Wednesday, April 19, 2017

7 Easy Ways We're Helping The Earth This Earth Day

Being a parent and someone who spends all day with kids, setting a good example is important. Kids learn a lot just by watching the people in their lives. That's why I try to do little things that (hopefully) make a difference in the long run. We recently moved into a new house with plenty of mature trees, grassy areas, and areas that we're transforming. Here's a few things that we're doing or have done that helps the environment and lays a good foundation for the kiddos for years to come:

1.) Plant a tree, flowers, plants, etc. We'll be planting an apple tree soon and we just planted our garden last weekend (fingers crossed for sweet peppers, radishes, sweet peas, and mini pumpkins!). I've never had a garden of my own, but have always wanted to give my kids the experience of maintaining one that I got as a child (I helped my grandpa water his garden every year as a child and one year we grew corn--that was a highlight for me).

2.) Butterfly and bee garden. We're new to this area, but are excited about the low maintenance aspect of the garden, plus it helps the pollinators (which is something we're in desperate need of at the moment). We'll be planting our seeds next weekend so wish us luck!

The bottom tier is our vegetable garden and the top tier will be the site of our butterfly and bee garden. It's not a huge area but it's something! We also have plenty of plants in the area.

3.) Recycle. We recycle everything we can! Even better, this is the kids' job. Every day they have to take the recycling out to our recycling bin. They're pretty much experts about what can and can't be recycled.

4.) Don't use paper plates. We made this switch two years ago and couldn't be happier with it! Sure we make a few exceptions when we have parties or large get togethers or more recently, when we moved and had yet to unpack, but for the most part we use regular plates and cups. Our next big change is switching to cloth napkins and no more paper towels (although the paper towels come in handy for the occasional cat puke clean up) to lessen our waste.

5.) Solar or energy efficient appliances and household items. This is a great site that can help you make some easy changes to your home. Remember with a lot of these, the cost seems higher up front, but the pay off in the long range is greater. Energy efficient appliances are a must and many states/cities/counties have programs or grants to help with the cost of making your home energy efficient.

6.) Reusable water bottles. Get a water filtration system and invest in water bottles (we love Yeti or Contigo, while CamelBak are great for kids). We rarely buy bottled water anymore and use our reusable bottles whenever possible.

7.) Be mindful of cleaning supplies, soaps, etc. Green cleaning products are a must in our house due to the amount of kiddos in and out and for the pets (who like to get into everything). Seventh Generation makes great products that we use often.