It's Easy Being Green

Happy Earth Day!

We're celebrating Earth Day by planting a free shade tree from SMUD. I only wish we would have done this five years ago when we moved in, since apparently it takes about five years for the little tree to grow big enough to provide any shade. Oh well.

My lifestyle is all about, "Recycle, reduce, reuse ... and close the loop." (You're welcome for putting that song in your head.)

A few of the super simple "green" things my husband and I do and recommend include:

  • Using reusable shopping bags. Compared to plastic, reusable bags hold more and are easier to carry. Plus, most stores give a small discount for each bag used.

  • Using reusable water bottles. I simply do not understand buying water in individual bottles -- does not compute in my head.

  • Washing dishes and doing laundry during "off" hours in the late evening to save electricity and save on our bill. We've also had our house weatherized as part of SMUD's and PG&E's low-income programs.

  • Recycling everything. Our recycle bin is twice as large as our kitchen trash, and we fill it up twice as fast. It only takes a few extra seconds to break down cardboard and rinse out cans. We put plastic, glass and aluminum into a separate bin and turn in that collection for money.

  • Reusing whatever we can. Glass jars get rinsed out and reused for homemade bath products, crafty gifts, candles, or just something to hold all the nuts and dried fruits we buy in bulk. I save every gift bag, ribbon and reusable bow received with presents. I keep a folder for scraps of paper. A cracked Tupperware becomes the dog's dry food dish. You get the picture.

  • Furnishing our house with high-quality, used furniture. A few things are family hand-me-downs, but most are Craigslist finds. Likewise, we sell and give away regularly on Craigslist.

  • Shopping used for everything we can. Finding that awesome deal gives me a thrill and gives my wallet a break. It's not unusual for my entire outfit to be thrifted. 

Speaking of which, check out Thrift Town's Earth Week Sale: