6 Easy Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day

by Amber Strocel*

Hey ladies, this is Amber here.

Earth Day falls in April. In honor of the holiday, many of us spend this month thinking green. But living lighter on the planet isn’t just for Earth Day. If we really want to make a difference, we need to keep on thinking green 365 days a year.

Raindrops on my flowers

Luckily, reducing your environmental footprint doesn’t have to mean living in a yurt in the forest. Little steps can make a big difference. Most of us are already recycling and turning off the light when we leave the room. But what else can we do? Here are some of my ideas for making every day Earth Day:

  1. Carry a reusable bag in your purse or diaper bag. We all know, by now, that reusable bags are the way to go. The problem for many of us, though, is that we forget ours at home. You can find many bags now that are really cute, and roll up really small. Stow one or two in whatever handbag you usually carry, and you’ll be prepared for those spur-of-the-moment purchases.
  2. Switch to tap water. Did you know that tap water quality is highly regulated – far more than bottled water? Plus, it doesn’t have to be packed in plastic and shipped from the bottling plant to the store. If you don’t like the taste, consider using a filter. You’ll be saving the planet, and saving some money at the same time.
  3. Buy in bulk. Buying food and other consumables in bulk reduces the overall packaging load. Packaging accounts for about 31% of the trash that ends up in the landfill, which is no small amount of garbage. If you buy a large tub of yogurt instead of many small tubs, the overall amount of packaging is smaller. Buying in bulk also saves money for most families, which is another plus.
  4. Switch to electronic magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Spring for that e-reader or tablet, and the earth may thank you. You’re saving trees, reducing the amount of mail that you get, and still keeping up-to-date with your favorite periodicals. Sounds like a win!
  5. Go second-hand. We all have our own comfort zone when it comes to used items. Most of us are OK with used cars, for instance, but few of us are cool with used underwear. (Ew!) Wherever you fall on the spectrum, though, buying second-hand items is an environmentally-friendly choice. Whether you get hand-me-downs from your sister’s kids, shop at a consignment shop, visit garage sales or hit your local thrift store, the items have already been manufactured and shipped, so new resources don’t have to be used to make them.
  6. Take your kids outdoors. People who appreciate nature will want to protect it. It’s springtime right now for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, which means that it’s a great time to get outside and play. Take a nature walk. Visit a playground. Work in your garden. Let your kids see the wonder of the natural world, and take it in yourself, too.

Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you have some easy tips and tricks for living a little lighter on the earth? Please share!



Email Author    |    Website About Amber Strocel*

Amber is a crunchy granola mom of two, a suburban superstar and an incorrigible dreamer. She spends her days trying to organize chaos, and eating chocolate on the sly. You can read about her daily adventures on her blog at Strocel.com or check out her quest to help other moms live with intention at Crafting my Life.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan April 22, 2011 at 3:00 am

Thanks for these tips Amber.

I use a Brita water filter because I can’t stand the taste of chlorine in tap water.

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2 Amber Strocel April 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Did you know that Brita accepts their filters for recycling? You can enjoy good-tasting water and live a little lighter at the same time.

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3 Anne April 22, 2011 at 4:37 am

Making use of my library is my favorite earth-friendly and wallet-friendly tip! I shared some more eco-tips for book lovers today at Little Sprout Books.

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4 Amber Strocel April 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

That’s a great tip, and one that I didn’t think of. We do love our library!

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5 Lian April 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

Great tips. One thing I do is recycle the water I use to wash my vegetables and rice. Instead of throwing it down the sink, I throw it into a pail and then use that water for the plants in my garden.

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6 Amber Strocel April 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

That’s such a great idea! :)

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7 Tarasview April 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

great suggestions!

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8 LisaN April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

If clothes aren’t obviously dirty or stinky, wear them a second time. It’s surprising how quickly this adds up to loads of laundry you don’t have to do.

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9 Amber Strocel April 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I usually wear my pants a couple of times, at least. However, my ability to do this has decreased A LOT since having kids. They’re cute, but sticky. ;)

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10 Coco of VidaCoco.com April 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Great post! To piggy back off your tip about buying secondhand, Freecycle and Craigslist are great resources to find inexpensive and unique items, like furniture and home accessories. I also recently stumbled on a website that gives new life to gently used baby and kids gear. It’s called reCrib and it’s an online marketplace to buy and sell used kids gear and it provides details on each item.

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11 Amber Strocel April 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm

That sounds like a great resource – thanks for sharing. :)

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12 Shash April 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Great tips! Thanks for the list Amber. Most of those I do but there’s always room for improvement!

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13 Amber Strocel April 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm

It’s all about making baby steps, I think. Just make one little change at a time, and they all add up.

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14 Holly April 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

I leave my resusable bags rolled up in the car and ask one of my kids to carry them in to the grocery store for me. The kids like having a task to do and I hope it helps them learn to use them when they are older and on their own. Also, don’t forget to wash those bags once in a while because they can get really dirty.

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15 grace May 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm

everyone should be conscious about the environment. the ozone layer and the earth is in serious trouble, and could get worse if we don’t start moving and saving our home. thanks for sharing the list! :)
I hope you can also check out our site at http://www.aheadinteractivetutorial.com. thanks!

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16 bryn May 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Second hand shopping is both good for the environment and for your wallet. Stores like Goodwill and Plato’s Closet allow you to donate and get a stipend for your own shopping. The idea of wearing other people’s clothes isn’t always ideal, but as for children they don’t always notice nor care! To children a new shirt or new toy is still new, even if used. Second hand shops are perfect for simple exchanges, like when your child outgrows toys and picking up a few new ones, or when clothes are outgrown.

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