Earth Day is celebrate each year on April 22nd. But our Earth isn’t around for just a day, so why should we focus our Earth-saving efforts on just one day? Let’s celebrate Earth Day everyday and do our part starting with a few simple tips:
Water Saving Tips:
Do you ever wonder which wastes less – a shower or bath? It really depends on how long your shower is or how full you fill your bathtub. For example, a five minute shower uses a third less water than a full bath.
Is water leaking somewhere in your home? Even if it isn’t a huge leak, fix it right away. A small trickle adds up to gallons of water each week!
Use a low-flow showerhead and place mesh faucet ends on all your faucets, this will help decrease water usage dramatically.
Make sure your water heater is working efficiently and that you are having it routinely serviced.
Waste Reducing Tips:
While we are still on the topic of bathrooms, what is your shower curtain made of? Vinyl shower curtains are made entirely out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and release dioxins. Dioxin is a known carcinogen that can disrupt hormonal systems and may cause damage to your reproductive and immune systems. Use a cotton or polyester shower curtain instead! Here are three types of plastics to be aware of:
- #3 plastic
Did you know that in the United States over two billion disposable razors are purchased annually? They all need a place to go, so imagine the space those are taking up in a landfill! Instead, use a permanent razor that uses refillable blades. The handle might still be plastic, but you can use it repeatedly and thereby reduce both your waste and your guilt.
Even the clothes you wear have an impact on our Earth. Make a mental note the next time you go shopping to check the tag for what each garment is made of. Try buying more natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and wool. They do not generate must static electricity in the dryer, and generally require less to no dry cleaning. And because they are made from renewable resources, they can be composted!
Clean Drinking Water Tips:
There is a lot of debate on what is healthier – bottled water or tap water. Tap water does not leave behind a flood of non-biodegradable and rarely recycled plastic containers, and it most usually flows to us from an energy efficient infrastructure – no trucks or ships required. Our Earth does not need the strain of additional plastic bottles and not to mention tap water is regulated more consistently. Environmental Protection Agency rules apply to every public water system in the Country. In addition, you are entitled to the “Water Quality Reports” – also called “Consumer Confidence Reports”, which identify the source of the water and the contaminants found in it. Bottled water companies are under no regulation to report this to you. In fact, most bottled water companies are owned by the same organizations selling soda and other corn syrup based drinks. If you are still unsure about your tap water, check out The Green Guide to learn more about filters for your water system.
Improving Air Quality and Recycling Tips:
Recycling saves energy, and creating a new aluminum from scratch takes 95% more energy than making a can from a recycled aluminum.
Any plant in your home will help improve the air quality, but the most effective plants include: aloe vera, English ivy, fig tree, potted chrysanthemum, and spider plants.
Natural Cleaning Tips:
Nowadays, our store shelves are filled with a plethora of toxic cleaning agents. In the early 19th century, people cleaned with simple everyday ingredients, like vinegar. This is still a great idea!
Here are a few ways to clean naturally:
- Use Daisy Blue Naturals handcrafted soaps for cleaning hands. Avoid anti-bacterial soaps at all costs. These soaps contain triethanolamine and have been proven to cause more harm than good because they kill beneficial bacteria as well as the bad stuff and may be leading to super-strains of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
- Hot soapy water using DB Clean kills food-borne germs! It can also be used to wash your hands, cutting boards, knives, and any surfaces that have come into contact with eggs or raw meat. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
- Baking soda is a mild abrasive. It doesn’t scratch surfaces and it deodorizes. Baking soda can be mixed with the soap/water blend above or mixed with white vinegar.
- With more stainless steel appliances being sold today, the need for a natural cleaner is needed. Use baking soda and scoop onto damp sponge. Rub the soda on the metal until the surface is clean. Rinse well with warm water and polish dry with a soft cloth. For a quick clean, use vinegar and water, then polish with the cloth.
- White Vinegar is an acid with mild-germicidal properties. It can be used to get rid of mold and mildew, cut grease and clean glass.
- Lemon works much like vinegar, but is more difficult to use.
- Vitamin E Body Oil can add shine to wood furniture. Use ½ a teaspoon in a quarter cup vinegar or lemon juice.
- If you are dusting, use a damp cloth. No need for the toxic sprays.Salt will clean copper pots and pans and is good for silver too. Mix with equal amounts of vinegar.
- Sponges and rags instead of paper towels. Sponges can be washed in vinegar and used again.
Energy Efficiency Tips:
Unplug appliances you seldom use, like an extra refrigerator. You may save over $10 per month. Also don’t forget to unplug your chargers when you are not charging. Use power strips to turn off TV’s, stereos, and other equipment. Even when these items are on ‘standby’, consumption can be equal to a 100 watt lightbulb that is on continuously. Set your computer to hibernate after 30 minutes of non-use, and to sleep mode for longer periods of inactivity. The ‘hibernate’ mode turns the computer off in a way that doesn’t require you to load everything when you switch back on. Setting your computer to hibernate instead of shutting it down saves energy and is more time-efficient. When you are done for the day (or the weekend) shut it down. Control your temperature! Set your thermostat to 68°F during the day, and 55°F when going to bed. During the summer, set your thermostat to 78°F or higher.