Sunday, January 1, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Go Green:

Even if you are like me and don't make New Year's resolutions just to break them in the coming months, a new year is a great place to start making baby steps to the life you want to lead.

Want to green your life but not sure where to start?

Use unpaper towels
1.  Gather random hand towels, old burp cloths, washrags, etc. from around your house and supplement your collection with some cheap new hand towels.
2.  Plan a system for storage.  Clean towels are not to be folded.  Dump them in a drawer or in a plastic tub under your sink or on top of your fridge.
3.  Plan a system for dirties.  I throw my dirty towels straight into the washing machine in the kitchen.  You might need a "dirty" basket under your sink or on top of your fridge.
4.  Never buy paper towels again.
Repurpose or donate 
1.  When you are tempted to throw something away, look at it with fresh eyes.  Can you use it for something else?  Can someone else use it?
2.  Your local charity thrift store or Freecycle are great places to get rid of usable items you no longer want.  And, as a thrift store devotee, trust me.  If you donate it, someone will buy it.
3.  A box in a closet labeled "donations" is an easy way to keep your future donations organized.
Make your own cleaning spray
1.  Find a good spray bottle.  You might reuse (ahem) an old spray bottle or buy a new bottle from a hardware store. 
2.  Fill 3/4 of your spray bottle with vinegar.  Top off with water.  
3.  A dash of liquid castile soap or dishwashing soap and several drops of tea tree oil or lavender essential oil are optional but a nice addition to the vinegar and water mix.
4.  Use this cleaning mix as an all-purpose spray -- kitchen, bathroom, mopping mix, etc.
1.  Reduce your personal contribution to landfills by composting your food scraps.
2.  Composting is easy and flexible.  Don't let the "rules" scare you.
3.  Your dirt can be used for container gardens or raised beds.
3.  Don't have a yard for your compost bin?  Check out worm composting.  Super kid friendly!
"Meatless Monday"
1.  Conventionally grown meat is a huge source of pollution via toxic waste from antibiotics, land degradation of cattle feed lots and the fertilizers and herbicides used to grow corn used to feed the animals, to name just a few issues concerning conventional meat.
2.  Dedicate (at least) one night a week to go meatless.
3.  If a meatless meal isn't your style, consider cutting back the serving sizes of meat your family eats.  Or even better, support a local farmer by buying their pastured, hormone and antibiotic free meat.
4.  Read more about easing into a meatless diet in future blog posts :)

Is going green one of your goals for 2012?
Have you already put these baby steps into practice in your life?


Jennifer Nanney said...

love love this!! i thought about you and Taylor this past week when I was at Magnolia Grove Monastery--there was a couple with two small beautiful. I think you four would really enjoy a visit there. 

Mandi @ Living the Good Life said...

Oh Jennifer- I've been aching to go there!!

To add to your meatless Monday- support a local, grassfed farmer instead of buying conventional meat if meat is yo' thang ;)

We are incorporating Miso Mondays. Miso soup with the fixings and another accompanying side- wontons, stir fry veggies, rice noodles etc :) it's meatless and easy and a consistent menu plan item that everyone loves.

LauraOMML said...

I just googled Magnolia Grove Monastery.  Amazing!!!  

Jamilie Rader said...

Great post Laura!!!

LauraOMML said...

Thanks, Milie!

Mamammalia said...

Great tips! I especially love the idea of not folding clean towels that are used to clean up messes. We go through soooo many of those. Now I'm thinking of all the time I'll save by not folding!

IThoughtIKnewMama said...

Great goals! We love Freecycle!

Thanks for linking up!