here for 10% off.)
- I use only compostable garbage bags. They biodegrade in a couple months, faster if exposed to light. This I can vouch for as we had a bag of small ones out of it's box sitting on a counter in our mud room which we use for picking up dog waste. The bags left out exposed to sunlight began to fall apart - just crumbled into dust! They are stronger than the bags we used to get from Seventh Generation, made from recycled plastic - and they have no plastic in them. I get them from Lets Go Green Biz which has a number of other eco products to choose from, including biodegradable *plastic* silverware, cups and plates for your next picnic!
- Believe it or not, tooth brushes are a major contributor to landfill/ocean trash. You can help reduce that by using Preserve toothbrushes. They are made from recycled plastic and you are provided with prepaid envelopes so that you can return your used toothbrushes for recycling. They can be ordered online, or found at places like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and many other stores. The Ultra Soft are truly gentle on the gums :)
- We have replaced all of our water bottles with stainless steel. There are so many styles to choose from now, but my favorite has a stainless steel lid, as well. I got them on Amazon but I did have to order the cap separately - at the time they were offering a deal if you bought them together. Typically the bottles all come with plastic lids, which seems to somewhat defeat the purpose of avoiding plastic exposure for health concerns, but I did find one that comes with it, here.
- I love this inovative use of water bottles turned into inexpensive building materials, at Earth Architecture.
- As an artist, I reuse all take out, margarine, soy yogurt, and other plastic containers for my paint mixing and other processes, along with styrofoam trays, jars, etc. However, I try to buy products that utilize as little packaging as possible.
Plastic is but one facet of the waste problems we have, of course. Other ways I try to reduce my carbon foot print include driving a hybrid; recycling compulsively; reducing water waste (by filling containers as water warms up, to water plants with, use for paintbrush cleaning, etc, instead of just letting it go down the drain); guiding water run off from our home to areas of our yard for watering; rain censor to watering system automatically keeps watering turned off if it is or has rained; replacing light bulbs with LED and compact fluorescent - but slowly switching mainly to LED which are lower consumption, last longer, and have no mercury in them (but are more expensive still); replaced shower heads with eco friendly Evolve shower heads which is low flow and lets you know when the shower has warmed up and is ready for you to hop in; buy locally as much as possible; turn off lights constantly, annoying my husband endlessly; unplug the unnecessary; eat vegan which has much less impact on the environment (the amount of land used to grow crops to feed livestock is 10 times that needed to grow crops for human consumption, not to mention runoff, methane, deforestation, water use, etc.)Interested in figuring out your own household's Carbon Footprint? You can calculate it here! There are so many ways to be more conscious of your purchasing power and how each choice we make impacts our world. These are just a few of my attempts at making my ripple slightly less impacting. What are yours?