Wednesday, April 15, 2015

7 Simple Tips to Help Keep the Earth Clean

Many people don't bother making changes to live a greener and more environmentally friendly life because they don’t think what they do can make a difference. It is difficult to imagine how one person can make a change in the environment when there are billions of people on this planet.

Yet each small part does make a difference. Think about it this way - one tree over the course of its lifetime will remove 600 pounds of carbon dioxide. One small tree makes a significant difference in the cleanliness of the air you breathe and you can make a big difference too. Here’s how:

The aerosol(A gaseous suspension of fine solid...
The aerosol spray canister invented by USDA researchers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Paint Your Home With Latex – Oil-based paints contain solvents that are released into the air and cause pollution. Latex paints are water-based and safer.

2. Stop Buying Aerosols – Many things come with a propellant. From hair spray to cooking spray, each requires a propellant to release from the can. These propellants release harmful gases. They’re not great for your health and they’re certainly not good for the environment. Use pump sprays instead.

3. Unplug & Turn Off – When you’re not using an appliance, unplug it. This includes electronic devices too. And turn off lights in your home when you’re not using them. In fact, try to watch less television and use electronics less. You might decide to designate an afternoon or an entire day as a day to “unplug” and not use any electronics for entertainment (Hint: Earth Day is next Tuesday!). Read a book. Go for a walk. Enjoy a game or time with your family.

4. Recycle – Recycling is something that is so easy to do. Even if your community doesn’t offer a recycling pick up, you can make a weekly, or even monthly, habit of driving to the recycling center to drop off your materials. You’ll be amazed how much you save from the landfill when you recycle.

Crystal earth recycle icon
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
5. Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaners – To be fair, not all “green” cleaners work as well as you’d like them to. However, there are some amazing brands and truly effective and “green” cleaners. Read reviews. Find the products that fit your needs, and clean your home without harsh and harmful chemicals. We often offer suggestions on this blog, or check out our Green Living Products page on our website for some excellent suggestions.

6. Wash In Cold Water – Most washable items do not need to be washed in hot or warm water. When possible, use cold water. It requires less energy from your water heater and is usually better for your clothing too.

7. Buy Organic Whenever Possible – Organic crops are crops that are not treated with harmful chemicals. They’re better for your health too. However, we realize it’s not always feasible to buy organic all the time. Check into the "Dirty Dozen," which includes items like apples and strawberries which have a heavy use of pesticides and other chemicals.

Cotton is another product that should ideally be organic. The cotton industry is one of the most harmful industries. “Cotton covers 55% of the world's cultivated land and uses 75% of the world's insecticides, more than any other single major crop.” (Source: Organic Trade Association)

You really can make a difference in the world around you. Small changes to your habits and your lifestyle do have an impact. In honor of Earth Day next week, why not choose at least one or two of these tips, and put them into practice this month!

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