Happy Earth Day!
I’m of the mindset that every day should be considered “Earth Day,” in that it’s important to be conscious of our impact on the planet all year long! Much like the sentiments of many holidays (the thoughts, feelings, and considerations that are brought to light) I feel would ideally be best displayed every day, sometimes we lose focus and need the reminder of a “special day” to nudge us in the right direction! In that case, I’m all for a holiday that brings our priorities back in line!
Today seemed like a really great day to get outside and enjoy the weather, the wildlife, and the sunshine. I normally try to get outside for a walk or a jog down the street and back (2 miles, haha) every day, today it was way too toasty out to lug my camera with me. So, for the sake of me returning alive, but also giving you a peek at some of the cool plants, animals, and scenery I get to appreciate every day, I decided to show you some pics from a few days ago when the weather was MUCH cooler!
I don’t like to be in too much of a hurry when I’m walking outside – there are too many interesting things going on that I’d probably miss out on if I rushed. Long. Straight. HILLY road! When I do run, those hills get me every time!
The California Poppy is currently in full bloom! Takes a lot for me not to pick a few for a vase on my way home….!
To date, this is my favorite horse in the world. I have no idea what his name is, but we’ve developed a relationship that transcends the need for names. It goes a little something like this: I bring him treats (carrots, apples, etc) and he runs to the fence, pretending he’s excited to see me. See how that works? I get the satisfaction of convincing myself we’re friends, and he gets a carrot. Win-win, right?!
In reality, we get along because he’s exceedingly sarcastic and quick-witted. We talk a lot. He gets me!
This darling old man is Max. Max has a lot of friends in the area (dog and otherwise) that he visits regularly, stopping by to play or for a drink of water. He wanders up to my garage occasionally and camps out for days at a time, or meets up with me while I’m on my way down the street. Cutie pie!
This is Max’s friend, pretty adorable, right?! They often travel together – bff?! Look at those puppy dog eyes, major awww!
Chickens! And a rooster. Wild turkey and chicken are all over the place around here. They cross the road, too, all the time, but I have yet to figure out why! =p
I had every intention of snapping photos of baby goats that appeared in a neighbor’s yard one day last week, but by the time I did manage to bring my camera with, they were gone! I was under the impression they were permanent residents, but apparently that wasn’t the case. Shoot! I have to say, baby goats (kids!) are super duper cute, and these had collars on! Another aww!
Worth protecting, right?! I think so! So, in keeping with the theme here, I’ve compiled a few ways for you to help the planet, and improve your own health at the same time! Some of these ideas I’ve heard before, but I’ve tried to put my own twist on them where I see fit – often suggestions for helping the planet seem a little out there, and other times, require purchasing more or expensive resources or products to accomplish, which I sorta think often defeats the purpose!
5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
1. Reusable cold & hot cups for coffee & tea:
I know I said buying more products wasn’t going to help the planet, but if you’re going to be hitting up Starbucks every day for a coffee fix, or grabbing an ice tea in the afternoon and using their disposable cups, a reusable cup is the way to go. A nice thermos is great for hot coffee and tea, very affordable and easy to find. The problem used to be the elusive reusable cold travel cup, which used to be nearly impossible to find. Now they’re everywhere! Starbucks carries them at what I think is a bit high for my own price point, but I got one at Cost Plus for super cheap, and Walmart has them in practically every color imaginable! Get one. Bring it to the Bux on your next coffee run!
2. Whip up your own natural, non-toxic cleaning products, or at least buy the friendly lines of products:
Ideally, you would use all-natural, non-toxic, kid and pet friendly cleaners for everything, all the time. However, there is some grime, and some funk that just seems to be immune to baking soda and vinegar. I get it. Just try to use natural cleaners when you can – every little bit helps! For most cleaning issues, I quickly Google it, and spend a few minutes looking through products I already have on-hand in my kitchen that will do the trick. If you’re having a cleaning crisis, chances are good someone else has too, and you can probably find a green-cleaning tip about it online! It’s true baking soda and vinegar won’t work for EVERYTHING, but they sure seem to work for 90% of messes! If you MUST go the route of store-bought cleaning products (which I do, also – laundry detergent, and dish soap), try the lines that are known for being organic, naturally derived, not tested on animals, non-toxic, etc. such as Method (which is not ALL natural, but close), Simple Green, Green Works, etc.
3. Re-purpoes items you already have:
This is a whole lot like recycling. In fact, it IS recycling! It doesn’t work for everything (some things truly must be discarded…and by discarded, I mean put in the recycle bin and sent out to those who know what to do with it – ex: thousands of old phone books!) but try to the items you have no need for anymore as they are, and turn them in to items you need or want! Old t-shirts are great for cutting down and sewing into a blanket or throw pillows, mason jars work great as glassware or vases for flowers if you aren’t much for jam making. Instead of going out and buying new furniture, old furniture sometimes just needs a new finish or fresh coat of paint to become special and useful again. Martha Stewart or DIY shows are often my go-tos for things like this!
4. Plant your own garden:
I said it! Cultivate that green thumb of yours, and work to plant a lot of your own vegetables and even fruits. It takes some work to set up the beds, and maybe a little more work if need to construct raised beds due to the lack of topsoil, but it’s worth it when those tomato plants of yours just won’t quit! It’s often much more cost effective to grow your own produce (ahem, have you seen the prices of product at the store or Farmer’s Market?!), not to mention you know exactly where your food came from and that it’s not smothered with gross pesticides! Lots of inspiration onmy sister site, SayitwithSprouts.com if you need it! If a whole garden seems like too much, or you have space restrictions (umm, that was me, in a tiny apartment!) consider growing a little window herb garden! Pick up a few seed packets and plant them up in your re-purposed mason jars (yes, tip 3 in action! Just be careful not to over-water!). Great for cooking, and cleans your indoor air a bit! My favorites are Basil, oregano, and mint! Bonus points if you compost your fruit and veggie matter!
5. Have a plan of attack when running errands:
Now, it’s one thing to live in a small town where you are able to walk or bike anywhere you need to go (hello, Davis! I miss you!) – it makes running errands super efficient and planet-friendly, but most of the time, that just isn’t possible. Everything seems to be so far away nowadays, and it’s just not realistic to think you won’t be taking your car out on a day of errand-running. The key here is to be as efficient as possible with your car usage. Plan ahead so you know where you’re headed, and travel the most efficient route so you don’t end up back-tracking, or getting half way home only to remember you forgot the dog at the groomer. Wastes a lot of gas, as well as your precious time! Oh, and while I’m on the subject, reusable grocery bags, FTW!
There you have it! There are many MANY more ways you can help the planet and reduce your impact on a daily basis, these were just a few to get you started!
How do you like to celebrate Earth Day? What are your favorite every day tips for being greener & more eco-friendly?? I’d love to know!