Happy Earth Day!
I have been so excited for Earth Day on Oh She Glows because I knew I could use this moment to do a post about environmentally friendly ways to make small changes in our lives.
I will be the first to admit, I was not always an earth-friendly individual. I left lights on, water running, and used hot water in the wash. But gradually, I have made small changes in my life that I would like to think are really adding up!
Here are small ways that you can lighten your footprint too!
1) Avoid Running Water
Do you leave the tap running while you brush your teeth? That is nearly 10 gallons of wasted water! Recently I stopped doing this and I also now turn off the water in the middle of my shower when I am shampooing/shaving and don’t need it. It really adds up! Your hydro bill will thank you, too!
2) Turn Down The Heat
I can often be found nagging at Eric to turn the heat down and put a sweater on! And to think I used to get mad at my own dad for doing this when I was young. Another great trick we have been doing is closing the doors in all the house. That way, the rooms you aren’t in don’t soak up the heat that is flowing throughout the house. We have even closed the heating vents in rooms we don’t use.
3) Get Used To Less AC
This is the first time that we will be in a house where we are paying for Air Conditioning! I am actually quite scared to see how much it costs. This summer we are going to keep the AC to a minimum and rely lots on fans for air circulation. We also will close our blinds during the day to keep the sun from making the insides any warmer. I admit, this one is going to be hard for me because I love AC and I love being comfortable. I am going to move a fan into my office when I am working, so I am sure that will do the trick. Also drinking lots of ice water can really cool the body down quickly!
4) Use Cold Water
For the past few years, I have been washing all my clothing in cold water to save energy. The only time I use a hot wash is when washing bed linens or other items that require a deep clean. One load of wash can consume up to 50 gallons of water, so make sure that your load is full each time you use it. We recently purchased a new Whirlpool washer and dryer with our wedding money, and it uses much less water than traditional W+D’s. I always wash our items on ‘quick wash’ too.
5) The Dishwasher
One trick that I use for the dishwasher is to always put it on a light wash. We often do a good job cleaning our plates and utensils before putting them in, so a light wash is all they need. This saves us gallons of water each week. For pots and pans, I always soak them for a couple hours before washing by hand. This allows the food to lift off and I have to use minimal time and water to finish cleaning them.
6) Walk More
This is something that is difficult for us to do in the winter time, but something I definitely want to start doing again in the warmer months. Walking/biking/running/rollerblading instead of driving! Walking to the corner store or local grocery store and keep the car at home. In university before I got a car in my 4th year, I had to walk everywhere or take local transportation. I was used to lugging home tons of groceries! I got in a great workout (it was 30 min walk each way to the grocery store) and my arms were pretty toned too. :)
7) Avoid throwing away batteries into the garbage
Used batteries contain mercury, a hazardous substance, that can leak into the ground when thrown out. Be sure to collect and remit them to a recycling facility- or switch to rechargeable batteries all together. You will save money at the same time! I can’t imagine to think how many batteries I would have gone through by now if it wasn’t for my rechargeable battery in my camera!
8.) Recycle and Compost
Where I live we have a great waste collection service. It collects green (compost- food scraps, etc), blue (recycling) and regular garbage. We have three garbage cans, but just knowing that it is helping the environment makes the extra effort worth it. If you don’t have this service at home, think about building a compost box for your backyard to throw your scraps into. Just think, you will have wonderful mulch to put in your garden!
9) Reduce your meat consumption
According to a 2006 U.N. report, the meat industry produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined—providing further evidence that meat’s not green. These gases worsen climate change and might lead to catastrophic disasters—like droughts, floods, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and disease outbreaks—unless we drastically reduce the amounts emitted into the atmosphere. Source.
10) Get Rid of Plastic
Stop using plastic bags and bring your own reusable tote bags with you when shopping. Many of our local stores have eliminated plastic bags which I think is a huge step in the right direction!
11) Buy Used Items!
Many of you would be surprised to learn that I actually buy most of my favourite Lululemon clothes- used! I shop on Ebay. It is simply another way to recycle and to save money.
12) Pay bills online
Another thing I have done is asked my billing companies to stop sending me paper copies of bills. I do all of my payments online so I don’t need the waste of paper each month! It is a great way to cut back on paper use.
13) Switch to Todoist
I used to be a chronic post-it gal. Until recently I was known for having about 20 post it notes all over my desk. Not anymore! I finally use Todoist to create E-notes and I will never go back!
For the US Earth Day site: http://www.earthday.net/
For the Canadian Earth Day site: http://www.earthday.ca/pub/index.php
Do you have any suggestions to add to my list? How are you celebrating Earth Day?Leave a comment below!
You may have seen this clickable image on the right sidebar, that I put up late last night!
Welcome to my new Shop 4 A Cause page!
Here is a snippet from the page:
Want to purchase amazing baked goods, specialty products and crafts, jewelry, and clothing while donating the money to a fabulous cause?
Well, look no further!
Oh She Glows is hosting its’ 1st “Shop 4 A Cause” Auction Charity event where you can place bids on a wide range of wonderful products.
Two Ways To Participate:
1) Donate baked goods or other items to be auctioned off (Email me [email protected] and let me know what you are donating)
Examples include (but are not limited to):
- Baked goods (cookies, muffins, brownies, fudge, biscotti, scones, etc)
- Jewelry or unique knickknacks
- Homemade Specialty items (beaded jewelry, knitted items, foodie items)
- A Service you can offer (Personal training, nutritional counseling, meal planning, etc)
- New or Gently Used Clothing (Have things in your closet that you don’t wear- donate it!)
- Fitness gadgets (e.g., HRM, jump rope, weights, Step counter, etc)
- Books (ANY kind of book, especially health, cooking, or diet related)
- DVDs (Workout DVDs, movies, etc)
- Anything and everything!
What’s in it for you? You have the prestigious role of donating your fabulous goods or services to a wonderful cause, of course! You will also be featured on Oh She Glows in a special auction highlight featuring your products. This is a great way to promote one of your skills if you wish to sell them in the future!
2) Bid on items up for Auction
- On the official Auction Day (TBA) visit Oh She Glows and bid on your favourite items! You only pay if you win the item.
Anticipated Auction Day is the first week of June 2009. Stay tuned to OSG for further details!
I would like to thank you for your interest in helping support a wonderful cause!
All funds will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Coming up in the auction…a special Oh She Glows package filled with my favourite products!!
Here is a teaser of what my package will include:
I will also be throwing in some of my favourite food products!
I’ve already had some of you volunteer to sign up- thank you all! We still need lots more though so please think about participating in any way that you can. :)
This auction is going to be super exciting- we already have confirmation of delicious baked goods, homemade journals/photoalbums, signed copies of books, and much more!
Please email me [email protected] if you would like to donate something! It doesn’t have to be a big ticket item, it can simply be a piece of jewelry you don’t wear anymore that someone else may love! It is better off in someone else’s house than in our landfill, right?
Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact it’s the only way it ever has. – Margaret Mead