Happy Earth Day!
Today is Earth Day, so I wanted to encourage you to take a moment and think about what efforts you are making to sustain and protect our globe. What else could you do to help?
Some easy ways to "go green" today and every day are:
- Recycle. Recycling is so easy and a great way to help keep reusable materials from being dumped into already overflowing landfills. There is only so much space on this earth, and we have already filled a tremendous amount of it with our trash. Think about what you throw away and ask yourself, "Could this be recycled?"
- Start a recycling program. When my sister started working as a receptionist in December, she realized that there was no recycling program in place and everything was being thrown away. So she got a cardboard box, wrote "Recycling" on it, and started encouraging everyone to recycle at work. That one little step has saved a tremendous amount of reusable materials from going to a landfill. See what you can do to make recycling more of a priorities where you work or at places you frequent.
- Compost. Where I live, a little-known secret is that the county will give you a free compost bin as long as you promise to use it for at least one year. I got mine more than two years ago and it is great. I toss all fruit and veggie scraps in there, as well as grass clippings and dry leaves. Come spring, I use all of the nutrient-rich dirt that my compost bin produced for my tomato garden. Even if your area doesn't give out free bins, you can always start a small compost area in your yard.
- Car pool. Rising gas prices have made car pooling a much more enticing option, but aside from saving money, car pooling also helps prevent additional emissions from entering our atmosphere. Find out if anyone at your office lives near you, or Google car pools in your area. Public transportation is also a great option. Here in DC, we have the metro, which is a great way to get to and from the city.
- Monitor water usage. Turn off the sink while brushing your teeth, fix a running toilet or a leaky faucet (it is easy - even I can do it!), install a low-flow shower head, and aim to only run the dishwasher or laundry machine when you have a full load.
- Cut back on energy usage. When you leave a room, get in the habit of turning off the lights. Your electricity bill will thank you too! Turn off power strips and unplug appliances when not in use, contact your local energy company to ask about switching over to wind or solar power (it costs just a few extra dollars each month), turn off the "dry" feature on your dishwasher and let your dishes air dry, and hang your clothing up to dry (it helps your clothing last longer too! I have a foldable rack I got at Target that I use to hang up everything but jeans and towels.). And the easiest tip of all: buy energy saving CFL light bulbs. They cost a little bit more up front, but they last for ages and use significantly less energy. J and I put CFL bulbs into all of our recessed light fixtures when we first moved into our house (almost three years ago) and we haven't replaced a single one yet. Also, when you need to purchase new appliances, look for ones that are Energy Star certified.
It can be easy to be a little greener when you are more aware of the choices you are making. Take time today to help out our environment, and think about what you can do each and every day to be a little greener for our beautiful, life-sustaining planet earth.
Happy Earth Day!
I would love to hear about the ways you are "going green" today!