Earth Day 2017: Every Day is Earth Day

      20 Comments on Earth Day 2017: Every Day is Earth Day

 

Today is not Earth Day, but it is the last day of Earth Month. I specifically chose not to post this updated list of our green habits on Earth Day because I am a firm believer that “every day is Earth Day”. I believe that the small changes and choices we make every day add up, that we are only really “green” when we commit long term. How can you call yourself an eco-conscious person if you wait for that one day a year to do something good for our planet?

 

Earth Day 2017: Every Day is Earth Day - mamanonthetrail.com

Take a moment to take stock of all of the little things you do every day that are eco-friendly. Go room by room through your house, think about your daily routine hour by hour, and use my list here as a guide.

As of Earth Day 2017, these are all of the eco-friendly habits we’ve adopted and changes we’ve made…

Earth Day 2016 - mamanonthetrail.com

In the Kitchen we…

  1. buy food in bulk (or larger quantities)
  2. store bulk food in (used) glass jars
  3. plan meals so that we only buy what we need
  4. cook from scratch
  5. shop with reusable grocery bags
  6. meal plan and buy only what we need for the week to avoid waste
  7. cook large meals and save leftovers to avoid cooking another night
  8. store leftovers in plastic containers
  9. pack lunches in plastic containers and reusable snack bags
  10. use reusable lunch bags
  11. use vegetable scraps to make broth
  12. keep the freezer full
  13. open the oven to heat the room after use
  14. avoid using the stove & oven in the summertime
  15. avoid disposable cook wear
  16. drink tap water
  17. use the same water glass multiple times
  18. use a dish cloth and dish towel
  19. fill the sink one time and wash dishes from cleanest to dirtiest
  20. use eco-friendly dish soap
  21. try to avoid rinsing dishes after washing
  22. use cloth napkins
  23. use cloth paper towels
  24. save grey water for houseplants

Earth Day 2016 - mamanonthetrail.com

In Huckleberry’s Nursery we…

  1. use cloth diapers
  2. use cloth wipes made from old shirts and pyjama pants
  3. make our own mostly all-natural wipe solution
  4. send cloth diapers and wipes to daycare
  5. use Les produits de MaYa as an all-natural cleanser and moisturizer
  6. fill the drawers with handmedowns and handmebacks
  7. chose a mattress and mattress protector made of organic cotton
  8. repurposed shower cards as decorations
  9. use a manual breast pump

 Earth Day 2016 - mamanonthetrail.com

In the Bathroom we I…

  1. use Les produits de MaYa to clean and moisturize my face and body
  2. use cloth make-up remover pads
  3. wash with locally made all-natural soap
  4. choose glasses over disposable contact lenses often
  5. use family cloth (a.k.a. reusable toilet paper)
  6. use mama cloth (a.k.a. cloth menstrual pads)
  7. use a menstrual cup
  8. wash the dog with natural homemade dog shampoo
  9. co-shower with Huckleberry
  10. only shower every other day
  11. use homemade natural dry shampoo (Maman Loup has the recipe)
  12. use 95% biodegradable shampoo & conditioner
  13. installed a low flow shower head
  14. use the same towel multiple times
  15. turn off the water while brushing teeth
  16. use an eco-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste* (just Huckleberry at this point, but we’ll join when ours run out)
  17. use old dishcloths and dish towels to clean
  18. clean the mirror with vinegar and water
  19. clean the sink and tub with an all-natural cleaning product

…and I guess Bookworm the Trail Dad does a bit of that too.

Earth Day 2016 - mamanonthetrail.com

In the Laundry Room we…

  1. wear pants, sweaters and some tops multiple times before washing
  2. spot wash when possible
  3. wash most laundry with cold water
  4. hang most laundry to dry inside year round and outside when the weather permits
  5. use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
  6. alternate between eco-friendly laundry soap and regular laundry soap as our budget permits

Earth Day 2016 - mamanonthetrail.com

In Our Lives we…

  1. keep houseplants
  2. avoid buying products in aerosol cans
  3. reuse packaging when possible
  4. recycle whatever we cannot reuse
  5. recycle electronics, batteries, ink cartridges, light bulbs, etc., appropriately
  6. try to throw away as little as possible
  7. try to repair items before getting rid of them
  8. use reusable water bottles
  9. buy secondhand
  10. donate to local secondhand stores
  11. participate in our local Buy Nothing Project (I still have a post in the works about that one!)
  12. replace products that run out with a more eco-friendly alternative
  13. walk or carpool when possible
  14. have just one car for our family
  15. run multiple errands at a time
  16. eat in restaurants that source locally
  17. keep the heat/AC low
  18. turn heat/AC off when we are away
  19. use natural lighting as late as possible
  20. turn off the lights when we aren’t in the room
  21. use CFL and LED bulbs
  22. turn electronics off at night
  23. unplug electronics when we are away
  24. minimize TV time and maximize outside time
  25. use electronic to-do lists instead of paper ones
  26. opt for paperless billing and pay bills online
  27. print as few things as possible
  28. file our taxes electronically
  29. take the stairs as much as we can
  30. try to cultivate a minimalist lifestyle (slowly but surely)
  31. use a green-energy web service to host this blog!

