"The Earth is the Lord's
the fullness thereof..."
I am grateful on this Earth Day for the gift of this amazing planet we were entrusted with and am challenged to be a better steward of it. We have adopted several "green" or "earth-friendly" practices around our household but have room for improvement. Here are some suggestions we can all try:
RECYCLE: Our garbage collectors used to give us separate bins to separate out the paper, plastic and glass but now we have one extra large bin where everything but the glass goes and they pick it up bi-weekly. It doesn't get much easier than that. We save our glass in a separate bin and take it to a local recycling drop off site when it gets full. I realize that many materials are expensive to recycle into post consumer products but recycling is better than throwing it away where it will remain in a landfill.
CONSERVE: Do what you can to conserve electricity, water and fuel. Turn off the lights when you leave the room, turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater, open windows for cool morning air rather than running the air conditioner full time. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while shaving your legs and brushing your teeth. Capture rain water to use for watering your garden plants. Car pool, plan your errands effeciently to avoid needless trips.
BYOB: Bring your own bags. Many cities are outlawing plastic bags forcing your to bring your own but even if they are allowed reusable bags are so easy to use. I have several in a draw string bag that I bring along. They are washable fabric, strong, hold a lot and the handles fit over the supermarkets plastic bag holder handles to make their job easier. Although I have had a few cranky checkers most are happy to use my bags and some stores (example: Target) give you 5 cents back for each reusable bag you fill.
BYOB #2: Bring your own bottle. They make such cute, BPA free plastic water bottles and even some wonderful glass ones that you can fill and go. Some even come with filters if you need to fill your bottle in places where you are not sure of the water quality. It's not only Earth friendly but saves you money too.
SHOP WITH CARE: Be aware of the chemicals you are purchasing in everything from cleaning products to the make-up you put on your face as well as those you use in the lawn and garden. Easier does not mean better.
REPURPOSE: Consider purchasing pre-owned/gently used products. Take something old and upcycle it into something completely new and exciting.
DONATE: Rather than filling up your trash can consider donating your gently used clothing to a shelter or clothing bank. Many places are also looking for household items. Have a garage sale to benefit your favorite charity (or your self !).
REDUCE: Reduce waste by carefully considering your purchases and thus ending up with less "stuff" in the first place. Have you ever donated something with the price tag still on? (Guilty...)
GET DIRTY: Compost your food scraps. Many trash collection services now have curbside composting bins for those who don't want to keep the "black gold" for use in their own gardens. We don't have it where we live but there is no way I would be giving my compost away : ) Plant a garden (and use that compost) for health and for exercise. Plant a tree to better the air quality and provide some shade.
BE THANKFUL: Get outside and appreciate the gift of the Earth and the beauty of God's creation. The more we appreciate what we have been given the more apt we are to be better stewards in taking care of it.
Are there any special things you or your family do to reduce, reuse or recycle or other ways to be a good steward?