Happy Earth Day, Friends!
Today I thought I’d share with you a few ways that I help minimize the impact I leave on the earth. Although I am not perfect, and don’t do all of these things 100% of the time, I try my best, and usually that goes pretty far.
One of the major things that I do to reduce my waste is to bring bags with me when I go to the grocery store! I’m sure you’ve all heard this over and over again, but stores are really getting more on board with this concept.
At all of our local grocery stores, as well as Target, you get anywhere from 5-10 cents off of your purchase (per bag) when you bring your own bags! In my opinion, this really is one of the easiest things that you can do to cut down on waste. If you consider that generally we use 3 bags per weekly shopping trip – that is about 12 bags a month! Not only that, but aren’t these bags so much cuter than the grocery store paper or plastic bags?
On the occasion that I forget to bring a reusable bag and end up getting a bag – those bags get used too! There are many, many ways that you can re-use plastic bags but here are some that I do:
- use them as garbage bags to clean out the cat litter box.
- use them as garbage bags in smaller bathroom trashcans.
- use them again to carry your lunch to work, workout clothes, food over to a friends house, farmers market finds, garage sale finds, etc.
- make them into “yarn” and knit something with them. (I have definitely not mastered this technique, but I think it would be SO cool to have a reusable bag made out of old plastic bags!)
Another way I reduce my waste: I use a reusable coffee filter.
Instead using paper filters every time I want to make a pot of coffee, I just throw that bad boy into the coffee maker and it works just the same! After it has been used, I rinse it and it is good to go for next time. After it has been used a few times I throw it in the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning.
Another REALLY easy thing that I generally do to save waste (and money) is to wrap gifts in materials I already have on hand rather than going out and buying wrapping paper. These could be magazines, newspapers, catalogs, children’s artwork, maps, etc. I really enjoy personalizing the paper to the person I am giving the gift too as well!
One way that I keep the landfills clean and (attempt) to keep myself hydrated is using a re-usable beverage containers!
I have tea every single morning at work, and I use my own mug every. single. time. Some coffee shops will also give you a discount if you bring your own mug – I know Starbucks does. In fact, to honor Earth Day today, you can get FREE coffee or tea if you bring your own mug into Starbucks!
I also have a water bottle filled at work.
Unfortunately, this bottle doesn’t get refilled all that much. However, I am currently challenging myself to drink more water. So far I’m getting better, but still not anywhere near the 64oz a day that I am aiming for. By bringing your own bottle, you not only get water for free (rather than buying bottled) but that also means that you always have water with you! (If only I would take my own advice and bring that water bottle with me then I might be closer to my goal.)
There are lots and lots of other things that you can do to make your day to day activities more eco-friendly, but those are the easiest for me, so I’ll stop there.
What do you do to be eco-friendly?