The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and is still celebrated today as a time to recognize our impact on the environment. Here are some simple and easily achievable ways to go green this Earth Day, and for the days after.
Start Using an Indoor Compost Pail
Rather than tossing your food scraps into the trash, switch to an at-home indoor compost pail. Small enough to keep on the kitchen counter for easy accessibility, compost pails are a simple way to live green year around. Reach out to your local government to find out what compost pickup options are available, or research local community gardens that take compost.
What to put in an indoor compost bin: fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, tea leaves, egg shells, nut shells, plant clippings
What not to put in an indoor compost bin: meat, fish, plastics (even ‘biodegradable’ plastics), miscellaneous garbage
Use a Stainless Steel Straw
Swap out those disposable, single-use plastic straws for reusable stainless steel, glass, or silicone straws. Most plastic straws are too lightweight to recycle, meaning they end up in the trash, or contaminate an entire recycling load. Worst-case scenario, they end up in the ocean through human error, littering, or just blowing out of the trash can.
Compostable or biodegradable plastic straws aren’t a great solution, either. They only biodegrade under very specific conditions, if it ends up there. In many cases, composting facilities don’t want to have these ‘biodegradable’ plastics in their compost because 1) they don’t biodegrade completely, leaving chunks of plastic in the compost and 2) if they do biodegrade, they end up polluting the compost with microplastics, which are tiny pieces of plastic that often end up in our food or ocean. If a compostable straw does end up in the ocean, there is no chance it’ll ever break down and will then contribute to the growing ocean pollution.
The best alternative to plastic straws is to reuse a stainless steel, glass, or silicone straw. Paper straws are also a great alternative if you’re in need of a single-use straw.
Check out Lonely Whale's website for resources and information regarding plastic straw alternatives: https://www.strawlessocean.org/faq
Carry a Reusable Bag or Tote
Rather than getting a new paper or plastic grocery bag each time you go shopping, bring in a reusable one! In some places, stores charge five cents per bag, which can add up throughout the year. By bringing your own bag to the store, you’re saving one more bag from entering the waste stream. Not only are reusable bags handy at the grocery store, they’re perfect for trips to the Farmer’s Market, shopping at a local boutique, or for camping.
I use my reusable bags for everything! The trick is to always stash a couple in your car for those unplanned grocery store stops, and to keep a couple near your front door as a reminder when you leave.
Ditch the plastic wrap and switch to Bee’s Wrap! This sustainable alternative to plastic wrap is super handy to use; simply warm it in your hands, mold it around what you need to wrap, and then it’ll cool in place. Made from organic cotton and beeswax, it’s safe to use and helps the earth in the process.
Stock Up On Glass Jars
I love to use glass jars for everything! I always make sure to have a spare jar or two in my reusable bag in case I need to buy something in bulk. By switching to more bulk items and using glass jars, I've opened up more space in my cupboard, making it easier to see what I do have. In a pinch, they can serve as a water bottle replacement or coffee mug.
Jars are also a super handy way to carry meals. I use jars to make my Overnight Oats in so I can grab-and-go in the mornings. Use them to carry crackers, fruit slices, soup, coffee, tea, and the list goes on! They are so versatile; there’s always a way to repurpose a glass jar. By using a jar, you’re eliminating the need for plastic snack bags and plastic Tupperware, which the earth thanks you for.
Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are a simple way of reducing pollution. What’s even better is that many reusable water bottles are designed to keep drinks colder for longer and hot beverages steaming, like Hydro Flasks.
Swedish Dischcloths are a miracle around the house! Easy to use and clean, you can say goodbye to paper towels for good. Made from a blend of plant cellulose and cotton, Swedish dishcloths are completely compostable. Use to wipe down the kitchen countertops, to clean the sink, or to wash the dishes.
If You're Looking for New Furniture, Check Out Greenington
Made from bamboo, Greenington offers a sustainable option for on-trend furniture designs.
Bamboo is currently one of the most sustainable resources available. Actually a grass, bamboo can be grown with no irrigation and without the use of pesticides, and it produces 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. With it being so versatile, while having little impact on the environment, bamboo serves as a great alternative for many day-to-day items.
Greenington crafts their furniture from 100% Moso bamboo, which is 20% harder than Red Oak. Each piece is uniquely different due to the process of caramelizing the natural sugars in the bamboo rather than using a stain. With so many beautiful lines and finishes to choose from, Greenington is a sustainable furniture option. For Earth Day, Greenhouse is having taking an additional 40% off on all Greenington furniture! Just use the code Bamboosale, or call our store to check availability.