5 Small Ways to Start Saving the Environment

5 Small Ways to Start Saving the Environment

We only have one Earth and our planet is getting filled up with a lot junk. As Americans, we love convenience. Believe me, I am so guilty. We want things fast and easy. Well, that convenience is not earth friendly. This summer, our family has found 5 small ways to help us start saving the environment. These are small, doable changes in behavior. If everyone does a small part, it will make a huge impact!!

1. Stop buying cases of water bottles.

I know, I know. Water bottles are super convenient, especially when you have a ton of teenage boys playing basketball at your house. They get thirsty, so having a case or two of water bottles on hand seems like a good solution. But, unfortunately, those bottles are filling up our oceans, landfills and streets. This summer we ditched the cases of water bottles. We have several re-usable water bottles or cups that we use instead. For those days filled with boys and basketball, we have a stack of plastic, reusable (outdoor) cups in a cupboard that I tell the boys to use. They can get water out of the fridge or I have a pitcher of lemonade on hand that they can have. It has worked out well.

2. Shop at stores that don’t use plastic grocery bags.

I have a ton of reusable shopping bags in my car, but do I always use them? No, sadly, I don’t. For some reason if I know I don’t have to use them, I forget about them until I’m in the check-out line and my cart is being filled up with plastic grocery bags. To help myself remember, I’m trying to shop at stores that don’t offer plastic bags. My favorites are Costco and Aldi, but I do love Sprouts even though they do have plastic bags, if you bring your own bags you get a discount. This seems to motivate me :).

3. Ditch the disposable face-cleansing clothes and buy some reusable micro-fiber clothes.

I loved using disposable face-cleansing clothes. I would use them morning and night. My trash would fill up so fast. Not a proud moment for me. My sister told me about these micro-fiber clothes that you wet and it takes off your make-up. I do use a simple cleanser with mine, but you don’t have too. I made sure to buy the four pack so I’m never without one while I’m doing laundry. These were a game-changer for me.

4. Bust out that china and say NO to paper plates.

Believe me, I GET IT!!! When you have kids and your life is super hectic, paper plates for a quick dinner or snack are awesome. The problem is, I found myself using paper plates all the time. I would keep them on the counter so it was easy for my family to grab one. Again, convenience got the better of me. I have stopped buying them so the temptation to use them is no longer there. Now, we bust out our nice plates and use our dishwasher a lot!!

5. Buy secondhand. It’s cool now.

Thrift stores these days have a plethora of merchandise. There is even online thrift stores and marketplaces where you can purchase gently-used backpacks or clothes all the way to furniture and cars. It is kind of the cool thing to do these days (thanks, Millennials), so don’t be afraid of it! If you are buying online from Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or some similar site, make sure you meet the person at a safe drop-off zone. Many police stations offer safe drop-off sites. Do your research!! Don’t forget to donate your own gently-loved items to your neighborhood thrift stores to keep the cycle of secondhand merchandise rotating and thriving. A lot of thrift stores’ proceeds go to non-profits and charities, so you are not only helping then environment, but you are supporting your community. Yay YOU!!