On earth day there is no limit to those inspiring “go green” lists. Lists of 100, 50, or even 25 ideas tend to leave my mind reeling with the possibilities. It’s important to take steps to live lighter on the planet, year by year. Ready for something more manageable? Here are five of my favorite ways to go green this year:
- Line-dry Laundry: The dryer is the single biggest consumer of electricity in your house. Line drying is a lifestyle change that will force me to spend more time outside, possibly in quiet contemplation (doesn’t that sound nice?). As an added bonus, it’ll make my clothes last longer too.
- Reduce Errands: I hate running to the store for one thing. Talk about a time-sucker! Reducing and combining errands will make an impact on the air quality in my community and on my bank account, considering gas prices today. I want to learn to wait longer between errands and plan ahead better to get everything in one outing. My kids will be glad too!
- Choose Cloth: I switched to cloth diapers last year. I could never imagine going back! Now it’s time to switch to reusable cloth anywhere and everywhere else: shopping bags, napkins, towels, even menstrual products. I’ve tried cloth products in all these areas. Turns, out cloth is actually NICER to use. The disposable product category is such a marketing gimmick!
- Eliminate Junk Mail: It’s as easy as writing to Mail Preference Service, c/o Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008 (include date, name, address, signature, and the message “Please register my name with the Mail Preference Service”). I’ll also call catalogs that I don’t want to receive and ask to be removed from their mailing list.
- Shop Smart: I want to continue to think long-term about the products I buy. Is it high quality? Will I still love it next year? Was it manufactured safely, without dangerous chemicals? I hope to consume less by re-purposing items I already own, borrowing when possible, and only buying real quality that is meant to last. It’s shopping with an eco-conscience.