Earth Day is today, which means that the Internet is suddenly completely abuzz with tons of articles with tips on protecting the environment, reducing waste and saving money. While I absoultely support all of those things, I noticed that almost all of the articles suggest buying TONS of expensive new things in order to help save the environment. I was a little startled—I mean, if that’s the ONLY way that people think they can make a difference, then it’s no wonder that more people aren’t dedicated to helping protect the Earth!
So, today in honor of Earth Day I wanted to do my own list of things that you can do to help protect the Earth! Based on the 7 Rs from TreeHugger, my list of 8 Rs won’t cost you a small fortune or require you to entirely remodel your home.
Here are my 8 Rs for Earth day:
Reuse – Instead of buying everything new, reuse things as much as you can. This will not only reduce waste but also save you money.
Repurpose – Don’t throw away things you’re no longer using: repurpose them into something useful or beautiful. Worst case scenario, donate used items to a charity or thrift store for someone else.
Rot – Compost as many things as you can instead of throwing it in the garbage. Composting is a great way to renew the Earth, help reduce waste and maybe even help your garden.
Repair – When something breaks, don’t just immediately go out and buy a replacement. First see if you can repair the item, or take it somewhere and have it repaired. It will not only save you some money in the long run but also help reduce waste.
Recycle – On the topic of reducing waste, recycle whenever you can. Glass, cardboard, paper, aluminum, batteries, electronics, scrap metal–you’d be surprised at how many things you can recycle. Check out this list of 50 things you can recycle for more ideas!
Refill – Disposable items like cups, paper plates, paper napkins and bottles might be convenient, but they’re terrible for the environment. Try using something that can be washed or refilled more than once whenever you can.
Reduce – Downsize and simplify your home to reduce waste and excess. Living simply can really help you gain an appreciation for the little things, reduce your bills and help the environment by having less waste. Check out this post for tips on living simply.
Refuse – Whenever possible, refuse to buy over-packaged and single-use items or items that are not organic. This is, for me, the hardest on the list as organic items often cost more but the impact on the environment can make it well worth the money. Try shopping at farmer’s markets instead of the supermarket and pay attention to what you put in the shopping cart.
Even if you only make a few small changes to your everyday lifestyle, remember every little bit counts, and it all adds up eventually. Do you have any other suggestions for protecting the environment? Share them with me in the comments! And have a great Earth Day!
mIRIAM k. says
I hate plastic, especially around my food so I use “glass lock” containers for food storage especially left overs. My daughter takes them with her lunch as well. And my son has the kind that go in the oven so he portions out his entree’s into them and freezes them for quick meals. Yes it’s heavier than plastic (and I know … the lids are plastic but they don’t touch the food and it’s the best choice I can find) but she can heat things up in the microwave or even eat out of them if she wants to. The problem is I keep buying food like yoghurt and other dairy products in plastic containers that I then have to put in recycling. I think of recycling as a last resort but I really don’t have much use for the containers in my home. I’ve tried using them in the workshop but they tend to crack and break or the covers tear if you have to open them too often so they don’t stand up there very well.
Liz E. says
Glass containers are the best! So much more versatile.
Unless you were to make your own yogurt, I don’t know that there’s much to be done about the packaging on some products like that. Have you thought about buying the larger container and then portioning it into smaller, reusable containers instead of buying the small individually-portioned containers? I do that with a lot of things, and it works pretty well.
Thanks for reading!