Warmer weather, beautiful spring blooms, and Earth Day just having passed may have stricken a chord to think more about the way we treat our planet. We deserve to be well, and so does our Earth! Even though Earth month is almost over, there are so many simple ways to show some love to our planet year-round!
Sustainability = Using resources to meet our needs while ensuring future generations have the resources to do the same
Repurpose Glass Jars
This is one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to show your planet some love! All those pasta sauce and pickle jars can be easily cleaned and used in so many ways!
Wash remaining residue from the jars and lids
Place open jars and lids in a large container with a lid
Fill the container with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, completely submerging the jars and lids
Place the lid on the container and soak for 24 hours.**
Easily peel off labels (stubborn labels will be removable after dishwashing)
Put jars and lids in the dishwasher
**Lids may need additional time to clean. If a 24-hour soak does not remove all residue/smell lay the lids in a sunny area for several hours.
Your clean jars can now be used for a multitude of purposes!
Bust out the paintbrushes! Use a stencil (we traced a cookie cutter to get these fun leaves!), painter’s tape (which can be recycled when you’re done!), or print your desired words/shapes and attach them to the jar. Paint to create seasonal jars, candles, craft supply storage, or whatever your heart desires!
Use your clean jars (painted or bare!) to store anything from bulk foods to tips and cotton balls. Image by Amanda at Her Happy Home.
Save your banana peels to give your plants a boost (recommended every few weeks, not for regular watering).
Fill jar with banana peels and water
Let sit 24-48 hours
Water and enjoy happy plants!
If any of your plants are suffering from brown scorching, curling leaf tips, and/or yellowing between leaf veins, they may be potassium deficient, and this banana water may be their lifeline!
Make this chemical-free, delicious smelling cleaner with just 2 ingredients (and some clean jars, of course)!
Save orange peels in a jar in your refrigerator until it is full to the top
Fill the jar with vinegar
Place in a relatively warm and dark place (under the sink is perfect!) for 2-3 weeks. The longer you let the peels ferment, the more potent the cleaner will be.
Strain the mixture into another clean jar using a cheesecloth/small strainer to remove orange peels.
Fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of orange vinegar solution and water.
Get cleaning! This solution is great for everyday cleaning of countertops and kitchen areas, as well as bathrooms, and even for your floors!
Now that you've got hours of DIY inspiration, let's look at some other simple tricks.
This is just about the easiest lifestyle switch you can make. Head online and opt for paperless statements for your credit cards, bank accounts, utilities, and any others you can think of!
Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Simple, but so effective! Take it to the next level by grabbing some of these reusable produce bags.
Turn off the Water
Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth may seem like no big deal, but just by turning it off while you brush, you’ll save about 5 gallons of water each time.
Schedule Leftover Day
Did you know almost a quarter of all landfill waste is derived from food? Put those calories to good use with a weekly leftover day to clean out your fridge in an eco-friendly way.
Think Before you Throw
300 million tons of plastic are produced annually - that’s about the weight of the entire human population...and just 9% of it has ever been recycled. The unfortunate fact is that plastic is everywhere and pretty unavoidable. This brings us to the topic of wishcycling.
Wishcycling: placing waste into the recycling bin when there's little to no chance for its recovery.
Most of us want to recycle, but issues arise when well-meaning individuals toss non-recyclable materials into their blue bin. When this happens, cities may be forced to shut down recycling facilities or send large batches of contaminated recycling straight to the landfill.
You might be surprised by some of the things that don’t belong in the blue bin:
Disposable Hot Coffee Cups - These cups are lined with a special kind of plastic to prevent leakage that cannot be recycled
DO recycle the lid, cardboard sleeve, and plastic cold cups
Plastic Utensils & Straws
Pizza Boxes - Though made of cardboard, anything with grease on it cannot be recycled.
Plastic Mailers - That’s right. Unless made of paper or cardboard, all those Amazon package mailers must go in the trash.
Napkins, Tissues, Paper Towels
Chip Bags & Snack Packaging - Often made of more than one material, these cannot be easily separated for reuse
Soft Plastics - Similar to snack packaging, this is anything from the wrapping around takeout silverware to plastic bags. A good rule of thumb is if the plastic is flimsy enough for you to tear it apart with your hands, it is too flimsy to make something new.
Each municipality has its own system of what can and cannot be recycled, so do a quick Google search to find out what else is accepted in your area, but it is always safe to recycle:
Cardboard - Break down boxes first
Envelopes - Even with windows, most facilities accept these
Non-metallic wrapping paper
Bottles - Lids off or check your facility for cap recycling policy
Jugs, Containers, Tubs, Lids
Soda Cans, Food Cans
Aluminum Foil - No food residue
Bottles & Jars - Check your facility for their lid policy
*Ensure all materials are relatively clean and dry
Even implementing just one or two of these in your daily life will have a huge impact to keeping our planet well over time! How do you love your planet? Let us know in the comments!