I didn't pick these from a magazine or anything, and they are probably not the best (and certainly not the only!) ways to go a little green but here are some of the things I do to help me, my family and my environment. We're definitely not perfect (we have two cars and a sprinkler system!) but we're trying...
1. Lemons or limes are great cleaners and natural deodorizers. I add some of the juice to a bowl of water and clean our counters, kitchen table and sinks with it. When I am left with the squishy lemons and limes, I put them in the bowl with the left over water/juice combo and put the bowl in the microwave for about 3 minutes. The steam and juice loosens any dirt for a really easy clean and the micro smells great! No chemicals!
2. We keep a large canvas bag in the car so that we can use it for emergency grocery runs if needed. Many canvas bags carry huge amounts of food etc so bringing three or four with us sometimes eliminates the need for any paper or plastic at all!
3. We have taught our kids to always turn the faucet off while brushing teeth. A little side cup with some water in it is all we need to rinse.
4. If it rains in summer we turn off our sprinkler system for at least two days.
5. All our appliances are low energy.
6. Go vegetarian just one day per week! You wouldn't believe how much you can do for the environment! Not to mention how your body will thank you!
7. We buy as much local and organic as we can. If you go to a Farmer's Market on the last hour of the last day you can pick up delicious fresh produce at half price or better! The farmers don't want to take all that stuff home!
8. I know how paper cups and plates can be handy but use the real thing instead! We use low energy light bulbs in the garage, pantry, and bedrooms and outdoors - anywhere we don't need a lot of light. And recycle everything. We keep everything in different bins in the garage and head to the recycle place once a month. It's a pain to do but it's the least we can do. Once a month won't kill us.
9. Our kids are always messing around with my makeup and toiletries. You know how kids often seem to prefer the box that the toy came in over the toy? Save old moisturizer jars and make up brushes etc for your kids to use as toys. Less plastic in the house and just as much fun as anything at Toys R Us!
10. Go outside. Forget driving to the park. Buy second hand bikes for next to nothing at a garage sale and head off around town or in the country. Bike to the park if possible! You can get bike trailers for the kids for cheap and it makes for great exercise too. We feel SO good afterwards and all the fresh air and exercise will make the kidlets go to bed on time. That in itself makes it all worthwhile!
I have a ton more as I'm sure you have too. I want to hear them!
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