As much as we would all like to be either Superman or Wonder Woman saving the world from intergalactic attacks, the likelihood of that is very slim. However, we can save the planet in other ways! We have known for years the collective impact that we would have on the earth, and the last 15 years or so have seen more and more companies and corporations creating products to help us reduce our carbon footprint. Afterall, catchphrases like "going green" and "save the planet" are hard to miss!
If you’ve yet to embrace what “going green” can do for you, your home, your finances and the planet – let’s take a peek – shall we?
How To Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Around Your Home
Grow Your Own
This isn’t going to have an overnight impact, but somewhere--perhaps a few months from now--eating your own homegrown food is going to feel pretty amazing. Start with herbs, berries, tomatoes and other easy-to-grow produce. If you have little ones, this is an excellent way to introduce them gardening and ecology. Growing and maintaining your own pesticide-free garden will make you feel a sense of achievement, too, and you certainly don't need a huge plot of land to grow your own. Lots of vegetables, herbs and berries thrive in container gardens!
One of the best things you can do for Mother Earth and for your garden is to start a compost bin. By composting, you'll recycle organic matter such as egg shells, vegetable and fruit scraps, leaves and even tea bags, which in turn will get tilled into a rich soil amendment that gardeners fondly nickname "Black Gold". It’s not difficult to start your own compost bin, and it doesn’t take a lot of maintenance either.
Ditch The Dryer
You might love the quickness and ease of using a clothes dryer, but the truth is your dryer is the 3rd most energy-guzzling appliance, save for the refrigerator and washer. Switch to line drying whenever you can, or get a portable drying rack for indoor (or outdoor) use. Plus, your wash will have that fresh "dried on the line" scent (you know you love those bed sheets!). Another reason to swap a clothes dryer for a clothes line? Air drying your clothes is much more gentle than machine drying. All that lint you pull out of the lint trap is most clothing fibers!
Consider Solar Energy
Rather than just signing up for greener energy, you should consider the long-term benefits of solar energy. Not only is installation more affordable than ever, but solar energy is also cheaper than conventional energy, and it can be used for both heating and electricity.
There are also tax benefits to solar too: you can expect to receive about 30% of what you paid for both equipment and installation of a new system at tax time. Combined with state and local rebates and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), total costs can be cut in half.
Ban The Bottle
You'd be doing the planet a HUGE solid by investing in a practical water filtration system for your home rather than purchasing bottled water. According to Ban The Bottle, "Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation". Purchase a refillable water bottle and fill up on the reg.
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Shop Second Hand
The benefits of buying pre-owned, pre-loved merch is growing in leaps and bounds. Websites like Thread Up, Poshmark and Mercari are popular re-sellers of gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories and more and you can probably find just about anything you want and need on these sites.
Websites like Freecycle, Craigslist and Kajiji are great for finding free or close to free household items and sporting goods, too. And let's not forget the thrill of the hunt when it comes to flea market, consignment shops, thrift stores and tag sales! I personally love spending a warm spring Saturday morning tag sale hopping--you never know what you'll find!
Use Natural (And Naturally-Based) Cleaning Products
It's time to swap out those chemical-laden cleaning products for more environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions, stat. With so many natural and naturally-based brands on the market today, there's no reason to keep these toxic cleaners on hand anymore. For daily use, tough stain fighters and even natural carpet cleaning solutions available, going green with your clean is a no brainer.
How do you reduce, reuse and recycle? Let me know what you do to help Mother Earth in the comments below!