Earth Day Is Everyday!

Earth Day was April 22nd so hopefully you did something great to celebrate & honor the day. However, we hope you're trying to find more ways to make teensy little changes in your life to make the world a better, healthier place to live. Here are a couple of super SIMPLE changes you can make in your kitchen that will help the environment AND save you money. Seriously, anyone can do these!

  1. Use your dishwasher. That's right, it's totally OK to use the dishwasher as long as you do it properly. Modern dishwashers (made in 1994 or after) get dishes cleaner and use less water than hand washing when used correctly. Make sure it's full, skip the rinsing (dishwashers are happy to have the little food bits to use as a scouring pad in the washing process - seriously!) and skip the heated dry cycle - let them air dry.

  2. No more bottled water! Did you know that we Americans toss approximately 24 billion empty water bottles into the trash each year? That's insane! Switch to tap or filtered water instead. You can get an inexpensive carbon filtration system that will pay for itself within a couple of weeks. We really like the Brita and Pur systems.

  3. Spruce up your sponge. Toss your sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes or a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize it. It also takes away the icky factor so you'll be inclined to use it longer thus keeping it out of the landfill longer!

  4. Go veggie one day per week. We knew we were onto something with Meatless Monday, but it's really taking off & lots of groups are endorsing it. Studies have shown the less meat we eat, the lower our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers. That sounds good enough right? Well, chew on this, too: the production of meat contributes to a host of environmental issues and contributes to global warming - specifically, methane from cows is a more potent climate-change agent than carbon. Crazy, right? Try a veggie meal and see if it can work for you.

  5. Green your clean. We all use cleaning products - from dishsoap to bathroom cleaners - and now they make a host of environmentally friendly options. OR try making your all-purpose cleaner. It's really easy: Mix 1/2 teaspoon washing soda (find it in the laundry aisle), 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 2 cups hot water, and pour into a spray bottle. How do you think our grandmother's use to get the bathroom's to sparkle? Certainly not with a fancy bottle of cleaner filled up with chemicals?

  6. Little paper towels are a big deal. Apparently we're consuming paper towels in the same way we're consuming bottled water. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if every household kitchen in the U.S. replaced just one roll with a 100-percent recycled one, we'd save more than half a million trees. WOW! So, try cleaning up spills with a sponge or washable towel and save the (recycled!) paper towels for emergencies. And, if you're feeling brave, try using cloth napkins instead of paper. I know, I know ... I'm scared of it, too, but am definitely going to give it a whirl.

And as always ... reduce, reuse, recycle. Minimize the amount of "stuff" you're using and buying, reuse things when you can and ALWAYS recycle. Once you begin these habits they are SO easy to continue. Won't you give it a little try?

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