I want to start off this post by saying that I am not a perfect human being. Shocker, I know. So while I may not be perfect at being eco-friendly 100% of the time, I do consciously make the effort to incorporate some tricks for living a more eco-friendly life. I’m not perfect, but I am trying to do and be better so that my daughter and my future grandkids will have a healthy, beautiful planet to live on.
When I told Kris about what this blog post was going to be about. His response was, “we are eco-friendly?”. I laughed and then listed all the ways we are using the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. He was actually shocked about how small changes that we have made he doesn’t even think about. That’s the beauty, if everyone makes small changes, that would make a huge difference! Ok, I’m crawling off my soapbox.
So here are some of my tips and tricks for living a more eco-friendly life:
I put this first on the list because it’s probably the most obvious, but it is so important! With more and more recycling bins popping up, and more states enacting free recycling centers it’s becoming more accessible to recycle.
Show the Bee’s Some Love:
There is no doubt that the bee population is hurting. I have two ways I’m trying to help with that. First, we planted A BUNCH of flowers around our house, and plan to plant more! Secondly, we hung a “bee home” in our yard. Bee homes give the bees a safe resting place and a place for the female bees to lay their eggs. How cool is that!
Buycott is a website and an app that my Mom introduced me to. I joked with her that it has ruined my life. It’s true what they say, “ignorance is bliss”. With this app, you scan the products that you use and it lets you know where the company stands on a bunch of issues from income inequality, animal testing, child slavery, to GMO. There are so many heartbreaking campaigns, and so many different ways you can “Vote with your wallet”. The app is important because it has the ability to send a message to the company about why you aren’t supporting them anymore. It also gives you an inside look as to what companies are doing, which makes them accountable for their actions.
These cups have become such a popular item over the years, and with good reason! When we know that we are going out and about for the day we bring drinks from home in our reusable cups. This way not only saves us money, but it means we are consuming fewer water bottles.
Oh man, ever since I saw the video of the sea turtle getting the straw ripped out of its nose, I was done with plastic straws. While I love the idea of glass straws, that’s not what I keep in my diaper bag. When I first switched from plastic straws I started with paper straws. I still think are better options because they decompose. But nowadays, I use metal straws like these.
Bees Food Wrap:
My sister originally bought us these food wraps THREE YEARS ago from the Co-op in my hometown! They are amazing and I haven’t bought plastic wrap since. What they are is organic cotton that has a coating of beeswax over it so it can be washed and reused to help store food. The warmth of your hands will help mold the wrap to conform over containers, bowls, or food. PLUS they are a Vermont company, so that’s pretty cool. They even have sandwich wraps which I’m excited to get once Anna starts school.
Donate Unused/Outgrown Clothing:
If you have kiddos then you know just how quickly they grow! While I have boxed up some of Anna’s clothes and toys for the (fingers crossed) next baby. There have been some of her clothes, that have been donated. But mostly mine and Kris’s have made it to the donation bins. I think it’s safe to say some of my sparkly club outfits won’t be needed anymore.
Reusable Grocery Store Bags:
The hardest part of this one is remembering to bring them into the store, am I right? But now that I’ve been using them for a few years, it’s almost like second nature to remember them. Just by typing that I jinxed myself didn’t I? Did you know that they also make reusable product bags?! I love that it’s becoming easier to get away from plastic bags because it seems to have come a trend to charge for plastic bags!
Ok, this one doesn’t sound like an eco-friendly idea, but it totally is! I have found that when I meal prep rather than just aimlessly wander, it cuts down on wasted food. Plus, by having a plan it seriously cuts down on the amount I spend every week! Win-Win!
Shop in the Bulk Section:
Ok, this is another one that isn’t as obvious, but you can save some serious money, and use fewer resources by buying in bulk. Having a bulk section is new for me, but now that I have one, I am LOVING it! I love that I can bring in my own container and fill it up! I buy a lot of snacks and cashews for my cashew aioli in the bulk section.
Find New Ways to Reuse “trash”:
Kris may call me a packrat, but I come from a long line of creative people who find new ways to reuse things. Most recently, we reused a sheet of cardboard that came from a whiteboard we bought for our office as a canvas finger painting. I am also a fan of using cut-up old coloring sheets for note paper. I try to think of how I can reuse something before I throw it away.
Let’s Change The Future
As an added bonus to the list above, I have created a free coloring page for the kiddos in your life to celebrate Earth Day over on my Facebook VIP Group. If you are looking for a way to sit down and talk to your kids about the world, well this is it! I hope your family enjoys it!
Lastly, I think it’s important to teach our kids about the importance of everyday being Earth Day. From reading about it with them to going outside on adventures and talking to them about what they see, to making small life choices so that doing things that are good for the environment is just habit rather than a chore. The saying ’Monkey see, monkey do’ is very real. Our kids are watching. What are you doing to make this world a better place?