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Earth Day - Small Changes, Big Impact

April 22nd is the 48th anniversary of a movement to make change and create a healthier environment. Let's make every day Earth Day! Every day we are faced with choices that impact our environment. Will we accept the plastic straw? Will we use plastic bags, leave the lights on...the choices go on. You don't have to make a drastic, "all in" change, just make small changes over time, the impact is big! Here are some ideas.

  1. Carry a metal straw - Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. - Plastic Coalition

  2. Use rags or cloths instead of paper towels

  3. If you use paper towels look for environmentally wise choices. If we use paper towels; and let's be honest, there are some jobs that we'd rather use them for, we use Who Gives a Crap paper towels made from bamboo.

  4. We also use Who Gives a Crap for toilet paper. However, I recommend the premium choice, it is soft and thicker.

  5. Use earth friendly disposable plates and cutlery. There are a number or products out there that are compostable or will break down in the landfills, look for these. We have switched to non-breakable plates for our picnics when at home and just wash them.

  6. Carry a bamboo fork/spork. Plastic cutlery is a huge problem for the oceans and planet. 6 Million tons of single use plastics get thrown away every year! - One Green Planet

  7. Use reusable lunch bags instead of plastic bags - we are in the process of phasing these out and have switched to Lunchskins, Bees Wrap, and glass containers.

  8. Use Reusable bags when shopping - Many municipalities are looking into banning or have banned plastic bags.

  9. When considering throwing an item out, ask yourself if it can be re-used? In Greensboro we have a place called Reconsidered Goods who will take many items and let's recreate new and creative items from things that would otherwise have gone to the landfill.

  10. Turn of lights when leaving a room

  11. Use water sparingly, Try shorter showers, put a basin in the sink to catch water, then use this to water your plants.

  12. We sell and use Shaklee products because we get to make a difference in the lives of others and our own lives. We use the Get Clean cleaners, one starter kit keeps 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills and eliminate 248 pounds of greenhouse gas. Basic H was the first official Earth Day product! We are very proud!

  13. Shop from companies who are environmentally aware. What is their carbon foot print? Do they use harmful chemicals? Do they give back? Do they use sustainable practices?

  14. Wear your clothes more than once before washing them.

Even with our best efforts there are side effects and environmental concerns, for example microfibers are filling our oceans at an alarming rate. We use microfiber cloths to avoid using paper towels, but have learned that small fibers escape in the washing machine and are often too small to be filtered out before ending up in our streams and oceans. It is all synthetic clothes that are contributing this issue, microfiber cloths are a small fraction of this, but we have purchased the GuppyFriend Bag by Patagonia, which traps the fibers. You then scoop them out and put in the trash. Whatever steps you take remember to do your research and choose an option that has the least negative impact to our environment possible. Your efforts matter - Have a happy, healthy Earth Day!

Share your tips with us. How do you reduce and reuse?

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