Happy Earth Day everyone! In honor of this special day, I am offering some tips for Green living. I don't claim to be an expert in the subject; it is just a cause that is very important to me. We only have one Earth, and God has instructed us to take special care of it. So enjoy these tips-you just might learn something.
1) Start using reusable bags instead of plastic/paper bags. Keep one on you at all times (I always have at least one in my purse) and keep several in your car. I ordered 6 reusable bags from http://baggubag.com/ back in 2007 and absolutely LOVE them. They each hold up to 25 lbs. and are bright, colorful, and fun. They fold up nicely and come with their own carrying case. Being that the average American household uses 1,000 plastic bags per year, consider using reusable bags instead. If you are old school and/or lazy and insist on using plastic bags (shame on you), then at least use them again for something else (trash bag, dog waste bag, etc).
2) Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth. It kills me when people leave the water running. Only turn it on when you need to rinse.
3) Take shorter showers. Aim for less than 10 minutes; 5 minutes is ideal. I don't claim to take a 5 minute shower (have you seen how thick my hair is?), but I aim to be in and out in 10 minutes or less.
4) For the ladies: don't wash your hair every day. You might cringe at this one. Washing your hair every day is actually bad for your hair especially if you color it. You will save time, money, and water by washing it every other day...or even every 3 days if you dare. You almost have to re-train your hair for this one. Trust me, your hair will adapt, and it will be healthier and shinier. It is a win-win situation.
5) Carpool when you can. This seems like a given to me, but all I see all day long are cars with one person riding in them. I understand that this can't happen all the time. But try to at least carpool when you and your friends are all going to the same place. It will save you time and money. Who doesn't like that?
6) Do not use disposable plates, cups, and utensils when you entertain. Bust out your regular plates and bowls. It will look nicer, and you will be putting less into the landfills. I use a variety of plates, cups, and wine glasses when I have parties. The mix of patterns makes for an interesting and festive tablescape.
7) RECYCLE. I am starting to see this more often which makes me happy. You can choose to throw something in the trash or throw it in the recycling bin. I hope you choose wisely.
8) Donate items you no longer use to the organization of your choice (Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc). I go through my closet at least every three months. If I haven't worn something in the last 12 months, I donate it. Donating items (especially clothes) you no longer use could save something else from buying something new. This is helping the planet. You are also helping someone with less resources who might not be able to afford new items. Again, everyone wins!
9) Keep electronic items that you are not using unplugged. This can include your coffee maker, microwave, hair dryer, and cell phone charger. NO MORE CHARGERS BEING LEFT PLUGGED INTO SOCKETS WHEN NOT IN USE! This just doesn't make sense. It takes one second to plug/un-plug your charger.
10) Be conservative with lights in your home and at work. If you are going to be gone from a room for 15 minutes or longer, turn out the light. Please don't try to give the illusion that you are always at work be leaving your lights on in your office. I witnessed this EVERY day at my last job. It's just silly.
Did you learn something new? If you can try out even just one of these tips, I applaud you. Try all 10, and you get a gold, I mean green star. I could have done a list of 100 Green tips, but who would read that? Expect another list of 10 Green tips soon. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite Green tip. Let's help each other by sharing information.
I encourage all of you to think about your carbon footprint. This is an important cause friends. Be bold in your steps to be more environmentally friendly. Let's try our best to respect Mother Earth, for it is all we have. Have a wonderful Earth Day!