Sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming to think about trying to live a “green” lifestyle. We’re busy moms. So, my goal is to provide you with some easy ways to “green” your life. For Earth Day and every day.
Top Reasons to Live Green:
- Save money
- Reduce our footprint on the environment so our children and their children have a healthy ecosystem
- Keep our children healthier as we reduce the toxins they are exposed to
Since 1976, 22,000 chemicals have been introduced in just about everything…toys, other children’s items, furniture, cleaning supplies, car interiors, food and beverage products. The manufacturers have provided little to no information about their health or environmental impacts to the EPA.
Scientists have linked exposure to these chemicals to health risks.
Cancer, learning disabilities, asthma, birth defects…
Even more scary is that even while babies are in the womb, exposure to certain toxic chemicals can be connected to disturbances in hormonal, reproductive and immune systems.
We often think about living greener lives in April thanks to Earth Day. But moms, with this information on toxins, we need to figure out how to green up our lives every day.
It doesn’t have to be an immediate and overwhelming change. That would be expensive and frustrating. But you can make some small, easy changes that will eventually lead to an overall greener and healthier life.
8 Baby Steps to a Greener Life
Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
Household cleaners are at the top of the naughty list when it comes to toxins. Some household cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home. You don’t have to immediately throw away all cleaning supplies, because we know those are expensive. Rather, start replacing your cleaning supplies as you run out of the old ones, with eco-friendly cleaning supplies, or make your own. We featured a great post recently about making your own cleaning supplies, so check it out!
Recycling is the easiest place to get started if you are looking for ways to reduce your footprint on the planet. Most cities and counties provide recycle bins making it as easy to recycle as it is to throw out trash. Recycling is also an easy habit to teach our children.
Choosing to receive magazines, bills, statements, and other notifications electronically saves an incredible amount of paper. Since communicating electronically cuts costs on the person sending the product, many times companies will offer an incentive to go paperless.
Use Cloth Napkins
They are fairly inexpensive and very easy to keep up with. I place a stack of them in a basket on our table and we use them each night. If they do not get dirty, re-use the same one several times and toss them in the wash each week. As an added bonus, cloth napkins look fancier than paper when you have guests.
Start a Compost Pile
Especially if you plant a garden, this is a great way to replenish your soil. You don’t have to spend any money on a fancy bin, just find a corner in your backyard, dig a hole, dump your compost, and shovel dirt over it. The food biodegrades quickly, leaving rich soil for your garden.
Change Out Your Light Bulbs
Get rid of traditional light bulbs and use eco-friendly bulbs. Some of the benefits to eco-friendly light bulbs are that they last longer than traditional bulbs, they use 75% less energy, and they produce less heat than traditional bulbs.
Use RecycleBank.com or TerraCycle
Companies such as RecycleBank and TerraCycle provide incentives and usually free postage to mail in hard to recycle items, like the plastic from diaper packages, Capri Sun wrappers, and other items. RecycleBank recently even started accepting toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for recycling.
Recycle Non-Ordinary Items Such as Batteries, Light Bulbs, Printer Cartridges, Etc.
Batteries and light bulbs contain very dangerous elements that leak into the soil and the water supply when they are thrown in the regular garbage, but are not usually accepted by the city or county recycling trucks. However, these items can be recycled and stores such as Best Buy usually have receptacles right at the inside of their stores. Collect up all of these types of items over time and quickly drop them off when you are out running errands.
As a side note, Seventh Generation is currently featuring the Seventh Generation and the Fight Toxins Campaign. Visit their site to sign a campaign to revise legislation and help #FightToxins with Seventh Generation.
What tips for going green can you share?