Go green everyday, not just on Earth Day

Going Green is cool!! The excuse "I don’t have time" or "going green is expensive" doesn't fly anymore. Going green is now the RIGHT thing to do. Not only will it save you time and money in the long run, it will save our planet for the future of our children.

The following things are SUPER simple ways you can Go Green. A lot of us know these things already but just don’t practice them 100%. So this is a review or a refresher of sorts. If you go down the checklist and do all these things already (BTW you are awesome) then start thinking about other ways you can Go Green.

1. Sign up on the Do Not Mail website to reduce the amount of junk mail you get. There are many websites out there that provide this service. Two examples are DoNotMail.org or 41 Pounds. 41 Pounds is one that is guarantees no junk mail for 5 years (not a free service though).

Here are some facts on junk mail from 41 pounds:
• Keep trees in the forest. More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail. 42% of timber harvested nationwide becomes pulpwood for paper.
• Reduce global warming. The world’s temperate forests absorb 2 billion tons of carbon annually. Creating and shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars.
• Save water. About 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk each year.
• Save time. You waste about 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail.

Think about how many junk magazines you get in the mail and get rid of them. Large offenders that used to come to my house weekly and sometimes twice a week are Victoria Secret, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and JCrew. Its just as easy to shop online from those places so make a call and tell them to stop wasting trees. I did this AND signed up to stop my junk mail and its been great, I highly recommend doing it!

2. Now is as good as time as ever to replace all those light bulbs in your house- a super simple way to save energy and lower your costs. No excuses anymore because you now have choices, you can get them in Cool, Warm, and even Outdoor/Natural light.

3. One word RECYCLE! (Mom and Dad I know you recycle, but its time to take it one step further, yes I just shamed you publicly :) ) You would be surprised that ALOT can be recycled if you just take a look. The BF and I recycle everything we can. Things like the toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, the empty Stride Gum pack, the Q-Tip box (which can be completely recycled just separate the paper backing from the plastic and they both can be recycled), yogurt containers and much, much more go into our recycling bins.

Make a game of it with your kids and see how much you can reduce your weekly trash by just putting more into recycling. These bins from Ikea are great for making a recycling station in your home. The BF and I have two of these stacked, one for paper and one for cans, glass and metal and they are perfect!

4. Bring those reusable bags to the grocery store and STOP USING PLASTIC BAGS. We all know why so I won't post all the reasons here- so to check out more facts go HERE.

5. Replace those awful, poisonous cleaners with green ones. You would be surprised what vinegar, lemons, and baking soda can clean in the house. For tips on green cleaning go HERE and HERE. And YES vinegar and baking soda can really can get rid of all the germs.

6. For those renovating their homes and buying new appliances look for the Energy Star logo. Also, don’t forget to recycle the old ones. Post cabinets, tile, fixtures or anything else you are getting rid of on sites like Craigslist or Freecycle- you never know who can re-use something. BONUS- it can save on demo costs.

7. Start decorating with green items one accessory at a time. Need new sheets, buy Rubie Green. Need new dishes, check out the salvation army or antique stores a la Eddie Ross. Need to re-paint, pick a non-toxic one from HERE.

8. Plant a tree. Join the Arbor Day Foundation for ten bucks and they send you 10 trees of your choice to plant, you can't beat that deal!

9. Plant a garden. Taking a cue from the First Family, plant a garden in your backyard too. Don't have the room, no problem- start small in a container garden. Things like herbs, lettuce, and even tomatoes can thrive in container gardens.

10. Take your kids to go see the movie Earth. But pre-sale tickets HERE and Disney will plant a tree in your honor.

11. All you water junkies its time to stop buying water bottles and start carrying a reusable one. No more excuses like the water tastes different... time to get used to it. Check out Sigg for some cool ones. Now they have the pop tops like those Poland Springs bottles everyone is addicted to.

Obviously this list is very short and does not include all the things you can do.

So please share, how do you Go Green?

For more on Earth Day 2009 check out the website http://www.earthday.net


Rachel said...

Such good reminders..and things I had never thought of before.

Thank you for this!

pve design said...

All really great tips, and we donate our clothes and things to a local shelter and try to recycle as much as possible. Turn off the lights - conserve.

Cool Garden Things said...

I try my best to do some of these things every day. It can be a challenge to keep up sometimes, but every little bit helps is what I tell myself.

Jeff9 said...

Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at www.bathroomsprayers.com with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without felling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but please remember that in the big picture the industrial water users always far exceed the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.

MissBliss said...

this is great! has totally been on my mind/blog this week...

we just got siggs and love them.

we are sharing one car and donated one.

we shop at a store on our work commute route or walk to stores in our hood :) or we buy mangoes/avocados/limes from our neighborhood produce truck guy!

we've been leaving the car parked on weekends a lot lately...

we have rented a super small apartment...less space to fill with stuff and more time for fun...

have a great weekend and thanks for this awesome post.