I consider myself to be a green living enthusiast because I am always thinking about how I can use less, how I can switch to more earth friendly options, and how I can reuse or giveaway things that others might reuse. I think that more than anything, being green is about the desire to help preserve the beauty of nature and acting on that desire. Being green doesn’t have to be expensive; it can actually save you money because it should be about using less and using used too!
Here are 5 easy ways we can all help to reduce, reuse & recycle in our daily lives:
1. Recycle! Sounds simple but so many people just don’t take the time to sort or to drive. Here is a statistic that may open your eyes- The United States accounts for about 5% of the world’s population and produces about 40% of the world’s waste. The need to recycle is clear. The United States’ rate of recycling is estimated to be about 30% by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). While this is not bad, Austria heads the EU in its recycling efforts with approximately 60% of its waste being recycled. I wish that the US would head recycling efforts!
2. Save things that can be reused. I save all kinds of things for craft projects to do with my daughter, like the birdfeeder shown at left. You can save junk mail and use the reverse for shopping list and other notes. You can save spare shopping bags (when you forget your reusable totes) and use them for bathroom trash can liners. You can save bottle tops for craft projects or to use for teaching small kids to sort or count.
3. Buy things that are less packaged! The other day my husband brought home some deli cheese that was pre-sliced with plastic between each piece and I was horrified. Just buy a block of cheese! It is cheaper that way too. The same goes for all the individually packaged bags of chips and cookies. It is cheaper and more earth friendly to buy a full box and use a reusable container to package it for snacks and lunches.
4. Unplug electric boxes that draw energy even when not in use (like your phone charger!) I have heard that your savings can add up to a few hundred bucks a year by unplugging electronics that aren’t in use. This is an overlooked but easily corrected problem. Anything that is plugged in is drawing power and anything with box on the cord is drawing even more. It is great to make sure you unplug things you don’t need on daily basis. The Department of Energy says that a Plasma TV costs a whopping $165 a year for its standby power consumption alone! Help save the environment and top paying electric bills for stuff you aren’t even using.
5. Start a compost pile for organic waste from the kitchen– you get the bonus of enriched soil for your garden! There are plenty of website that offer detailed instructions on how to build your own compost bin. I admit, I do this the lazy way. I just have a corner of my yard where we dump all the yard clippings, leaves, and kitchen waste. You can use simple wire fencing to help contain it. Composting is simply decomposing organic material into rich soil. According to the EPA, yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 26 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. That’s a lot of waste to send to landfills when it could become useful and environmentally beneficial compost instead.
There you have 5 easy ways to go green everyday and help be the change you want to see! There are many more ways and I would love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and share your tips!
This is a guest post by Scarlet of Moms Wear Your Tees Blog- a green mom giveaway blog. She is a stay at home mother to two children and an avid nature lover. She is also founder of MWYT Social Media Marketing and Cafe Mom Group Green Earth Green Home.