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Earth Day is on April 22nd and I got to thinking about my carbon footprint. I realized I don’t even know what my carbon footprint is. I googled and found a nifty carbon footprint calculator from the Nature Conservancy. The calculator measures greenhouse gas emissions by estimating how many tons of carbon dioxide my household creates every year according to my habits. I plugged in my info, exerted some “yeahs,” “gasps” “oops!” It was an eyeopener! It included habits I had no idea contributed to greenhouse gases. It’s helped me realize what more I can do to help the environment and reinvigorate my efforts. As I am very concerned about the environment and my impact on it I strive to keep my carbon footprint small. What I do to reduce my greenhouse emissions at work and at home:
- I use earth-friendly labels that will break down instead of stick around.
- I use recyclable containers. I eschew any unnecessary packaging.
- I reuse shipping boxes and recycle shipping peanuts.
- I never print out anything from the computer unless absolutely necessary.
- I use my car only when absolutely necessary.
- I use the power of my feet to do daily and weekly banking etc.
- I have changed all my lightbulbs to energy efficient light bulbs.
- I recycle and compost.
- I reuse and wash all Ziploc bags.
- I by biodegradable garbage bags.
- I use only reusable shopping bags for my purchases.
- Use my car less. I got a bike!
- I really struggle with the paper towel thing. I don’t have a washer/dryer where I live so it’s tough to deal with reusable rags. If anyone has suggestions on how to change this I would love to hear them!
- My appliances are getting old and I would like to replace them with more energy efficient ones.
I love summer, but come Fall I am ready to refocus on my household routines. As I take in what’s happened to my environment over the past three months I soon realize I need some fast, easy and cheap solutions to get my life renewed and back on track. In my opinion, cleaning and organizing is a major fun sucker. This girl wants more time to do what she loves, pampering herself! While in my uncharacteristic Martha Stewart mood I discovered some ideas from Pinterest and other sources that helped me reuse, reduce, recycle and best of all, save time and money.
First, organize my cleaning routine:
- Find a cleaning schedule online and reduce your cleaning to 15 minutes a day.
- Get a totable plastic bin to hold all of your cleaning supplies (Protect your hands! Make sure it includes rubber gloves).
- Finish what you start. The more consistent you are the easier it’ll be.
A couple of nifty tips to save green (money) and be green.
- Keep a box of used, but clean, socks under the sink for quick and easy dusting.
- Keep pretty bottles on your windowsill to dry washed ziploc and plastic bags.
- Use newspaper to origami a compost container instead of buying expensive bags.
- Check out my “Green Cleaning” Pinterest board for ideas on how to use less chemicals in your home.