10 Easy Ways to Incorporate Green Living Into Your Life
There are many ways to make a difference. Recycling is one major well known way to reduce waste and help the environment at the same time, but there is so much more we can do! I have put together 10 easy ways to incorporate green living within your family.
1. Buy local produce.
There are so many wonderful local farms and farmer’s markets in most cities and towns. Not only is it more nutritious but it tastes so much better than produce that has traveled long distances. Food travels an average distance of 1500 miles so buying local also reduces our petroleum usage.
2. Use cloth diapers and/or reusable feminine products.
This is a huge waste reducer! The average amount of diapers used from birth to 2 1/2 years will equal an estimated 6,500! This is based upon an average of 7 – 8 changes/day (10 – 11 for newborns and between 5 – 6 for toddlers
An estimated 16,800 sanitary pads or tampons will be used within four decades just from one woman. That is 250 to 300 pounds of waste! In just the United States alone, around 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are thrown out every single year. The problem is, many women have never heard of reusable feminine products. and there are many different options out there. Reusable cloth pads have been gaining ground as have products such as The Diva Cup & The Keeper. Etsy is another great place to find well made organic pads.
3. Eliminate plastic bottles as well as plastic containers and use stainless steel products as substitutes.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the dangers of plastics. Reusing plastic bottles can leach toxic chemicals such as BPA in your water. BPA has been linked to breast and uterine cancer, an increased risk of miscarriage, and decreased testosterone levels. BPA has also been known to have an adverse affect to children’s developing systems.
4. Check your laundry detergent
Most laundry detergents contain phosphates, artificial fragrances (which are made from petroleum), synthetic surfactants and are not biodegradable. These ingredients have been known to cause chronic health problems as well as allergies. They many also have toxic effects on fish, mammals and wildlife.
There are many brands that are completely biodegradable and contain zero perfumes. Another great option to think about are soap nuts!
5. Water usage.
Prevent water from running while brushing your teeth or playing in the bath. Children love to turn the taps on. If there is water play involved, fill up a bucket and let them use the set aside amount instead of letting the water run for minutes at a time. Also, while doing laundry make sure you have a full load before turning your washing machine on.
Not only does it cut down on garbage bags as well as garbage disposal but it creates earth which can be used for your garden. Compost soil is useful in ecosystems to control erosion, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction and as a landfill cover.
7. Trade your paper napkins and paper towels for cotton dish towels and cloth napkins.
Although I do use cotton dish towels for most of my kitchen needs, I admit that I do still use paper towels for quick wipe ups or when I am in a pinch. There is an option though to purchase 100% recycled paper towels so keep that in mind on your next trip to the store.
8. When buying printer paper look for the recycled variety.
I just noticed this while looking for a case of printing paper at my local Costco. They had regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheets as well as a recycled brand. It was nice to see and I made the switch.
9. Use green cleaners which are widely available on the market or make your own.
There are so many harsh chemicals in cleaning products now that I would cringe every time I had to clean. The toxic fumes are not something I wanted lingering in the air for my children, husband or family to breath. Clorox, Seventh Generation and Natures Clean are just a few well known name brands who sell toxic free cleaners.
10. Ask if your favorite newspaper or magazine has an online digital version that you can switch to.
Many companies have started this new trend which is a fantastic way to avoid waste.