By now I think most of us care at least a little about “going green”. Our children are taught the importance of recycling and water restriction at school and we likely have a recycling can at our homes. But what if we want to do more but aren’t sure where to start? There are some really easy ways to go green with your family that you may not have considered! Not only is it great for the environment to “Go Green” but you might find your self saving a little green as well!
10 Surprisingly Simple ways to Go Green With Your Family
Stop Drinking Bottled Water
This is serious. Stop buying bottled water, especially those individual ones. The amount of plastic that enters our landfills from them is just horrendous, and the cost of purchasing them weekly really adds up. The green alternative? Add a filter to your refrigerator or kitchen water faucet. Water filters cost a few extra dollars up front but will save you a ton in the long run.
Use Less Water
Since we’re on the subject of using water, let’s use less of it why don’t we? Some easy ways to make a huge impact in your home is to start in the bathroom. Take shorter showers, you can set a timer so you aren’t in there as long. And make sure you turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. If you’re really committed to using less water you can have a rain barrel installed in your yard to use for watering plants.
Start a Small Vegetable Garden
Starting a vegetable garden is good for everyone. Learning about he process and where our food comes from is educational for the kids and you will love having fresh veggies right in your backyard. Bonus, the more food you grown on your own, the less you are purchasing from large commercial growers! If you just aren’t in to gardening you can always make the switch to local, small growers to have an impact as well.
Ditch the Paper
There are so many areas in your home to ditch the paper that it can make a really big impact on your overall carbon footprint. An easy example is to have all of your billing be switched from paper to electronic. For more of an impact, you can read your news online instead of purchasing a paper, use cloth napkins instead of paper ones, and use microfiber cleaning cloths instead of paper towels.
Use chemical-free cleaners
You can purchase your own eco-friendly cleaners at most stores but you might be surprised at jut how easy it is to make your own chemical free cleaners! And, if you are making your own you are also cutting down on the amount of waste from containers since you will likely be reusing containers that you already have instead of purchasing new ones every time you run out.
Make your own laundry soap
Aside from making your own chemical free cleaners you can also make your own laundry soap. It is budget friendly, great for sensitive skin, doesn’t contain weird chemicals, fragrances, and dyes, AND you will but back on all those plastic bottles that need to be recycled.
The first step is actually using that blue trash can that the waste management company provides you. The next step is to recycle OTHER ITEMS, like furniture! Yes, buy things pre-owned and make them like new! You can go a long way to customize items for your home with just a little bit of paint or fabric.
I now composting isn’t for everyone but it’s not as hard as it sounds. You can purchase a small composting bin, or make your own, to add your food scraps, yard waste, and paper too. Then use it to fertilize that garden you planted!
If at all possible, ride your bike or walk when you can. Do you live less than a mile from your child’s school? Why not try it? It doesn’t seem like much but if you live 1 mile from school and drive to drop off and again to pick up, that is 4 miles/day or 20 miles/week that you could cut out of your gas and car usage. Still doesn’t seem like much? How about 80 miles per month?! If riding and walking just isn’t feasible, you can always start a carpool to cut back!
I find this much easier said that done, I am always forgetting to do this! Simply unplug any electronic devises that aren’t being used. Cell phone cords left plugged in is a HUGE electricity eater. While you’re at it, make sure the lights are turned off when your not in a room and cut back on A/C usage by using ceiling fans instead.
I hope this has inspired you to Go Green (and save a little green) with your family! These ideas are very simple to implement and you can get the whole family involved by enlisting the help of your children.
Do you have other simple ways that your family is going green? I’d love to hear about them!