Group Earth Hug

Come on everyone. Gather around. April is Earth Month, so it’s time to join together and give our earth a big squeeze. If we don’t take care of it, who will? No, not our neighbor or the hippie at church–we can make a difference. Sometimes I doubt the power of small step, but just imagine if everyone in this country put one penny into a bucket and said it was for me. One penny isn’t enough to make me stop and bend over when I see one on the ground, but when added together…you get the point.

So today I’m brainstorming one way to give our earth a big hug: reduce the use of disposables. Here are 3 specific ways to do just that.

1. Reusable Bags. Stop adding to the (likely out-of-control) stash of plastic bags already in your home. Carry your own reusable bags to every shopping trip–who says they’re just for groceries? My Envirosax are my favorite because they roll up and live in my purse so I never forget them in the car!

Put an end to those annoying produce bags from the store too. Now I use mesh produce bags sort of like these from Amazon. (I keep a few in my purse) and slip fresh produce in and drawstring them tight. The cashier can see through them for checkout and they hold my produce while in the fridge. Then I just rinse them out and reuse them. Every few months I send them through the washing machine for a deep wash. They make me happy each time I use one.

 

2. Reusable Cleaning Supplies. What’s in your cleaning arsenal? Paper towels? Disposable dusting wipes? Disposable wet mop pads? Disposable bottles of products? Try replacing those disposables with Norwex, which can be used again and again. Just rinse out the microfiber cloth after use and hang to dry. The antibacterial feature in the cloth cleans them so they don’t even need to be laundered each time. You will notice your trash can filling up more slowly and your wallet staying full longer since you don’t have to buy more, more, more.

 

 

3. No Waste Lunch. Packing your own lunch is a great move for your pocketbook, but “brown bagging it” is not always good for the environment. The average packed lunch creates 4-8 ounces of garbage each day. That’ll add up. So instead of a disposable bag, invest in a lunch box (having Iowa’s Golden Hawk on the front is optional). Instead of putting your sandwich, pretzels, and carrot sticks each in their own disposable plastic baggie, try reusable containers instead. Plastic utensils? Nah, use the real thing. You can buy a few inexpensive single pieces if you’re afraid of breaking up  your good set.

So there you have 3 simple switches that are begging to be made. Do any of them strike your fancy? Obviously this is just a start as there are many other ways to limit the use of disposables. I’m going to work on always restocking my purse with a few produce bags since I often forget to do that. I’m so disappointed when I get to the store and don’t have them with me. But good habits will be formed and these all can be second nature in no time. What’s one good habit you will form this month?

Envirosax reusable bag photo from their website. Produce bags and lunch box pic from amazon.com.

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