First of all, let me just say that I do not, in anyway, care at all about the “royal wedding”.  And I can’t wait for it to be over so there is something else for people to talk about.  There, I said it.  I can move on now.

Believing that this earth is a gift and that we should take care of it, my wife and I do our best to live “green”.  With Earth Day being a week ago and today being Arbor Day, my wife wrote up some easy ways to live a greener life on her blog.  I thought they were definitely worth sharing, so here you go:

I know Im a dork, but to honor Earth Day and Arbor day I wanted to share some of my favorite green tips. Making changes can be difficult but once it becomes a habit, it is much easier. We love our planet’s beauty and take for granted that she will always be beautiful. We use and abuse her every day, so why not show her some love…

1.) Recycle…Check to see if your county/city offers recycling pick up. Ours doesn’t so we collect it in our garage and a few times a month drop it off at a recycling center.

2.) Don’t use styrofoam… if possible. It doesn’t break down and takes up approx. 30% of landfills worldwide. I hate it so much that at gas stations, restaurants, etc. I will ask if they have something else I can use. I get weird looks sometimes, but I’m ok with that.

3.) Don’t leave your car running when you aren’t driving…ex: If you are at a drive thru and will be waiting for longer than 30 seconds, turning your car off and restarting it when you need to is better than letting it run. Plus, you will save gas.

4.) Turn the sink off while you brush your teeth…you will save about 4 gallons a minute…(200 gallons a week for a family of 4)

5.) This one may be a little much for some, but ….Don’t flush the toilet every time you go #1. I know I know. I had a friend growing up who’s family did this and I thought it was really weird at first too. But the average person uses 19 gallons of water per day flushing the toilet. Think about what you can save and I promise it’s not as gross as it sounds.

*Note from MG: Its sterile…get over it…*

6.) Use cleaning products that are “green”…like Seventh Generation and Green Works. They can sometimes be more costly, but we buy them in bulk when they are on sale or use coupons. There are also books and resources that teach you how to make your own. (one more little hint…in your kitchen if you pour lime juice down the drain every once in a while it will help with clogs. Products like Drano are pretty bad for the environment)

7.) Use florescent light bulbs…I hate having to change light bulbs. These are awesome b/c they last a really long time and…If every house in the United States changed all of the light bulbs in their house, that would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the streets.

8.) Buy Local Produce…Consider how much energy it takes for produce from China or any other country to come here. If you have the option to buy local, do it. (And I know how much we all like our dependence on China)  Also, try to buy organic b/c you don’t know what kinds of chemicals/pesticides they have on them.

9.) Consider reusing bags or bring your own reusable bags… I am horrible at remembering to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store, so this is a challenge for me too. You can also reuse when shopping at the mall. Each department store you go in usually gives you a really big over sized bag. So what I do is tell them I don’t need a bag and stuff as much as I can in as few bags as possible.

10.) If you have a baby, consider using cloth diapers…We are taking on this challenge and I am very nervous, but my husband has said that we will have to remind one another the benefits and why we chose to do it. They are nothing like they used to be and very absorbent, plus I’ve heard that cloth diapered children usually potty train at much younger ages.

All these tips may not be for everyone, but we can all find ways that work for us to reduce our carbon footprint.

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