Earth Month: Small Steps Big Change

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When I became a mom, the way I looked at the Earth changed. All of a sudden, I was looking at the future of our Earth through the eyes of my kids, and my kid’s kids.

I have felt a responsibility for our future generations’ sake to take small steps over the past few years to be more green.

The changes my family has made have not been drastic. These are all easy changes any family can make. But if all of us did them together, collectively these small steps could mean big change.

Because I am passionate about this topic, during the month of April in honor of Earth Month, I am participating in a program with SCOTT Naturals™  to bring awareness on the ways we can better care for our Earth.

SCOTT Naturals™ is the world’s first line of hybrid paper products including bath tissue, paper towels, flushable wipes and napkins.

This series will consist of a weekly post on ways we can be more mindful of the environment. This first post is all about 5 steps my family has taken to be more green. Would love to hear yours – comment below!

Over the past 3 years, I am happy to say that my family made the switch to reusable bottles and completely stopped buying bottled water.

I am in love with this Filtrete Water Station, which allows me to filter and store four reusable bottles in my fridge.

Anywhere I go, my Filtrete water bottle goes with me. It is even sitting next to me as I type this post!

This year I went cold turkey and completely stopped buying juice for my kids. I wanted water to be their number one source of hydration, so we stopped the juice outright.

I made this decision when I came to the realization that my children would not drink water because they were accustomed to juice. I also looked at the big plastic bottles of juice we had been buying and knew there was a better way for the Earth, their bodies and teeth!

Not gonna lie, this was not an easy transition. The girls COMPLAINED big time. But the beauty of it was that after about 3 days of no juice (I just told them we were out), they got used to drinking iced water and started to ask for it. I made it fun by putting it in colored cups with bendable straws. Now they ask for water and I LOVE IT!

We typically went through one big plastic 2 liter bottle of apple juice every week. That’s 52 bottles a year we are not consuming anymore.

Of course when they go to the grandparents or to a play date or party, they can have  juice. Just now it is a special treat.

My family has also made the switch to using ENERGY STAR lightbulbs in about 70% of our home.These special lightbulbs use 75% less energy than a traditional bulb and last 6 times longer.

Not to mention the fact that each bulb can save more than $40 over its lifetime. The average household has 30 light fixtures. You do the math – that is a HUGE savings each year. You can click HERE and actually calculate your savings for your household.

They do take some getting used to and it is not altogether an easy transition. They are not as bright and do not get bright fast, but when I look at the money saved and how we are protecting the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is WORTH IT!

Ever kept your cell phone charger in the wall even when you weren’t charging your phone? Guilty as charged.

Did you know that electronics and appliances can draw power even when they are switched off? This energy, known by terms like phantom-load, idle current, vampire power and wall wart means that you can be using electricity without even USING it!

I have now made a conscious effort to unplug various items when not in use. There are several products out there available to make it easier like these smart power strips.

I have my husband to thank for this one. He is BIG on making sure any light not in use is turned off when he leaves the room and early on he started teaching our girls to do the same.

It is now drilled into their sweet little heads enough that when we were leaving to go to the store the other day, my five-year-old caught a light on in the guest room and yelled “Wait! Gotta turn off the light!”

SCOTT Naturals™ invites you to take the 4 Week Test Drive this month.

Simply go to scottbrand.com and pledge to switch to SCOTT Naturals™ for four weeks and try their selection of hybrid products.

When you make the pledge, you will enter in your zip code, and the state with the most pledges can win $50,000 towards local forest and land conservation efforts to preserve America’s great outdoors. Click HERE and take the pledge!

If everyone tried SCOTT Naturals™ for four weeks, together we would save over 2 million trees.

Talk about small steps BIG CHANGE!

[Disclosure: SCOTT Naturals™ is compensating me for my time and participation in this campaign. All of the above are my honest opinions, as always. I will be making the switch to SCOTT Naturals™ now that I know the difference they can make in the environment and have taken the 4 Week Test Drive pledge! I hope you will too!]

13 Comments

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13
  1. 1
    Stephen Davis says:

    Compost your table scraps. The largest consumer of electricity in California are the water utilities. When you use your garbage disposal to ‘transport’ food scraps, a tremendous amount of energy and water is wasted. Get an inexpensive compost bin and start your own little composting operation. You’ll get the absolute best potting soil imaginable in a few months!

    • 2
      jen says:

      Awesome tip – we have meant to do this for awhile. We actually have our own little vegetable garden going now, and I heard that compost soil is the best. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. 3
    Jennifer says:

    We have started to use fabric reusable sandwich bags and small Tupperware containers for school lunches. I was using 6-8 plastic baggies a day! Now they love the fabric bags and even fight over who gets what design.

    • 4
      jen says:

      I am so glad you mentioned this one, as I am planning one of the posts in this series to be on how to “Green Your Child’s Lunch!” So important! Do you like your fabric sandwich bags?

      • 5
        Dana M says:

        I would love to know which reusable sandwich bags you use. I have often thought that I use way too many plastic sandwich bags. Where do you get them? Thanks!

  3. 6
    Susanne says:

    what a great suggestion about switching to water. we should do this in our household!!!

    • 7
      Jen says:

      Susanne, I have to admit, I was afraid to do it but like I said, kids adapt amazingly well. I love it because I know they are drinking more water during the day, which is so important for those active little bodies!!

  4. 8
    Jen B says:

    We have the water turned off on our master toilet. Sounds funny, but… we keep a cat-litter bucket in the shower, catch the cold water while waiting for the hot water, and use it for 2 flushes a day. It all started because we had a tub leak and were catching the water…now we save 3.2 liters per day of clean water that would otherwise just go down the drain needlessly!

    • 9
      Jen says:

      OK, that is so awesome, thank you for sharing! I often think of the water wasted when waiting for it to heat up. Inspiring,

  5. 10
    Jennifer says:

    I purchased the fabric lunch bags at a small boutique. You can look for them at pontigo.org. I’m sure you can find them on Etsy too. They are super easy to rinse out each night and they air dry very quickly.

    • 11
      Jen says:

      Thank you! I will check them out!

  6. 12
    Christine says:

    The only thing I don’t really agree with the the light bulbs. I had one bread, brand new out of the box and those bulbs have mercury in them. Not safe.

    • 13
      Jessica says:

      The mercury is only a problem if the bulb breaks. There is a proper way to clean up a broken fluorescent bulb, according to the CDC. Also, there are high-power LED bulbs now, and those are even more energy-efficient than CFLs. They are more costly, but last longer and use less energy. I am fairly certain that LEDs do not contain mercury.

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