No action is too big or too small when it comes to being “greener.” All it takes is a little effort to change day-to-day habits into something eco-friendly.
Here are a few tips to get you and your family started on making your lives a bit greener. Gauge them according to you and your family and what seems most feasible.
For the Home and Yard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that households consider reducing waste around the house and the yard. The EPA suggests using grass clippings, as well as some kitchen waste and food scraps for compost to fertilize the lawn.
The EPA also suggests finding ways to reuse household waste or items that usually just get thrown in the trash. Take cloth bags or request paper bags when buying groceries and transporting them home.
When cleaning inside the home, Greenpeace recommends using white vinegar and baking soda, as alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners. Some of the name-brand companies have developed “greener” options, but always check labels to verify.
Traveling or Going on Vacation
Many travelers choose to drive or fly to get somewhere efficiently, especially if it’s a long distance. Consider taking public transportation or vacationing somewhere close by to lessen carbon footprint that’s left behind.
The EPA recommends looking for hotels that have environmental friendly certifications or are members in green industry associations. Once at the hotel, choose to walk to get where you’re going or use public transportation around town.
Don’t purchase bottled water or other bottled beverages, but instead use a paper cup or reusable thermos and refill whenever needed. Get water from a filter, if that’s an available option.
In the Kitchen
Cooking can be a fun, easy way to go green on Earth Day. While at the grocery store, check to see if the store has an entire section devoted to organic foods and vegetables.
Take a scan over the grocery list to see if any items on the shelves labeled “organic” fit into your list. If so, consider substituting what you’d normally buy and make it the greener organic option.
To find out more about organic foods, visit the USDA.gov Web site, which gives tips on how to buy organically grown produce and what deserves the “organic” label. Begin creating dishes with your organic groceries, and transform old recipes into eco-friendly ones.
Every Day is Earth Day
Being green isn’t just something you can do on Earth Day. It’s an everyday rule of thumb.
Develop good habits with your family now. You’ll be thankful for the small changes you’ve made down the road, and the Earth will be thankful for it, as well.