We all remember good ole Kermit the Frog singing about how hard it is to be green, but in honor of Earth Day, take a look at my list of really easy things that you can do—so you can proudly say, I’m going green, and I like it!"
1. BYO Bag/Bottle—Bring your own bag or water bottle. Get yourself some of the really cute reusable bags (or make yourself one) and personal water bottles that are available these days and actually use them. Keep those throwaway plastic bags and bottles out of our landfills. Did you know that it takes 700 years for a plastic bottle to decompose and 1000 years for your grocery bag? (Wanna make an eco-friendly bag for your very own? Check out this free downloadable Fused Recycled Bag Tote pattern from Leisure Arts!)
2. Conserve water—Just turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Turn both activities into games for the kids with an egg timer. They can’t stop brushing till they hear the buzzer, and they have to finish their showers before the ding.
3. Plant a tree—One tree can help reduce 13 pounds of CO2 per year in our atmosphere. And the birds really like them, too.
4. Save on electricity! Daddy always said, “Turn off the lights when you leave a room.” He was right. Unplug any unnecessary appliances when you’re not using them, too. The DVD player, TV, coffee maker, cell phone charger, and computer—all use electricity even when you’re not using them.
5. Revamp your wardrobe or home décor rather that replacing it with brand-new. Don’t know how? Check out these two (on sale at 50% off) DVDs from Leisure Arts. In Style Remix, we’ll teach you how to transform that dull stuff in your closet into fab fashions...
...And in Refresh, Remix, Restyle, design and decorating expert Chris Olsen will take you step-by-step through the process of giving new life to old stuff—without breaking the bank. (But if you really can’t stand your stuff anymore, don’t just throw it away. Donate it to a thrift store, church, or recycling center.)
6. My kids go through batteries like there’s no tomorrow. I’m slowly replacing all of their batteries with rechargeable ones. They may cost more initially, but they save money and resources in the long run. One rechargeable battery can often be used up to 1000 times.
7. You’ve probably read rants about eco-friendly, toxin-free cleaning products in the past. There are lots of different ones available now, but I still maintain that just plain ole vinegar is the greatest of all. And my favorite vinegar cleaning tip: Just microwave a cup of vinegar until it steams up and condenses on the walls of the microwave. Let the condensation sit for a few minutes, and that nuked-on gunk sponges right off the inside of the microwave.
8. Did you know that using cold water can save up to 80 percent of the energy required to wash clothes?
9. I work on the first floor of a three-story building. When forced to leave my office, I automatically head for the elevator. How ungreen of me. I should be taking the stairs to promote good health and save electricity. (I’ll really have to work on this one.)
10. Is your office green? Our company makes it easy for us to recycle paper and cardboard with conveniently placed bins. An enterprising employee has boxes for saving our soda cans—which she then recycles for cash. Car pooling is popular with lots of our folks, too, because most of us don’t actually live in Little Rock where the company is.
Hope one of my ideas spurs you to do your bit for Earth Day…and for Earth Days to come!