10 Simple Ways to Be Nicer to Mother Earth

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With Earth Month coming up, people are doing their part to get involved in spreading awareness of how we need to take better care of our planet. On April 22nd, individuals, schools, businesses, and governments work together to celebrate Earth Day and help protect the earth. There are plenty of groups you can join to become active for Earth Month but you can also take action by doing simple things at home and with your family to help the environment. By helping to take care of the environment you are also taking better care of your family and the people around you, which is why we need to educate our children on the importance of protecting planet Earth.

1. Check your labels. The EPA and the Department of Energy have an Energy Star program, which rates all kinds of products, and appliances for the home to see which products are energy-efficient. These products all carry an Energy Star label to show that they use less energy than a standard product without the telltale blue label. Another bonus is that purchasing products with this label may allow you to be eligible for a tax credit.

2. Switch your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are the easiest way to save energy at home — plus they save you money! As opposed to incandescent light bulbs, CFLs will convert most of the energy they use into light instead of heat. They last up to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs and they consume about 75% less electricity.

3. Buy reusable bottles. Stop buying those large packs of plastic water bottles for your family and instead get each member their own reusable water bottle. Plastic water bottles harm the environment and waste money when you can purchase an inexpensive reusable bottle that can be filled over and over again.

4. Use eco-friendly cleaning products. Cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals which are bad for the environment but there are eco-friendly products on the market today like Rockin’ Green products. You can save even more money by making your own natural cleaning products using baking soda, lemon, and vinegar for all-purpose cleaners. They work just as well as regular cleaners and are much more affordable.

5. Repair your leaky faucet. People use about 100 gallons of water a day and household water consumption continues to increase. It is expected that in the next few years many US states will experience water shortages. Fixing your leaky faucets and toilets can save thousands of gallons of water a year and save you money.

6. Recycle. Make sure to have recycling bins in your house with labels on them so your family will know how to put their items in the correct bin. You can also color code them and involve the kids so recycling becomes a fun game for them to learn. When you go to the grocery store make sure you recycle your plastic bags and in the future use reusable shopping bags for your grocery runs. You can also use ZizzyBee Bags, which are reusable eco-friendly bags with a zipper for storage and organization.

7. Pay your bills online. You can opt out of receiving paper bills in the mail and get all of your bills online. It’s easier to keep track of them and it’s much greener. You can also opt out of pre-screened credit card offers and lists to stop receiving unsolicited mail.

8. Reuse paper. Any paper that you use from takeout menus to spam mail can be reused for the kids’ art projects and coloring paper. Use both sides of your papers and print things on two sides. Also make use of your memo notes and use a dry erase board instead of a note pad for messages.

9. Go thrift shopping. Thrift stores and garage sales are places where you can dig up some brand new or gently used items that would be expensive to buy new. You can buy baby clothes, shoes, books, movies, kitchen appliances and much more. Many of these items are in perfectly good condition and you’ll be supporting your local economy.

10. Recycle your electronics. Your electronics are made up of heavy metal parts and chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Instead of just dumping out your televisions, cell phones, computers, etc., you can visit www.epa.gov to find places that will recycle your electronics. You can also sell your used phones online and buy refurbished electronics at cheaper prices.

Lisa Paul Heydet is the inventor of ZizzyBee Bags, reusable, washable bags providing easy clean up for life’s clutter. www.zizzybeebags.com.