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Simple & Easy “Green” Ideas to Be
Earth-Friendlier This Year

A few modest daily actions can make a difference in protecting the environment!

Even though Kermit the Frog may beg to differ, it’s easier than you think to be green! You don’t have to construct a new home made entirely of recycled trash (yes, there is such a thing) or ditch your car and ride a bike to work every day to be more earth friendly. Keep it simple with an Earth Day resolution to make a few modest changes. Here’s a few ideas to get you started – some might even spark a new hobby, such as composting or gardening. Even small changes can make a big impact!

hand holding small globe

Energy. All forms of electricity generation have some environmental impact on our air, water and land. Being more energy efficient helps prevent unnecessary pollution and high energy bills. Consider the following energy-saving tips:

  • Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs
  • Turn off lights when no one is in the room
  • Use cold water for laundry
  • Close blinds and curtains when you need to keep things cool
  • Open blinds or curtains for natural sunlight instead of using lightbulbs
  • Unplug devices that are not in use
  • Set thermostats to reasonable levels
  • When travelling and away from home, raise or lower thermostat accordingly
  • Open windows and doors instead of using the A/C
woman sitting next to open window

rain barrel

Water. Consider yourself fortunate if you haven’t had to endure hardship to get access to fresh water. For many of us, water is easily accessible, but it shouldn’t be wasted or taken for granted. Keeping an eye on water usage is important to the environment and saves money. Conserve water by:

  • Using reusable water bottles
  • Limiting time in the shower
  • Turning off the water while brushing your teeth
  • Only using dishwashers and washing machines for full loads
  • Stop rinsing dishes before you put them in dishwasher
  • Getting low-flow toilets or other appliances
  • Fixing leaky faucets, toilets and sinks
  • Collecting rainwater in a Rain Barrel to water plants, lawns and gardens

Food. Minimizing food waste helps the environment. Consider these earth-friendly food tips:

  • Buy only what you will use
  • Shop at your local farmer’s market and buy food locally
  • Grow foods in a home garden – even if you’re new to gardening, start with something easy like tomatoes or lettuce in a Raised Bed
  • Create a compost bin and compost food scraps – it can save a ton of waste from going into the landfill and help grow new plants
  • Compost ingredients like dead leaves, branches, twigs, grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, coffee grounds and water
  • Reduce yard and household waste with a Garden Incinerator
raised garden bed

couple driving in car

Driving. You don’t have to start riding your bike to work to make a difference for the environment, although biking, walking and taking public transit when appropriate does help reduce emissions. Consider these driving tips:

  • Carpool when it’s appropriate
  • Keep up routine maintenance on your vehicle to reduce emissions
  • Work from home a few days a week
  • Avoid idling when you can
  • Research and consider a hybrid for your next vehicle
  • Bike, walk or take public transit when appropriate

Reuse. Those pesky plastic bags can take years to decompose and pose a threat to wildlife. Get into the habit of using them less often. Also, try this:

  • Bring and use reusable canvas bags at retail and grocery locations
  • Reuse plastic bags for several shopping trips, or use them as packing material for breakables, covering plants in the cold, picking up after pets and more
  • Reuse gift bags, boxes and tissue paper; newspaper is an excellent alternative to gift wrap
  • Reuse old jars, containers or cans
  • Use egg cartons to start seedlings or donate to local farmers
produce in reusable grocery bags

butterfly house

Recycle. Recycling reduces pollution and saves energy. It takes what would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turns it into new products – think glass, paper, metal, plastic and wood. This Butterfly House and Suet Bird Feeder are constructed with poly lumber made from recycled plastic jugs and bottles. Creating objects from recycled glass, like these Balloon Vases, takes about 40% less energy than creating new glass, reducing pollution and post-consumer waste in landfills. Reclaimed wood railroad ties are used to make this Wood Bench making them an eco-friendly furniture choice.

Common items for recycling include paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, aluminum, batteries, electronics, tires and metal. If you don’t have curbside collection, investigate drop-off centers and deposit/refund programs and purchase items made from recycled materials.

Donate. Rather than ending up in the trash, used clothing, blankets, appliances, books and furniture can all have a second life through donation. Various organizations such as schools, places of faith, charities and non-profits will often accept donations. Check around before you toss things into the trash! Donation or resale has benefits to you, others and the environment.

On Earth Day – or any day – take a moment to be grateful and appreciate our wonderful planet for all its extraordinary beauty and resources. It’s good to know some simple daily actions, such as recycling plastic containers or turning off lights can make a difference in protecting the environment!

donation center with food and clothes

P&H “Green Living” Shop:

Thermalogic™ Energy Efficient Insulated Check Grommet-Top Curtain Pairs
POLYWOOD® Outdoor Rocker and Side Table
Permanent Mulch Recycled Rubber Pathway
Galvanized Metal Garden/Home Incinerator Waste Can

Get More Green Living Inspiration from Plow & Hearth:

Sat May 25 22:19:40 EDT 2024