My oldest daughter recently read me a quote from the back of a bottle of Vitamin Water. It said something like, "If 30 is the new 20 then green is the new black". LOL! I thought that was cute (although the girls were looking at me with funny faces because they didn't have a clue what that means). :0) I thought about it for a while, and I guess it's true. Green does seem to be "the new black" lately. All of a sudden it's become really trendy to "go green".
The funny thing is, I have always leaned towards green living. Don't get me wrong, we aren't totally "green" in all that we do. But I really do think twice about what we use and buy as far as how it will effect not only our health but the environment as well. I think it all started for me back in Jr. High when we learned in a science class about things we could do to help the plant, like recycling and reusing.
That being said, I really want to instill those values in my children. Here's a few things we do to try to care for the earth and the environment.
Buy in bulk - one of our favorite grocery stores is Sprouts. One of my favorite things about them is that they have these large bins where you can get things like flour, oats, nuts, raisins, rice, etc. I store these kinds of things in plastic storage bags or canisters or mason jars. I try to buy as many things as I can in bulk to avoid unnecessary waste as well as save money.
Use reusable grocery store bags - It seems like all the store now have those shopping bags that are reusable now. I LOVE them and we have quite a collection now. I find they hold more weight than paper or plastic bags and they are good for other uses too like taking a picnic to the park or taking along a few of the girls books or toys for a long waiting room session.
Recycle - our town recently started a recycling program. I am really grateful for this! I find that we average one kitchen bag of trash every day and a half kitchen bag of recyclables. Knowing that we are throwing out less has really made an impact on our girls and they always ask me if something can be recycled before they toss it out.
Reuse - there are so many thing we throw out every day that can be reused! I save a lot of the glass or plastic containers we buy food or drinks in to store leftovers or homemade things. Old newspapers are used to cover the table or floor for art projects then recycled. Clothing is passed down or re-made into a quilt or other useful item. There are so many ways you can reuse things! A great resource I found on how to reuse items in your home is The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I love that book!
Buy cleaning products that are earth friendly or use all-natural cleaning products - I like to use all natural things for cleaning. Some great things you can use that you probably already have are white vinegar and lemon juice and baking soda. A lot of companies are selling earth friendly products now as well.
Buy products from sustainable sources - items like buying bamboo flooring for your home, bamboo cutting boards for your kitchen, using rain water for your gardening, using solar energy and the like are all great ways to use sustainable products which take less of a drain on the earth's natural resources.
Buy organic - not only are organic food better for your body, they are also better for the earth. Growing food without harmful chemicals keeps the soil cleaner and insures healthier food which insures healthier people.
Go paperless - If you're like me, you don't like to see a pile of bills laying around on your counter or desk. That is just one of the reasons to go to a paperless billing system. Most companies offer email billing for your monthly expenses and you can pay via debit card, check or even set up an automatic bill pay. This saves your time and saves lots and lots of trees!
These are just a few ways to introduce green living into your household. For lots more great ideas here are a few websites that I really enjoy.
The Green Guide