Happy Earth Day! It’s no secret that sustainable – or green living – is important to me. I wouldn’t even begin to try to tell you that our day-to-day lives are 100% sustainable, but as my About Page says, I’m trying to live a little greener everyday. I even have an entire category here on my blog devoted to sustainable living.
I’ve written about simple ways to go green before…back when I started my blog in 2010 I wrote about ways to go green without breaking the bank. And again in 2012 I wrote about simple ways to go green (other than recycling). In between that I’ve written a few times about Seventh Generation and all the good they do for the environment and for us green consumers. I’ve written about composting and gardening, two of my favorite and easy ways to a sustainable family life. And I’ve written lots more. And with the exception of the solar panels we have on top of our roof, none of these sustainable ideas were expensive to do.
Most of you probably know that the month of April is Earth Month, and today, April 22nd happens to be Earth Day. What the entire month really boils down to is spreading awareness about sustainable living. The best thing about sustainable living is that many of the things that you will do to be green will cost you less than not going green! Being environmentally-friendly is not just good for the earth and your soul, it’s also good for your checkbook.
Most people think about going green and automatically think recycling. But there are so many little things we can do in our homes that take little time, effort, and money to do but that will make a huge difference in the long run. These simple things will help reduce landfill waste, help keep our air cleaner and will also help preserve the earth for our children and their children. A sustainable life doesn’t mean changing your lifestyle, that it will cost you a fortune, or be difficult.
And speaking of children, I even wrote about how I teach my kids to live green like The Lorax. It is so important to help them understand why it is important to save the earth and to live a sustainable life where you can. Help them understand that what they do (good or bad) impacts the earth. If you make this a part of their everyday life, it will become second nature to them, and that can’t hurt anybody!
So I’m going to give you 10 easy sustainable ideas that you can start doing at home today. These require little effort and won’t impact your daily schedules or rituals. Some of them you might already be doing, but if not, why not pick a few and see if you can incorporate them into your family’s lives? The earth will thank you for it!
You Can Live A Sustainable Life! Here Are 10 Ideas To Get You Started
1. Plant an herb and vegetable garden. Have the kids each plant a veggie or herb of their own that they will be responsible for. They’ll enjoy watching the garden grow, and will look forward to eating what they made grow.
2. Turn off the TV and other electronics when you leave the room. Turn off all the lights, too. In fact, don’t turn on lights at all until absolutely necessary. Just open up those curtains or blinds and let the sunshine in.
3. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot. No, washing laundry in hot water really does not get your clothes any cleaner. And if you have room in your yard or home, allow clothes to air dry. My board on Pinterest: Make Your Own Cleaning, Beauty, and Household Products has several suggestions for even making your own laundry detergent. And psst! Try my recipe for the world’s best shower cleaner…2 ingredients, and you probably have them both in your kitchen right now.
4. Stop using disposable water bottles! Buy some BPA free reusable bottles for your family to use. Not sure why this is a big deal? Check out The Story of Bottled Water - a short film that will really make you think about the water you get in those plastic disposable bottles.
5. Stop using disposable shopping bags. You can make your own or even buy them (they are inexpensive) at your favorite store. If you do use disposable bags, make sure to reuse them. And don’t throw them away! Make sure to recycle them when you are all done with them.
7. Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs. You don’t have to replace all the lights in your entire house all at once. Start with the room you use most often and replace the bulbs in that room first. Next month, replace another room’s lightbulbs. Keep going until you’ve replaced them all.
8. Pay your bills online.
9. Make your own household cleaners. There’s nothing that vinegar and baking soda can’t clean in your home! These cleaners are so inexpensive to make and work just as (or even more) effectively than products you buy at the store! Ask Anna recently shared 40 Vinegar Tips and Tricks that are worth checking out. And I recently shared Sophie Uliano’s (author of Gorgeously Green) recipe for making natural all purpose spray that literally takes about 2 minutes to make (I haven’t bought all purpose cleaners in years!).
10. Make your own compost bin and start composting. It’s easy (and not stinky)! I’ll teach you all about composting. It’s one of the first things I started doing that lead me towards living a sustainable life.
Now it’s your turn to share…what simple things do you do to live a little greener?