Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd and a great time to adopt new habits for home. We only have one planet and to ensure our communities remain vibrant and safe for our kids, it’s important that we take steps big and small to combat climate change.
My favorite and easiest way to give back to the planet is with my Hungry Harvest box deliveries. Hungry Harvest rescues food from farms that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to your door for as little as $15 for an entire box of produce. I’ve been using it for years and absolutely love it.
Vegetarian eating is another easy step for greener leaving. Add meatless Monday to the calendar and add a day or two a week as you are able. To help you transition try meatless alternatives like Beyond that can be ordered through Hungry Harvest too!
You can start a garden in your yard or in potted plants. Not only is it a nice easy way to have food on hand but it’s entertainment for kids. My boys love watching plants grow, pulling weeds and collecting veggies once they’re ready.
Composting diverts food from landfills and allows the organic material to decompose without releasing toxic carbon. Set up a DIY compost or sign up for household pick up from Midtown Composting (my family loves it).
If you need meat, support local farms. It’s good for the economy and the planet because the fuel used to transport from farm to your door is a lot less.
Other household changes: use powdered laundry and dishwasher detergent to skip the plastic bottles, replace old fluorescent lamps with LED bulbs, don’t worry about the next toilet paper shortage and get a TUSHY bidet (it attaches to your toilet).
On The Go
40 BILLION plastic utensils go to landfills every year. Order a couple travel cutlery sets to keep in the car and use when you’re making drive-thru runs. Let your kids pick out a favorite water bottle to keep with them when you’re out. Lunchskins sells reusable and paper snack bags that are cute and practical.
For The Kids
Plastic takes 450 years to decompose… it’s something I think about when it comes to buying a new toy or even getting a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. My son is a consumerist and new things gives him joy. As his mom I want to respond to his love language and see his joy. The immediate pay-offs of presents is compelling but I also want to do what is best for his future big picture. Therefore, I’m learning to say no more and embrace simplicity – especially around the holidays when it’s easy to get caught up. Here are a few things I’m doing:
- Consignment shops: Kids grow out of clothes quickly and shopping the Salvation Army for them (and me) has helped me find cute clothes at good prices. Check out one of 10 Value World locations for clothes and household items!
- Use Toys: Instead of throwing away toys, donate to a local organization or sell on Facebook Marketplace. You can find great stuff and your kids won’t know the difference but the landfill will.
- Switch Up The Happy Meal: I’m not going to pretend we don’t go to McDonald’s. FriesDay aka Friday is my son’s favorite day of the week. As noted he loves the excitement of a new toy but he would forget about it before the day is done. Now I just order the items separately and let the reward be a playground visit or tv show instead. Same joy, no toy.
- Gift Experiences: Mindset matters. Let your kids know the activities you’re doing are a special gift that they can be excited about. And when you have a friend’s birthday party, get them tickets to a farm, ball game or museum instead of a toy.
- Keep It Simple: New toys can be as exciting for parents as kids. There was a point where I wanted us to have all the Paw Patrol Pups more than my son because the pain of an incomplete set. The truth is the Amazon box is often played with more than the toy that came inside it.
The superheroes among us use cloth diapers. I am grateful to everyone who makes that choice because I can’t do it. I have transitioned to a menstrual cup and have friends who use period underwear. Nursing moms can try washable organic bamboo nursing pads. And I haven’t reached this stage yet but when we’re back to potty training, we’ll check out Peejamas. Bar soap is another easy win for the planet and I love the chance to support local businesses by trying new scents.
Photo credit: Facebook