You don't have to go all out to be green. There are small, simple things you can do to help the environment and save money.
Why should I? Plastic shopping bags not only pollute our fair cities and towns but also the environment. When plastic bags break down, they dissolve into incredibly tiny pieces which pollute just about everything, such as our natural water supplies. Not to mention, animals can choke and die while mistakenly trying to eat one of these destructive plastic bags (true story). The best solution is to shop with reusable bags. Many stores sell these bags for about a $1 each. Or you can find similar reusable bags online, even custom ones for fruits and vegetables or to hold milk containers. Plastic bags can be destructive, but that's not the only reason to shop with reusable bags. I find that reusable bags hold more groceries. Instead of carrying 3 or 4 bags, most of their contents can fit in one reusable bag. This means less trips carrying groceries from the car to the house. In addition to being better for the environment, they are just more convenient. :)
This sounds simple. How does this help the environment? Actually, fixing water leaks around your house can save you quite a bit a money each year in water costs. Fresh water is a precious natural resource that is dwindling. By conserving water, you are helping to save the environment and preserve a necessary resource for future generations. Plus, your water bill will be lower as a result. ;)
What does this mean? The best way to help Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is to "complete the cycle." This means using products that contain recycled materials. There is no point in recycling if the materials are not going to be reused. For instance, you can complete the cycle by using recycled paper. Also if you buy canned food, then you are completing the cycle since recycled cans are often back on the shelves in a matter of weeks (cleaned and sanitized, of course).
Use Green household cleaners.
Like what? You can buy Green household cleaners at the store or online. My personal favorite brand is Seventh Generation, because they are plant-based and ethanol-free. Plus, they have a nice natural smell. In contrast, the Green Works household cleaners contain ethanol. Although ethanol manufacturers boast that this is a green substance, the production of ethanol from corn produces "seven pounds of by-product for every gallon of ethanol" (source).
You can also make your own household cleaners. Popular ingredients for natural household cleaners are baking soda, seltzer, lemon juice, and vinegar. All of these ingredients are very inexpensive and have natural disinfecting, greese-cutting, and stain-removing properties. You can find recipes online for natural cleaners using these ingredients. The following is a recipe for a cleaner that I often use in my home.
Natural glass surface cleaner recipe
In a spray bottle, mix together:
- 1/2 vinegar
- 1/2 water
Thank you for reading! :) Live Green!