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Celebrating Earth Day with Small Changes

standard April 22, 2009 3 responses

Tomorrow (today, depending on when you’re reading this) is Earth Day. It’s a day for going to out to a nature preserve and rediscovering all of nature’s bounty. It’s a day for taking stock of your ecological efforts. And it’s a day for really looking around and appreciating the earth and everything we get from it.

I can’t remember a time when people didn’t talk about doing things more greenly, didn’t push the eco-agenda, but I do remember a time when people brushed it off as tree-huggery hooey. Then, over the last couple of years people stopped joking about it and started thinking twice about using less plastic, pumping less gas, recycling paper, and spraying fewer harmful toxins into the air.

I’m like you, or at least like most of you, and apparently like the rest of the world too. I don’t make huge sweeping changes in my life. Changing everything at once isn’t sustainable. What works instead is making small changes one at a time, and moving on to the next change when the first one becomes routine. 10 years ago none of us recycled, now the majority of us do. 10 years ago the question paper or plastic was never asked, now it’s routine, and other, even more ecofriendly options exist. Change happens. It just happens slowly.

I was going to admit that I feel shame that we don’t have a very green home, then I started to think back on the little changes we’ve made this past year.

1. We switched to using a steam cleaner instead of chemical cleaner for our floors.
2. I started reusing ziplock backs as frequently as possible.
3. I switched to green cleaning products for things that couldn’t be cleaned with the steam cleaner – dishes, windows, all purpose spray.
4. We haven’t watered our front lawn this year.
5. I switched to using microfiber cloths instead of paper towels.
6. I’ve started unplugging unused chargers as often as possible.
7. We got rid of our gas guzzling Jeep Cherokee and got a more fuel efficient Honda. (This may not have been an entirely voluntary move, but it was something we desperately wanted to do, so I am definitely counting it!)
8. We hunted down a massive water leak in our front yard and put an end to the wasted water.

It’s not a ton, but it’s not nothing either. We might not be the greenest house on the block, but at least we’re trying. Next I’m going to do my best to remember to unplug both laptops every night and try to be more aware of the amount of water I’m using when I’m washing dishes or brushing teeth. Small changes. Small changes that I can stick to until they become routine.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Hope you have a lovely ecofriendly day!

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate, check out the comments on this (now closed) giveaway. There are some great ideas there!

I’m thrilled to be giving away a Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 car seat at The Lemonade Stand. No joke! Rush on over and see!