But the clock is ticking and the floating landfill in the ocean is growing every day with our plastic bags and other waste. Did you know it's twice the size of the state of Texas? Otherwise known as "the Pacific Garbage Patch." And we are all responsible for this thing.
"What floating landfill?" you may be asking yourselves.
The buck stops here. No more laziness. At the most basic level, we need to use fewer plastic bags. I've heard all the excuses before (and I myself use my newspaper bags to scoop my dog's poop), but we need to make a better effort and find alternative, eco-friendly solutions. Deb will be giving away two reusable cloth grocery bags. I will be giving away two sets of reusable produce bags (because not only do people use plastic bags for groceries, they use them to bag up fruits and veggies, and ALL that plastic is unnecessary) from a great seller over at Etsy, Love For Earth. In order to enter these giveaways, you must first follow both Deb and me. Giveaway rules are listed at the very bottom of this post.
(these are the bags I am giving away--2 sets, each has 6 produce bags of various sizes)
And while we're on the subject of bagging our produce, I just have to know--why on earth do people bag their bananas in the first place? They're in a convenient, easy to carry bunch already, and we don't eat the peels. So why do they need to go in a plastic produce bag? That may very well be my biggest pet peeve.
Remember that reusable/cloth shopping bags are not just for the grocery--they're for Target, Wal-Mart, the mall, toting stuff around for your kids, etc. Keep some in your car. Stash one or two in the bottom of your purse/briefcase/gym bag. If you're standing in line at the grocery and realize you've forgotten them, GO BACK TO YOUR CAR.
JUST SAY NO to plastic bags! Paper isn't much better, either. Yes, it can be recycled, but it takes energy to recycle and otherwise years to decompose. And do me a favor---if you go to the store for one or two things, please don't accept a bag at all. Just carry them out in your own two hands, especially if it has a handle already, like a milk jug or your laundry detergent. Seriously. Nothing offends me more than pure ignorance and utter laziness.
Another great idea that a few bloggers were talking about recently is making our blogs carbon neutral. It's so easy, just check out this site, pick a Carbon Neutral button that you like, put it on your sidebar, and send an email to confirm that you have posted. Then they plant a tree to neutralize the carbon dioxide emissions from your blog. Cool, huh?
Here are more of my favorite quick green tips:
Check out http://www.terracycle.net/ and see about setting up a Recycling Brigade for your school or the charity of your choice. I currently have a Juice Pouch Brigade set up and it's so easy!
Go to http://www.catalogchoice.org/ to stop all of your junk mail (i.e. catalogs). Shop on-line.
Stop buying bottled water. Use a Brita or a Pur filter.
Bring your own mug to Starbucks or your coffee shop of choice when you go out for java.
Turn off lights and tv when you're not in the room.
Set your thermostat to 75 in the summer and 64 in the winter. Bonus points if you can beat these. Ceiling fans are your friends and help circulate air.
Wash all of your clothes in cold water (it's better for your clothes, anyway).
Air dry as much of your clothing as possible.
Run errands all at once.
Buy local, organic, and all natural. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Don't buy new. Shop on Craigslist, go to garage sales, accept hand-me-downs.
Use rags, sponges, and dish towels instead of paper towels.
Use cloth napkins at mealtimes. Check out http://www.etsy.com/ for cute ones for kids!
Use soy candles instead of regular.
Check out www.snacktaxi.com in lieu of Ziploc bags.
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Teach your kids to do the same.
Take shorter showers. Consider turning the water down/off while you lather up.
If you are in the Kansas City area, try Shatto Milk and dairy products. The milk comes in glass bottles which means nothing to recycle, no waste, the milk stays colder and tastes better. Plus you are supporting a local dairy and what could be better than that? Their butter and ice cream are divine, too!
When you are at the ATM and/or the gas pump and the machine asks if you want a receipt, press "no."
Unplug it when you're not using it (toaster oven, coffee maker, hair dryer, flat iron, etc.). Use power strips you can turn off.
If you are in the Kansas City area, check out http://www.rippleglasskc.com/ for your glass recycling needs. There are collection bins all over the place, just check out the site to find the one closest to you.
Consider using Evites or http://www.paperlesspost.com/ for invitations! So easy and fun. And saves our trees!
Bring your reusable bags shopping. Tell your friends! When someone asks you "Paper or plastic?" you can smile sweetly and say, "Neither!"
Now for the giveaway rules:
--You must follow both Menopausal New Mom and me to be considered. (1 entry)
--Tweet about this giveaway and send us a link to your tweet. You may tweet once daily.(1 entry)
--Write your own Go Green For Spring post and link up to us/these posts within yours.(5 entries)
--Follow me on Twitter (@erinlynn76). (1 entry)
--Become a fan of The Mother Load on Facebook. If that link doesn't work, scroll up and look on the right side of my page for my badge. (1 entry)
--Post links to these giveaways on Facebook. (1 entry)
Giveaways begin NOW. Giveaways end on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 7:00 a.m. CST. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter. GOOD LUCK!
So now that you're thinking of "Going Green For Spring" and how you can be a big part of the solution, head on over to Deb's Place and enter her "Go Green For Spring" Giveaway too!
It's never been so easy to make a difference!