Suggestions for Sustainability

It is becoming more and more clear how we need to conserve or precious natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint. In honor of Earthday, I thought that I would provide my top 10 favorites list of easy ways to show the earth some love (in no particular order).

1. BYOB – Bring your own bag. If you forget (which I often do), and you are only buying 1 or 2 items, then tell the cashier you don’t need a bag. Sometimes I get strange looks, but it feels so good to come out of a store bagless and with the receipt in tow.

2. Turn off the water – remember to turn the water off in between activites of brushing teeth, washing hands, face, etc. This is also an easy way to teach conservation to your children. Remind them that water is a finite resource and we should only use what we need.

3. Buy a manual lawnmower – They are suprisingly easy to use and move quite well. Plus, they are a conversation starter. I can’t tell you how many neighbors we have met, just by using our manual lawnmower. It brings out the retro in all of us, plus, the price pays off in just about 1 year. At about $150 a pop, the reduction in money spent on gas will be priceless.

4. Rain barrels, and even better yet, rain gardens!! How fun is it to watch the rainwater run into a container where it is stored and you know you will be able to use it on a hot day!! I run my rain barrel water through a soaker hose and it works great!! I have yet to start a rain garden, but I hope to in my next house.

5. Plant trees and shrubs and landscape naturally. The trees and shrubs keep your house cooler and native plants require much less water. Most of the native plants I have planted required water the first year. Then after that, they come back year after year with no need for water!! VERY low maintenance!!! Plus, many of them outgrow that menacing creeping charlie (and other annoying weeds)!!

6. Reuse where you can. I can honestly tell you that at one time in our married lives, my husband and I furnished our house completely with hand me downs. We have some more new stuff now, but it always felt so good to give furniture a little more life…well loved is what I say. Also, I have always felt a sense of joy when I found a new treasure whilst “dumpster diving”. One of my favorite pieces of our artwork was found on the curb due to missing a small piece of bamboo frame.

7. Buy local with no hormones or preservatives. Fresh food tastes SOOOOOOOO good!! And it feels so good to know that you are only putting good food from mother earth into your body. It also feels good to know that the food hasn’t travelled around the globe to get to you.

8. Turn off the lights!! And appliances when you aren’t using them. This was one of the original ways to save the environment and it continues to be just as important!!!!

9. print on both sides. I don’t think that I have to say any more about this. If your eyes are particularly good, and you are just printing for reference, then also request to have more than one page per sheet. I have gone so far as printing 4 pages per sheet, double sided, when I have to print out a particularly long reference. I always get some good jostling from others when I do this, but once again, a conversation starter and I think others secretly respect my good eyesight.

10. Try to carpool. This is one of my favorites; however, sadly I haven’t been able to partake in this particular conservation effort. I will put good thoughts into the universe that one day my perfect carpool buddy will arrive.

What are your favorite conservation efforts? This is a conversation and I would love to hear your thoughts!!!