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When I was part-time working from home with a house full of preschoolers, I got way into to living green and naturally. I mean, I baked my own bread, made waffles and granola bars every Sunday to freeze for weekday breakfasts and snacks. I never let a paper product through the door, instead using cloth everything and shopping for recycled glass at every thrift shop I could find because of course I wouldn’t dare use plastic. I was practically like Snow White in that scene where she walks around talking to all the animals. Mrs. Environment. Probably Mrs. Smug Environment, but I really hope not.
Then, reality hit.
Kids got busier. Mom went back to school and took a full time job outside the house and soon the bread pans grew cold and glass-shopping time was drastically reduced. Plastic may have even entered the home.
No matter how busy we are though, we still feel pretty strongly about doing our part to make the earth last a bit longer. These are the five things we still do no matter how hectic our lives become that make us feel a little better about doing our environmentally sound part. I may not have birds dancing around behind me as I walk through town, but at least we are doing something and it’s all so easy you can too!
1. Limited Paper Products. I’d love to tell you I have no paper towels in my house like the olden days, but if I did I would be lying to you. What we do have though, are cloth napkins and real plates. As much as some busy nights I wish we used paper plates more, we always use the real thing when it comes to eating and wiping our faces. I bought most of them from thrift stores and at deep discounts from retailers. Each person has a special napkin ring and there are piles of them for guests. It makes for a quirky table setting which suits us and we know we’re at least decreasing the piles of paper piling up in landfills.
2. No Plastic Water Bottles. Since the days my babes were transition from bottles, we have started an impressive collection of metal water bottles. The kids take water to school every day and we don’t drink much else besides water so there is no waste from juice boxes or pouches and we almost never touch plastic water bottles. As the years have gone on, washing and filling bottles has become an allowance-worthy task so it’s easier and easier for me. Another bonus? The kids are always allowed to have drinks with them in any room and I’ve never had to worry about spills in my house thanks to the sport top!
3. Reusable Lunch Materials. Man, it would be so easy to throw everything in plastic zipper bags rather than wash and dry all the storage containers. But this is where we feel like we’re really making a difference. With three kids who each need a lunch and three snacks a day, that’s a lot of plastic we save from tossing in landfills. Instead, we buy lunch boxes that last over a few school years and enough containers for all the grapes and goldfish you can stomach.
4. Energizer Eco-Advanced Batteries. Ugh. Batteries. They have been the dirty little prankster of all those who try to live a more green lifestyle. No matter what I try, with three children and three televisions (and myriad devices for said children and televisions) the battery need is high around here! Every time I throw batteries away I would feel guilty because all that in a landfill, can’t be great for the earth. Enter, Energizer Eco-Advanced batteries. They ease my green guilt because they are the first battery made with, you guessed it, recycled batteries! These little bad boys come in AA and AAA and they last longer than any other Energizer battery, which means replacing (and tossing) less. This all works pretty great for this remote and gadget loving crew. I picked mine up at Walmart where they have an entire battery display that reaffirmed the decision to by Energizer Eco-Advanced at the most responsibly green choice**.
5. Lightbulbs. We live in a dark old house so the lightbulb need rivals even the battery need. It may cost a bit more, but we pony up for the energy star approved brands of lightbulbs because they last longer, which means less in the landfills. Now that’s a bright spot.
Ok, the lame puns signal it’s clearly time to end this post. I hope our list can give you some inspiration for at least one easy reinvention to make your home more green. If we can do it in this house, anyone can. Share in the comments one reinvention you’ll make to green-up your home.
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