Happy Earth Day everyone! What will you do for the planet today? What better time than the present to change a habit or two? Here are some suggestions that are really easy to incorporate, and over time, they make a big difference.
1. Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine until it’s chock full. Try to avoid rinsing your dishes with running water before loading them up; whether or not you want Fido to take care of business is up to you!
2. Reuse your water. Whether it’s a pet bowl you’re cleaning out, an ice cube you dropped on the floor or that stagnant half-glass from next to the bed, always think before pouring water down the drain. Use it on a plant indoors or out. Same goes for shower water that’s heating up – collect it with a bucket.
3. Cut the paper towel and napkin habit. Use old t-shirts and other rags for cleaning, and cloth napkins for dining.
4. Beware the energy vampires. Your computer does not need to run 24/7 and your phone doesn’t need to be charging for 12 hours straight. The coffee pot clock is sucking energy; after you’re done with your brew, unplug the coffee machine.
5. Speaking of coffee, banish the paper and styrofoam cups. Get a reusable cup that you can take to the coffee shop for refilling (most of these joints are actually shilling them right in their impulse buy area for convenience).
6. Before you put anything in the trash, think about how else it could be reused, donated or recycled. Check your local recycling information web page. You may find there are many more items you could be recycling that you’re not, special days for bulk item and yard clipping pick ups and drop offs for electronics. They may also be offering up larger bins. Check Earth911 for more ways to recycle, upcycle and reuse.
7. Bring your own bags!!! If you are not doing this yet, you have no excuse. I’ve wound up with so many different giveaway bags I have started giving them back. Do make sure to keep the bag clean when you use it for food; I recommend a bag that is coated or machine washable as you will want to wash bags you use for food regularly.
8. Banish things with “disposable” on the label. Whether it’s a pen, a cleaning wipe, batteries or an eraser, buy things that are refillable and can be used for decades to reduce waste.
9. Stop the flow of junk mail. Go to the Federal Trade Commission’s site to find out how.
10. Shop for sustainable products. Whether it’s wood that’s rapidly renewable or sustainably harvested for construction, items that flat ship, produce that’s harvested locally, there are ways to rethink the way you shop. If you want to get started here, here’s our selection of sustainable goods.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth today? Let us know in the comments section!
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!