Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Little "Green" Changes

Going "Green" is definitely all the rage lately. It's really quite exciting because things that are good for our environment are starting to become more the mainstream. Some things that Tim and I recently have been doing is taking reusable grocery bags with us when we shop. At first it seemed a little weird, but now we don't even really think about it. The bags cost us about a dollar each and we have about 5 of them. They really hold our groceries better and are easier to carry. We occasionally forget to take them, but will reuse the plastic bags for our small trash cans at home.

The idea is to "Reduce," "Reuse," or "Recycle" everything you possibly can. I've been all about recycling for quite a while but have needed to brush up on what my local recycling facility actually accepts. I just learned that I'm suppose to remove the caps to bottles and that they only accept plastic with a neck top. Of course they take metal, glass, paper, and cardboard too. The plastic has just been a little harder to understand what they will and won't accept.

The "reduce" and "reuse" aspects of going green is a bit more work but something I'd like to focus on more. If I can use less paper that would be a huge money saver too. Apparently, paper makes up for most of our waste and really could be either reduced reused or recycled. Using two sides of paper is an easy way to reduce and reuse.

I'm also planning on investing in fluorescent light bulbs that are suppose to use less energy and last longer. They do have a little bit of mercury in them so you have to be careful if one happens to break, but the benefits are huge. A small initial investment could end up saving us lots of money on energy costs down the road.

We have also started to buy some things in bulk which can cut down on cost as well as packaging. When you buy in bulk you decrease the amount of waste because usually individually wrapped items come with more packaging.

I use to laugh at Tim's reusable lunch sandwich containers because I was always used to using a sandwich bag. I now realize how unnecessary it was to buy those bags and how we are saving money buy doing so. The little plastic containers also keep the sandwich from being squished. And really, how hard is it to wash a little container out. It is no big deal.

We've also experimented with greener cleaning products. I love the Clorox Green Works products, especially the toilet bowl cleaner. We have also used 7th Generation dish detergent which seems to work just as well as the much more toxic stuff. I'm still trying to use up some of my other stuff first so I can then replace it with more earth-friendly products.

I've also tried to use products for my body that are more natural and have made some changes to my makeup. I now use Aveda for my shampoo and conditioner and for some of my foundation and cover up.

Finding little ways like this makes a big difference. Once a small change becomes a habit you won't even think about how you used to do things. The key I think is education and taking the time to read labels and take a look at what we buy and bring into our homes.

So, as the grass turns a little greener outside I'm inspired to go a little greener myself. With Earth Day just around the corner I think it's about time we make a few more days or weeks out of the year focus a bit more on this great planet we live on.
What better way than making a few changes here and there.

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