by Pebble Tossers
Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and spring is in the air! During this season, we are reminded of the beauty of our world. As we watch seasons transition, we also remember that we all play a part in caring for the Earth.
Each day we make many choices that affect our world. Everyone from kids to adults to grandparents can take these simple tips and apply them to their own lives. If we all do our best to love the Earth, it will continue to provide for us as well.
1. Choose to recycle instead of throwing everything away.
Recycling is an easy way to reduce waste! Many homes have a recycling bin right outside and there is local pick-up for things like glass, aluminum, plastic, and paper. Be sure to visit the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials for those random items like batteries, old tvs, paint, or lightbulbs. They take it all and make sure it is recycled properly.
2. Turn off the lights when they are not in use.
We can all be aware of the use of lights in our home. When you leave the room, take a minute to turn off the lights. Not only does this save money on the electric bill, but it also means your home is using less energy.
3. Choose to walk, ride a bike, carpool, or take transit.
Instead of getting in a gas-powered car to travel everywhere, try an alternative, environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Check out carpool options near you created by Georgia Commute Options. Pull out a map and make a plan as a family to walk to a friend’s house, ride bikes to the park, or take a bus to the movie theater!
4. Plant something green.
Planting trees, flowers, or shrubs is a great way to give back to the Earth. Sign up for one of Pebble Tossers’ upcoming gardening projects! Plants that are native to Georgia tend to grow best and are better adapted to our heat and humidity. Walter Reeves offers a seasonal calendar with recommendations for which plants to plant each month and recommends pruning the spent blooms from Azaleas in April.
5. Eat local foods.
When we chose to eat local foods, we are reducing our carbon footprint. Pick a local farmer’s market or CSA, then try eating local, in-season fruits and vegetables.
6. Compost organic matter.
Another way to reduce waste is by composting organic matter! Composting keeps reusable matter out of our landfills. You can do this at home, or have your compost picked up! Composting is easier than you think. Transform a small trash can outside into a compost bin and toss in “green” items like fruits & veggies, tea bags and coffee grounds.
7. Pick up litter.
The Earth is home to all of us. When you see waste, stop and put it in the appropriate bin. Even discarding a small piece of litter makes a big difference in keeping our world clean for everyone!
8. Shop at a thrift store.
We can reduce waste just by shopping at a thrift store! Buying second-hand clothes, furniture, sports equipment, or toys keeps them out of the landfill. Plus, you can find some cool new items for half the price!
9. Bring a water bottle with you.
Last year, on average, each American used 167 plastic water bottles! Instead, this year, find a reusable water bottle to bring with you. Choose a water bottle in your favorite color to remind you to bring it along!
10. Keep the refrigerator door closed.
Think about what you need to get from the refrigerator, then reach in and grab it quickly. Holding the door open releases the cool air, making the refrigerator work harder, and increasing its energy use.
11. Donate clothes you no longer use.
Just as you can shop at a thrift store, you can also donate clothes. Pass along outgrown items for someone else to use, reducing waste. Just because you can’t wear something anymore doesn’t mean no one else can! Many thrift stores support nonprofit organizations and the funds they raise from selling clothes help further their missions to help fellow Georgians. A few of our favorites are St. Vincent de Paul, Community Assistance Center, Threads, Salvation Army and the Atlanta Mission thrift stores.
12. Check your thermostat.
In the winter, turn your thermostat down a few notches, wear warmer clothes, drink hot chocolate, and wrap up in a blanket. Then in the summer, instead of blasting the AC, try opening a window, using a fan, or wearing lighter clothes.
13. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Instead of letting the water run, turn it off while brushing your teeth or shaving to conserve this vital resource. Even a few seconds of water can add up to 200 gallons per month!
14. Grow a houseplant.
Having a houseplant around helps purify the air naturally and is an up close way to teach kids about the helpfulness of plants in the environment. You can find houseplants at your local home improvement store.
15. Use reusable lunch boxes.
We can cut down on waste by using the same lunch box each day, rather than brown paper bags. Choose a favorite lunch box or bag that you will remember to bring with you.
Try using these tips this month! You may not be able to see the impact of your choices on the environment around you, but each small step makes a big difference. What are some other environmentally friendly choices you make?