You’ve all heard about how simple it is to make Earth-Friendly swaps like swapping out traditional light bulbs to more energy efficient LED light bulbs, but there are SO MANY MORE things you can do! The best part about these new swaps is, you might even enjoy some of them and some of them are just as good for YOU as they are for Mother Earth.
So in celebration of Earth Day 2018, which happens this Sunday, April 22nd, here are our Easy Earth Day swaps 2018.
1. Hang your clothes to dry (seriously)!
You don't have to go the full 50s housewife with an apron full of wooden clothespins and a line in the yard (although that would be cool, too). There are smaller, indoor options available! One of my favorite new things is an Amish built 8-arm hanger (is there nothing that Amish can’t do)? It’s beautifully made and tucks so neatly into itself that it can be used in the tiniest studio apartment with ease. Bottom line? Skip the tumble dryer when you can and your clothes, your energy bill and the environment will benefit.
2. Change your toothbrush.
It takes more than 1000 years for a toothbrush to break down. ONE THOUSAND YEARS. Plastic toothbrushes are one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to environmental pollution. By swapping out your current plastic toothbrush for one made of bamboo, you’re doing an easy switch that makes a huge environmental impact. Yeah, if that doesn’t make you think twice about that cheap bumper pack of plastic toothbrushes at CVS, I don’t know what will. Cheap is expensive.
3. The Air you breathe.
Did you know that your indoor air quality could be much worse than outside? Things like new carpeting; rugs, curtains and household chemicals can give off VOCs which are Volatile Organic Compounds (aka nasty chemicals). These invisible pollutants can have adverse effects on the air we breathe at home (and by extension our health). This year, we’re making indoor air quality a priority. We’ve invested in a new Awair monitor, which tells you all about what’s in the air you’re breathing at home and offers practical advice about how to improve it. Open a window! Turn on the humidifier! Get rid of that shaggy carpet (or wash it). That sort of thing. Hey, you watch what you eat and what you put on your skin. What about being mindful about the air you breathe? It makes sense to us.
4. Drive slow, Homie.
Are you a “Lurcher? You know that Uber Driver who engages in hard acceleration and then abrupt stops? Don’t be that guy. That kind of driving isn’t just annoying, it’s terrible for your car, brakes and the environment! Turns out, you can conserve all three by driving more smoothly. Imagine an egg on your brake and gas pedals. Tread gingerly and don’t break it! Once you drive mindfully like this for a few weeks, you’ll start to do it automatically (and save money, gas and maintenance). It’s win-win-win!
You know this one, but what have you done about it? Go and buy a Brita filter and a chic, refillable drinking bottle and you’re done! More than 50 billion plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the US alone, and only 23% of them end up being recycled. This is your way of taking that number down.
6. Say NAH to Straws
I have to admit, I didn’t even think about this one until Mr. Handsome brought it to my attention. Plastic straws are a perfect example of those things we mindlessly use once and then toss. I make it a point to ask for “no straws” when I eat out and also request that my Starbucks coffee be served without the little green lid plug when I order. If you have to have a straw, they make great looking, stainless steel ones that you can wash and reuse. Easy.
7. Re-Think what’s under your sink!
Of course, this is a shameless plug, but it’s legit. We use too many chemicals in our homes. Buying green cleaning products is one of the most effective ways you can lower the overall chemical count in your home. Beware of “eco-friendly” brands that only talk about what they don’t have. If they are all about “no synthetic fragrance” you’re probably buying a LOT of water and solubilizer (a chemical which makes oil mix with water). That’s not helping get your counters clean at all. Murchison-Hume products are glucosides; a sugarcane based soap that cleans just like the supermarket stuff, but does zero harm to the environment or aquatic life.
8. Bring a Better Lunch.
I’ve taken the hipster route and only eat leftovers in Mason jars now. Of course I did it for the look of it, but they really are so effective at keeping food fresh and you can heat your lunch right inside. I’m saving money, eating better, healthier food and skipping the whole wasteful take-out packaging nightmare.