Earth Day was April 22. However, as anyone that runs an alphabet blog may know: Being timely can sometimes lose to staying in order. More importantly still, I can talk to you “Earth Day-ers,” “Earth Day-ians,” and “Earth Dwellers” about solutions you can adopt to be organized by being economically savvy.
Problem: Choosing to harm because the choice to help is too inconvenient.
I reach for the bag of baby carrots in the refrigerator, fresh from the store and still sealed. I open the bag, feeling accomplished for picking carrots over chips *pats own back*. “I’m doing really great today!” I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (a timeless meal), and a bottle of water. I pull open my kitchen drawer and pull out A PLASTIC SANDWICH BAG. In fact, I pull out TWO! This was just for me, thank goodness I don’t pack lunch for my husband, child, or friend (none of which I actually have). That would be a minimum of 8 bags per lunch.
We all know the struggle. We’re thinking, “use a plastic container,” but another thought, just as loud, is saying, “I already cleaned the dishes!” or “I don’t want to spend the money.”
These thoughts are why we have paper towels at home when a dishtowel will do. It’s why we run our dishwashers when a hand wash in the sink preserves water and energy. Laziness and thoughtlessness has our homes filled with plastic bags, paper towels for hand drying, no recycling bin, and water bottles.
Habit: Too lazy to promote Earth Power
1. Three towels in the kitchen at all times, one for floor, one for countertops, and one for dishes (see tutorial in caption if you’re a do-it-yourselfer)
2. Make it routine, do it more often and you’ll keep doing it. Sorry it’s not more magical that that.
3. Rinse immediately. All dishes used should be rinsed immediately, it cuts cleaning time down and eliminates the ick factor of food on dish towels.
4. Get a second trash can in the main room of your home for recycling and get familiar with the symbol above. It is on way more things than you realize. When it is full, put it in your main recycling bin. Go one step further and separate your CRV items. I recently collected $10 from jugs, sodas, beer, and other bottles my family would have used whether I profited from it or not.
5. Buy reusable shopping bags. They cost a dollar at most places. Food4Less offers 10 cents off your total purchase for every reusable bag you shop with, where-as Ralphs gives extra points to reward cardholders. I keep mine in my car in case I run to the store unexpectedly.
6. If you drink coffee often, start carrying a travel mug with you. Starbucks sells a simple travel mug for $1 as do most convenient stores (i.e. 7-Eleven, ampm)
7. Lastly, there are a million alternatives to plastic water bottles. A weekly ad advertised $7 plus CRV for a 24/pk of water bottles. We have all heard that we should drink eight cups of water a day, though everyone is different. At eight cups a day, every person in your household will have three to four bottles a day (approximately). In one month, for one person, that is $17 plus CRV a month, minimum. Or a water purifier for 20-30 dollars and a filter that gets changed every two months.