Want to know how you can get involved and help the planet? There are so many ways, and no, they don't all have to be exreme. We think that the planet appreciates even small acts of kindness, so here are a few simple ideas to get you started. (Don't worry, these steps won't classify you as a "tree-huggin' hippie"-if you don't want to be.)
1. Buy a few recycling bins. We know buying them doesn't actually help the planet, but once you have them, you're more likely to use them (and that does). There are so many kinds available now, you're sure to be able to find one that will be a good fit your space and lifestyle- whether it's a large set for the garage or a small set for the pantry. Stackable recycling bins are a great option if you're trying to conserve space. These slim, stackable bins are widely available at Lowe's. They also have a little dial so you can indicate whether the bin is for paper, plastic, aluminum or glass.
2. Ditch bottled water (or just reduce the amount of bottles your family consumes): Filtered water is a much more planet-friendly option. Brita makes a great pitcher filter, as well as individual water bottles with filters too. Encourage family members to keep a water bottle with them and refill as necessary throughout the day instead of purchasing from a drink vending machine or convenience store. To make it more fun for the kiddos, try getting personalized water bottles for each child so they feel a little ownership in their part to help the planet!
3. Re-use household papergoods to make a personal and unique gift wrap:
Children's art, shopping bags, magazine and phone book pages and more! (Martha Stewart has a few great ideas here)
4. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. You've probably heard this before, but it bears repeating because it's such a simple way to save water. According to 50waystohelp.com, you'll conserve up to 5 gallons of water a day, just by shutting it off while you brush. "Daily savings in the U.S. alone could add up to 1.5 billion gallons--more water than folks use in the Big Apple."
5. Shop with a canvas or reusable bag. Whether it's a trip to the grocery store, shopping for clothes or at the drug store, try bringing in your own bag. Not only does it reduce the amount of plastic and paper bag waste, but many stores offer a discount for providing your own means of carting your goodies home. For larger items like groceries, just keep reusable totes (like the ones we're giving away today) in your car and carry them in with you. Too bulky? Why not try something like this from BAGGU? Nylon reusable bags that fold up (and even have a tidy bag to store them in).
See? Those are easy things... We encourage you to make the committment to try at least one of them (if you're not already), then take a nice long walk and admire the natural beauty outdoors... and give yourself a little pat on the back for making a step in the right direction.
Happy Earth Day!