Pretty much the second I hit Publish on 8 Easy Ways to be a Little More Green, I thought of about 8 MORE ways to be a little more green. My goal is to make living a “semi-green” life completely approachable and achievable for anyone. And as they say, if I can do it you can do it! (By the way this post contains affiliate links.)
My husband and I are each out of the house working for at least 10 hours each day. Our two kids are lucky enough to go to their grandparents while we’re at work, but that means that the grandparents aren’t begging for grand kid time over the weekends… which is in theory the only time we would have to put towards major green efforts.
In other words, we’re not talking full solar panel roofing, converting your car to bio-diesel, or brewing your own cow manure compost tea here. These are really, truly, completely, feasible investments in our earth’s future as well as future generations.
1) USE GLASS FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS – I had been thinking about these for a while. But it seemed like they were crazy pricey for just one little container. Then one day I saw a whole set of Pyrex Snapware containers on sale, snapped a pic, and sent it to my Christmas gift giving family members. They showed up under the tree that year, and now I don’t know how we lived with plastic all that time. Especially if you microwave leftovers in them, these are the way to go!
2) DITCH THE DRYER SHEETS FOR DRYER BALLS – Did you know that most dryer sheets contain toxic chemicals? They smell great, yes, but at what cost? I got these Smart Sheep dryer balls for my mom last year, and not only are they chemical free, but they also save energy by drying your clothes faster. And if you want to make them smell pretty just add a few drops of essential oils. Side note, we also sometimes use these Honest Company dryer cloths that use plant-derived softeners, are non-toxic, and can be reused!
3) DRINK OUT OF GLASS INSTEAD OF PLASTIC – Similar to why I stopped using plastic and melamine plates, we’ve also transitioned into drinking out of glass instead of plastic. Here’s a handy tutorial on how to make drinking straw lids for your mason jars. We also use these stainless steel straws instead of plastic ones.
4) INVEST IN SOME GREEN TOYS – We make a very conscientious effort to steer clear of plastic toys whenever possible. That’s not to say we don’t have our fair share of plastic in the toy bins, but we’ll certainly try to get toys made of wood and metal whenever possible. These wood kids toys are a great place to start!
5) MIX YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS – I definitely need to work on this one a bit. My mom makes her own laundry detergent and has for years. Also this all purpose cleaner recipe from Rhythms of Play calls for vodka!!! I amended the recipe to be one for me, one for the cleaner.
6) SIGN UP FOR PAPERLESS BILLING – I feel a little bad about this one because my husband works for the Post Office, so sending things through the mail keeps him in a job. But a lot of bills just come with wasteful, unnecessary ads and paperwork, and you can just as easily go online to get the same information. I feel like there’s still plenty of other junk mail going around to keep my husband employed.
7) DON’T BE A WATER WASTER– One really easy thing to do is make sure you’re not running the faucet the whole time you’re brushing your teeth. Turn the water off while your scrubbing, and only turn it back on for necessary rinsing. There’s also limiting your lawn watering to only when necessary; turn your automatic sprinklers off if rain is pending, and we’re slowly but surely replacing our grass with drought tolerant plants (oh and a big garage/workshop in the back that took up half the yard).
8) RECYCLE – I didn’t put this on my last list because I thought it was obvious. I’ve since started noticing not everyone puts out their recycling bins on trash day. That means that all their recyclable materials are sitting in their trash can. I’ll even occasionally catch myself (or my husband will catch me and say “why do you hate the environment?”) throwing something away that should be put in the recycling can instead. The cans are right next to each other, it takes the same amount of effort. Just think a second before you throw anything away.
What are you doing to be a little more green?