We all want to to protect our planet and Earth Day is a great reminder that we need to be careful in our day-to-day activities. It's good that Earth Day falls in the middle of everyone spring cleaning, so we can take time to "green up" our storage, organization and decorating. In order to reduce your impact on the environment and spruce up your home this spring, try some of these strategies:
1. Storage: When you look in your pantry or refrigerator, you will likely see a lot of plastic containers. These are extremely common and convenient to store goods in, but they are also extremely harmful to the environment to make. Think about switching to glass containers (or reusing jam and pasta jars) to store rice, nuts, popcorn, etc.
2. Decorating: In terms of decorating trends, tin cans are the new mason jars. When you have empty cans from whole tomatoes, green beans, etc., instead of tossing them, clean them and spray with paint.
3. Cleaning: Spring cleaning is a surprisingly wasteful time of the year. On average, American's use 13 billion pounds of paper towels every year. This requires 60 million gallons of water and over 50,000 trees to produce! You can reduce your paper towel usage by using rags and microfiber towels when cleaning. Rags are not only easy to reuse by tossing in the wash but they are more absorbent, making cleaning much easier.
4. Pest Control: You want to keep rodents and creepy, crawling bugs out of your cabinets and window corners, but harsh chemicals and pesticides can be extremely harmful. Spray your baseboards and window sills with water-peppermint oil to deter these pets naturally.
5. Filing: Keeping drawers and cabinets full of papers is a thing of the past. There is no need to store important documents in "hard copy" anymore. Switch your bills to digital to keep from receiving the paper copy and save yourself the waste. You can store your documents online in a "cloud" service like Dropbox or save files to an external hard drive or jump drive.