For those who are new to Happyhippie.com, welcome! Here are some super simple, painless tips to make your environment healthier. Heck, you may even save a little cash.
1.) Use Canvas Reusable Bags – Each year billions of bags end up as ugly litter. Eventually, they break down into tiny toxic bits polluting our soil, river, lakes and oceans. Using reusable grocery bags will not only eliminate pollution from our environment, but they are stronger and easier to carry. Also, consider buying non-toxic, earth friendly lunch bags for the kids. Did you know many of the cartoon character bags made from China have LEAD in them?
2.) Make your meals earth-friendly. When packing a lunch, put sandwiches, chips, etc. in reusable plastic or glass containers instead of sandwich bags. Carry your drink in a washable thermos bottle, and your lunch in a reusable lunch container. For meals at home, put leftover food in hard plastic washable and reusable containers. You can also make your own cloth sandwich bags.
3.) Switch to the LED Lighting- Make your house energy efficient. LED light uses very little energy, plus they don’t produce energy wasting heat.
4.) Buy recycled products! Paper, packaging, plastic containers, cardboard, and other products are being sold that have been recycled. By all means, buy these products, but be careful when reading the labels. Don’t confuse “recycled” with “recyclable”! Lots of companies will put the recycling symbol or “100% recyclable” on their products to appeal to ecologists. While that is all fine and good, “made from recycled waste” or “post-consumer waste” is what you really want. If you buy recycled notebook paper for the office place, no one will really care if your paper is a shade greyer than the non-recycled kind.
5.) Dispose Motor Oil Properly – One gallon of improperly disposed of motor oil can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water. Take your oil to a certified oil collection center. Many states have these centers EVERYWHERE. Also, many communities have curbside recycling programs that allow you to leave your oil at the curb (properly packaged). Or you can have your oil changed by a service station that recycles the oil for you!
6.) Recycle Everything – Sure you may be recycling cans and plastic bottles, but are you recycling cardboard boxes and plastic containers? The EPA estimates that even though 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, only 30% is being recycled. Revisit your local recycling program online to see what else you could be recycling. For other cool recycling tips, check out the Happyhippie.com forum.
7.) Buy in Bulk. Instead of buying something packaged in many small bags, or containers, consider buying in large boxes or bags. Larger containers actually save on package waste, and are less likely to blow away.
8.) Shop Local – Try to buy produce from local farmers markets or CSAs when possible. This not only reduces the amount of pollution it takes to transport food over long distances, but you are supporting your local economy.
9.) Don’t throw those lawn trimmings out – Use lawn clippings can be used to cover weeds and keep from growing in the garden through winter. Clippings are also good for mulch.
10.) Turn it Off – Get in the habit of turning off lights, TV’s and computers when you leave the house. Who are you leaving it on for?