Earth Day 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of this official celebratory day. Online you’ll find a ton of promotions, Twitter parties and companies giving out coupons, hosting giveaways as well as offline festivals, green cleaning parties and local celebrations. A month where companies are really trying to make a eco-friendly impact, honor Mother Earth and shine the spotlight on “going green”. Of course, there is greenwashing and pinkwashing but what is most important is figuring out for yourself what you will do in your own home and life to make a difference.
I have a theory that it isn’t a competition or race; it is about starting where you’re comfortable and trying to lead by example for your family, friends and children. To provide you with some simple tips and ideas for starting “somewhere” here is my top 10 ideas celebrating Earth Day today and everyday.
1. Save Green. Yes, start trying eco-friendly products you’ve wanted to try or love with coupons and subscribing to some of your favorite brands and products for email coupons. This helps you save green but use the organic brands and products you want to use without going broke.
2. Be Loyal. If you find a product you love, trust and you’re comfortable with the ingredients do yourself a favor and stick with the product. If you love a company but you don’t like the ingredients, let them know.
3. Reduce. It seems simple enough but just stop buying stuff you don’t need or think twice before you buy it. Use online websites like Get Buttoned Up, that give you organizational tips for decluttering your life. Start cleaning out that garage and use sights like eBay Classifieds (formerly, Kijiji) and FreeCycle.
4. Green Your TP. Yup, start buying 100% post consumer recycled toilet paper. It is an easy change that makes your touchie happy (it won’t know I promise), it is affordable and you can save money with a coupon. You have to wipe, right?
5. Green Cleaning. Easy, right? Well, it can be if you use products like ecoStore USA or stock up on vinegar and baking soda. Try hosting a green cleaning party and as a group with some eco-friendly cocktails or tea and cookies–make your own cleaners together! Did you know that in 1970 Arm & Hammer was the first sole corporate sponsor of Earth Day? You can use it for cleaning, exfoliates and polishing your silverware!
6. Start Reading. Become informed and learn more about ways you can go green or make a difference in your own life. I’ve written dozens of green book reviews but a few of my favorite include: The Smart Mama, Big Green Purse, and Eco-nomical Baby Guide to name a few. I also highly recommend reading some great blogs like The Soft Landing, The Green Parent, Green Daily, Healthy Child, Safe Mama, Enviromom, Inhabitots and The Green Phone Booth to name just a few.
7. Take off Your Shoes. Mom didn’t just tell you this because she was sick of you tracking in dirt and mud! When you take off your shoes you keep the environmental toxins out of your home that get stuck on your shoes. The lawn pesticides and “stuff” you don’t want baby crawling in and then putting their fingers into their mouths. Yuck! Read a Science Daily article on all of the nasty stuff that comes into our homes when we don’t take our shoes off!
8. Drive Green. No you don’t have to buy a Hybrid but you can make eco-friendly driving choices like keeping your tires inflated or not leaving your car idling. For smart and green car driving tips check out your.
9. Eat Green. This doesn’t mean you have to buy all organic but you can grow your own food, even a tomato plant and start there or here at the for ideas. Find a local CSA, garden with some friends and start cooking fresh food-even once or twice a week. Read about how to eat organic on a budget for some ideas and start somewhere and if you don’t grow your own food or shop at your local farm market at least wash your veggies and fruits well with vinegar and water to get the pesticides off your food. Check out the EWG’s pocket guide for information on pesticides and food.
10. Green Your Lunch and Hand Washing. We don’t use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer and guess what, we’re living, breathing and healthy. Become informed on the use of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers and if you use them don’t go overboard! When packing lunch think reusable bags eco-lunch gear.
Even if you decide to do one of the 10 things I have listed you’ll be off to a start and then it is up to you on how fast or slow you go in your green journey. Just begin and pat yourself on the back for making small changes. See a similar post on 10 ways to go green in 2010 for more ideas, links and inspiration.
If you are a green pro, what other tips do you have? Where did you start?