Celebrate Earth Day by Simplifying Your Life

celebrate earth day
© 2014 Christy King
15 Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

 
Maybe you’re not ready to install a composting toilet or grow your own wheat, but you can celebrate Earth Day by taking some easy steps toward a simpler life.

These ideas help you save time and money, as well as help the planet. If you find the list overwhelming, pick one item to work on at a time.

1.   Receive statements and pay bills online.

2.   Unsubscribe from catalogs and other mailings you don’t want. You can also opt out of receiving phone books.

3.   Keep a shopping list so you don’t have to make emergency runs to the store.

4.   Let friends and family know you’d prefer to receive experiences instead of stuff for gifts. Perhaps you’d like someone to bake you cookies or mow your lawn. Maybe a gift certificate for a massage is more your style.

5.   Don’t wash clothes that aren’t dirty. You can often wear outfits more than once before they need laundering.

6.   Think before you run errands. For instance, would you save time and gas by stopping by a particular store on your way home from work instead of going on Saturday?

7.   When planting a new flower garden, look for plants native to your area – that way you won’t need to water them.

8.   Stop wasting food. Eat those leftovers for lunch the next day or a dinner later in the week.

9.   Try to buy all (or least mostly) clothes that don’t need dry cleaning.

10.   Instead of buying books, check them out from the library. If you choose to buy, consider second-hand or ebooks.

11.   Wear your stuff out before buying new. Even then, think before you purchase – you may not need to replace the worn item.

12.   Combine exercise with errands. That is, walk or bike to run your errands if you can.

13.   Use a water filter instead of buying bottled water.

14.   Mow your grass less often. Letting the grass grow a little longer actually builds healthier roots.

15.   Print receipts, confirmation codes, etc. to PDF instead of to paper.

What do you do to save yourself time or money that’s also good for the environment? Please share in the comments.

 

11 thoughts on “Celebrate Earth Day by Simplifying Your Life

  1. I have a bucket in the shower to catch water as it heats up and that water gets dumped in the pool or into a flower bed.

  2. Think about how often you really need to shower. Did you actually sweat today? Or work on a messy project? A damp washcloth can do wonders between showers and saves lots of water.

    • Good point. If all you did was sit in the office doing paperwork, odds are good you aren’t very dirty.

      I’ve been slowly stretching out the number of days between hair-washings, too. As your hair adjusts, it makes less oil. Since my hair is ridiculously thick and takes several hours to dry, this not only saves water but is way more convenient for me.

  3. I think I do pretty much everything on the list aside from using a water filter. I just drink tap water as is. I cut the grass regularly, but I use a reel mower and think a reel mower is probably better than using a petrol/electric mower less often.

    • We drink plain tap water too, but we have good water. I know I have visited places that have water that tastes just plain awful! So I figure those people have a reason they don’t want to drink water straight from the tap.

      I’m sure a reel mower is better – and exercise for you, too!

  4. Great list! I do several of the things you have listed. I also use the water guests leave in a glass for watering my plants, I keep both a shopping list and a list of books I’d like to read on my phone so it’s always with me. Perfect when stopping at the library. Oh and I had the opportunity in the late 90s to vacation for two weeks where there was a homemade composting toilet (adding grass to cover waste) and didn’t mind it at all.. If only it was allowed where I live. 🙂

    • Thanks, Lois. Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

      I wonder if you could get away with the 5-gal. bucket type composting “toilet”? Would anyone have to know?

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.