Living a safe, healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. With a few small changes, you and your family can live healthier, earth-supporting lives. Here are some small changes you can make. Don’t try to do them all at once. Introduce one change a month while you get used to the new lifestyle.
1. Use less plastic – Plastic has terrible long-term effects, especially for developing children. Use natural products around the home, like wood, organic cotton and bamboo.
2. Start recycling – Much of what we use can be recycled, but it ends up in landfills where it can never be reprocessed, which forces it to sit for years before it ever breaks down. Start a simple recycling plan at home that puts paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic in separate containers.
3. Use natural cleaners – Vinegar and baking soda can pretty much clean any problem in your home. Skip the chemical-filled stuff.
4. Wash clothing in cold water – Most of your clothes don’t need to be scoured in hot water. Cold water is fine for all but the most soiled items. This also prevents shrinking.
5. Line dry your clothing – People discount this because they think it’s a lot of work, but it’s not too bad. Run a line from a window to a tree so you don’t have to go outside to hang things.
6. Waste less water – We waste a lot of water letting it run while we brush our teeth or wash the dishes.
7. Turn down your heater – Most heaters are set to heat water to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but our skin can’t stand water that hot, so we always use it colder. Turn it down to 120 degrees to save 10-15% on your energy bill.
8. Insulate your water heater – You can buy a special insulating cover that helps the heater maintain its temperature without using more energy to constantly stay warm.
9. Start composting – Composting is just letting your organic scraps decompose in a barrel or rotating composter. Use this material instead of store-bought, chemical-laden fertilizer.
10. Open/close the blinds – A lot of heat gets into the house through our windows. By closing your blinds or drapes, you reduce your cooling costs and energy. Similarly, opening them up will reducing your heating expense.
11. Optimize your car – You can improve the fuel efficiency of your car by properly inflating your tires, keeping your wheels aligned and getting regular oil changes and tune ups.
12. Look for leaks around your home – Seal up the cracks and gaps in your home with silicone caulk. Check around windows, doors, vents and anything that connects to the outside.
13. Donate old stuff – We all have old items just sitting around home. Donate anything you don’t need any more to a charity or Good Will.
14. Turn down the thermostat – Turn down the temperature in your home just a few degrees. No one will notice the difference, but you’ll save a lot of energy over the year.
15. Buy locally grown products – Food grown in your community doesn’t need to be frozen or transported. This reduces the energy cost of getting it to you (and usually the price).
16. Plant a few trees – Do you need all that backyard? Beautify your property and add some oxygen to the world by planting a few trees.
17. Make yourself aware – Do you know how much of a particular resource you use every year? How many gallon of gas or how many watts of electricity you used last year? Look a month-over-month comparison of these things so you can see if you’re really reducing your usage.
18. Eat less meat – Livestock accounts for a large part of the C02 in our atmosphere. If we all cut our meat consumption back, we could reduce the amount of livestock necessary to feed us.
19. Use cloth reusable bags – For just a couple dollars, you can buy a set of cloth shopping bags to bring to the grocery store with you. This will keep you from buying plastic ever again.
20. Go paper free – Set up all your bills to send e-mail invoices and updates. Pay electronically, not by check.
21. Use a reusable water bottle – Not only are plastic bottles leaching chemicals into our bodies, but millions of bottles clog landfills every year. Switch to a reusable bottle that you can fill anywhere.
Written by Cameron and Lorilyn Honarvar, Founders of Pacific Baby. Cameron was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in investment banking for several years. He spent time in Hong Kong. He's been in the baby product business since 1995 - spending 10 years as a retailer, 10 years as a distributor, and then 5 years now as the founder, along with his wife Lorilyn, of Pacific Baby. Lorilyn has designed many of the company’s products, and manages Pacific Baby’s marketing and promotional activities.
Presently, the Honarvar's run Pacific Baby, a line of natural and safe bamboo tableware for babies and kids, and getting their message out regarding environmentally sustainable and healthy feeding products!
For more information, visit www.pacificbabyworld.com.
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