Sunday, April 22, 2012

5 Ways to Make a Big Earth Day Shift

The web is full of SIMPLE ideas that most of us are already doing (like recycling and using less gas).  In honor of Earth Day,  here is a list of 5 BIGGER things we can all do to make a significant difference. The following commitments are less talked about but extremely important and not that difficult to implement:

1) STOP USING FABRIC SOFTENER - I am once again breathing in my neighbor's noxious laundry fumes as a write this post. Commercial fabric softeners contain highly toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and serious respitory illnesses. These chemicals include including Phthalates, Chloroform, Pentane, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Acetate and more. Stop poisoning your family and your neighbors. Ditch the Downey and toss a quarter cup of distilled white vinegar in your wash instead - works just as well and won't kill the air quality in your home.

2) INVEST IN A FRONT LOAD WASHING MACHINE - You will gasp when you see how little water it uses and how much money these things save you in both water AND electric bills.

3) BUY A STACK OF REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS - Most of us remember to bring our reusable grocery bags to the market these days, but few of us blink when it comes to grabbing a plastic bag for produce. Well, start blinking and stop grabbing. Buy 4 to 12 cotton produce bags like those found here on and stop relying on plastic bags once and for all.

4) EAT LESS MEAT -  I personally (and anthropologically) believe humans are designed to be hunters and gatherers. Our teeth are meant to eat some meat - just not 3 times a day. Not even EVERY day. Commit to at least two meatless days per week and reduce your daily consumption to no more than one serving when per day when you do eat it. BONUS: Research says eating less meat will make you live longer too!
5) SUPPLY YOUR OWN TAKE-OUT CONTAINERS- Many of us bring our own mugs now when we get coffee to-go, but how many of us bring our own to-go containers to the salad bar or Chinese take out joint? Well - it's time to start. No one is going to say no to you when you show up with your own containers. After all, you're saving their company money.