Earth Day 2016 - mamanonthetrail.com

On the Trails we…

  1. try to “take only pictures and leave only footprints”
  2. unplug
  3. bring tap water in reusable water bottles
  4. use our HydroBlu water filtration products to filter water from natural sources
  5. bring snacks in reusable containers and reusable snack bags
  6. carry out our trash in a reusable trash bag
  7. leave trails cleaner than we found them
  8. stay on the marked trails
  9. abide by park/trail rules
  10. use designated washrooms/outhouses
  11. use family cloth for #1
  12. continue to cloth diaper even when hiking/camping
  13. lead our local branch of Hike it Baby
  14. help teach the next generation to love and appreciate nature

Hey! That’s 15 new changes since last year! Go us!

(Changes that are new this year are in green)

Earth Day 2017: Every Day is Earth Day - mamanonthetrail.com

Keeping in mind that we are on a budget and these changes take money and time, I have come up with a few more changes to make in the coming year.

By Earth Day 2018, these are the items I would like to see added to the above list…

  • use only cloth paper towels (we only have a dozen right now and that doesn’t always last us between washes)
  • reduce use of tinfoil and plastic wrap
  • use only in season fruits and vegetables
  • use cloth produce bags
  • replace some plastic with glass or stainless steel (lunch containers, water bottles, etc.)
  • use less plastic in general (Ziploc bags, take out utensils, straws, packaging)
  • refuse disposable products while we are out
  • take shorter and colder showers
  • pick up litter every time we are out and participate in A Greener Future’s “5 Pieces Project”
  • engage in environmental stewardship projects with our students and our son

REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE – REPLACE – REFUSE

What are the most creative ways that you have greened your life? Do you see anything that we could add to our list? I would love to read your suggestions in the comment section below.

 

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20 thoughts on “Earth Day 2017: Every Day is Earth Day

  1. Melissa F

    I have greened our life, by giving careful consideration to what we buy, which definitely cuts down on a lot.
    We also try to by with reusable containers or things with minimal packaging. We grow a lot of food and herbs and make a lot of food and home and body products ourselves.
    My biggest thing now is to source clothes from natural sources that are long lasting and fashion neutral to cut down on buying in that area.

    Reply
  2. Kate Andrews

    We re-named my kids’ reusable and outdoor gear to make it sound more awesome – like their Adventure Backpacks – so they are hyped to carry their water bottles and such.

    Reply
  3. andie

    We’ve changes all the lightbulbs and we’ve set the washer to an-eco setting for all loads. We are slowly making changes to benefit the family and the environment. We are also crazy recyclers.

    Reply
  4. caroline m.

    The most creative ways that I have greened my life is by making my own cloth reusable shopping bags for bulk items. I’ve made tiny ones for spices, larger ones for flour, nuts and veggies. they are washable and I love them.

    Reply
  5. HEIDI C

    We are already a pretty green family but one of the most fun things that we have done as a family is each pick out a few houseplants that we are in competition to see which one (s) will flourish and what methods might help with this.

    Reply
  6. jan

    Our household is quite similar in what we do. For years people (especially our kids when they were teens) thought we were crazy that we had to wash cutlery while camping and didn’t use disposable while on a picnic, that we never purchased paper towel or small container foods like yogurt, and even my husband thought I was nuts that I’d unplug things before leaving for a few days.
    Love these green items and I feel it is the least I can do because they really are so darn simple.

    Reply
  7. Merianne Fess

    I use mason jars to bring my lunch and drinks to work with me and buy larger amounts of things for less packaging

    Reply
  8. kathy downey

    Thanks for putting this list together ,we do recycle and reuse but I don’t have any most creative ways that I have added greened my life but we recently started using Abeego Beeswax wraps and we love them!

    Reply
  9. Kim D

    More creative ways I’ve gone green:
    – I dry all my used tea bags then open them up and mix the dried tea into my compost (after letting my kiddo play with the dried tea like an indoor sandbox all winter)
    – I take apart my knit cotton washcloths that have holes and tie all the bits together and use that ‘new’ string to tie up the tomatoes in my yard
    – If I eat out I will bring my waste home with me (paper napkins, wrappings, any bottles/cups/etc) so I can put them into the proper waste sorting. I don’t like creating the waste by eating out so I figure I can at least make sure things are recycled/composted properly

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Go Green Guide 2018 (+Giveaway April 4-23) - Maman on the Trail

  11. Joyce S

    I’ve just switched to all eco friendly cleaners. Along with recycling and reusing it is good for the environment

    Reply
  12. gloria patterson

    I am going to print this list out and start drawing lines throught the ones that I am doing. And there are a lot that I need to work on.

    Just to list a few I have been using glass jars in my pantry and for leftover for almost 2 years. And I have bought all of my jars at goodwill, salvation army, local thrift stores. And I love using glass.

    Drink water only from the faucet, when I go out I fill my water bottle up

    Reply
  13. Sab Edwards

    I have to agree, its hard to do but its def do-able… just wish all the countries believed in the science of it. We recycle at work ,we recycle at home and I walk to work to help ease my carbon footprint

    Reply
  14. Leigh Kitchens

    I like the replace & refuse that is added to reduce, reuse, & recycle slogans. I also like making a list of a few very specific goals for the upcoming year. I’m going to write down the ones I want to focus on in the kitchen for this year. Good ideas!

    Reply
  15. Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life

    I love this Monica! You are way ahead of us for being Green. We do more things than I thought I’d see on your list. While we do still use disposable cutlery for our outdoor parties we either recycle them or wash them to be put back in the box for our next gathering.

    Keep up the good work – I’m slowing converting some of things to be more earth friendly as well. It’s a great aspiration to have!
    ~Jess
    Jessica – A Modern Mom’s Life recently posted…5 Easy Ways To Increase Blog ViewsMy Profile

    Reply

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