earth day

Eight Small Ways to Minimize Your Impact to the Planet This Earth Day

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It’s Earth Day! Today, we’re going to be talking about small ways to minimize your impact on the earth’s resources, but first, to celebrate, check out these Earth Day Cocktail Recipes courtesy of She Knows. (You’re welcome.)

In an effort to lessen our footprint we don’t have to buy a Prius, there are still small changes we can make and shifts we can do.

Here is Mrs. Jones Could Use a Beer’s List of Eight Small Ways to Minimize Your Impact On the Earth’s Resources:

  1. Re-finish furniture rather than buying new furniture made from pressed wood. I know, I love Ikea as much as the next person, but they’re cutting down our forests. (This article claims they’re trying to do better.) In the meantime, consider buying furniture made from a sustainable source, re-finish what you already have, or what you can buy used.
  2. Recycle. I know, blah blah blah. Seriously though, it’s not a law in every state, but it’s completely doable. Try setting up a separate bin for recyclables in your kitchen, and teach your children which items are recyclable and which are trash. If you’re not already doing this, you may be surprised by all that can be recycled.
  3. Own less. Today’s purchases are tomorrow’s garage sale bargains. Every time you’re tempted to buy something cheap and cute, that you don’t necessarily need (I’m not immune to the Target temptation either), ask yourself how long it’ll be before it’s relegated to the back of your closet, the basement, or the attic, or how long it’ll be before you’re hauling that item off to Goodwill to be donated. Do you love it or need it enough to own it? There’s a lot to be said for noticing something beautiful, appreciating it, and leaving it be. I’ve had to do it with George Clooney all of these years, we can do it with cute holiday table decor as well.
  4. Conserve water.  I once knew someone who ran the water for her shower for so long before she got it, that I was surprised there was ever any hot water left. She’d turn it on, and then walk around her house doing random things while all that water went down the drain. Watch how you do dishes, water your flowers, etc. Do you sometimes unnecessarily run the water?
  5. Reduce the use of energy in your home. When you’re not in a room, turn the lights off. Try lower wattage bulbs in lamps. Before you leave your house for work and/or school each day, check to make sure the lights throughout the home haven’t been left on. Adjust the heat or air-conditioning to use less energy when you’re not at home. Turn off appliances when they’re not in use, and use smaller ones when possible.
  6. Use less throw-away plastic.  There are great water bottles on the market now made of glass or wood. Also, consider packing your lunches and leftovers in reusable containers rather than sandwich bags.
  7. Reduce your use of paper.  This is SO hard for me. I’m working on it. But think about using less paper napkins and paper towels. Try switching to cloth napkins (even if it’s only once in a while) and using rags or eco-friendly cloths rather than paper towels for cleaning. There’s got to be a solution for toilet paper, but I haven’t heard of it yet, and I’m not sure I’m ready to.
  8. Assess need versus want. It’s no secret that America consumes far more everything than any other country. We eat too much, and not of the right thing. This article, published in September 2015, states that every state in the nation is too fat. That includes Colorado, which had previously always been the skinniest state (they did legalize marijuana, though, so hello, munchies). We also buy more and better and newer and bigger. I blame Texas. The tiny home movement hasn’t made an impact on the overall desire for big homes. We also spend more on things we don’t actually need. Our consumption of luxury items continues to go up. I’m all about celebrating life once in a while, and treating yourself to things you don’t need to mark a special day or moment, but Dom Perignon because it’s Wednesday is excessive, I don’t care who you are. There are several reasons people over spend; low self-esteem, depression. Take a good look at your habits, and what it is you’re truly “feeding” through buying. Do you really need the new Apple watch you really can’t afford, or does your ego?

I hope you get out and enjoy nature this Earth Day! I’d also love to hear your ideas for small ways to reduce your impact on the Earth’s Resources. For more Earth Day reading, here is my post on grounding from last Earth Day.

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