7 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

If you are breastfeeding and cloth diapering you have already made two great ‘green’ choices for your family! And are reaping the economic benefits of those choices at the same time! Are you interested in more green living ideas that could equate to saving money as well as the earth’s resources? Here are 7 simple ways to further reduce your carbon footprint:

Buy items used
Garage sales, craigslist, and thrift stores make buying used items a very accessible option. It may take a little extra time to search for desired items but it’s well worth the effort. Plus you might find some hidden treasures along the way. For example a recent favorite thrift store purchase of mine was a $3 couch. Yep, for the price of a cup of coffee, I bought a couch!

This couch cost me $3!

Buy in bulk
Bulk purchases tend to use far less packaging material and cost less per ounce. For example imagine the difference both in cost and packaging between buying canned beans versus a 10lb bag of dried beans. Spices are another item to consider buying in bulk. You can easily refill your existing spice jars with loose spices rather than replacing the entire bottle each time. If a bulk option exists when making a purchase, do the math and examine the packaging to determine if it’s the better buy. Check into local food co-ops for bulk purchasing.

Use a re-useable water bottle
Invest in a good, easy to clean re-usable water bottle and a water filter to replace purchasing disposable water bottles. You will definitely save money and decrease waste. Even if you are recycling the disposable water bottles, there are a significant amount of resources used in the production and shipping of disposable water bottles.

Buy locally grown produce
Buying locally grown produce may entail joining a CSA or shopping at a Farmer’s Market. It might be an adjustment at first because you will be limited to seasonal produce however the benefit of that is in-season produce taste much better and costs less!

Grow a Garden
It doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard! If the thought of gardening intimidates you, start out small. An herb garden is a good beginner’s garden. Once you’ve experienced cooking with fresh herbs from your own backyard, you just might get the urge to expand your garden to include a variety of vegetables. There’s nothing I love more than creating meals with vegetables harvested right out of my garden!

Some goodies from my garden

 

Use natural cleaners
Two inexpensive ingredients that you probably already have in your home can replace all those costly and toxic cleaners; they are baking soda and vinegar. These two ingredients can tackle almost any cleaning job as effectively as ready-made store bought cleaners. Another bonus is using far less packaging. You can re-use the same spray bottle over and over again filling with equal parts water and vinegar to make a cleaning solution.

Forgo nightly baths
Commonly night time routines include a bath, however a daily bath equates to a significant amount of water usage. Children don’t need to bathe daily and it’s probably better for their skin if they don’t. Typically a wipe-down with a warm wash cloth is an effective means of cleaning a young child’s skin. If you are used to bathing daily, perhaps you could replace the bath portion of your nightly routine with an infant massage. This would be a nice calming and connecting activity to do with your child before bed that uses far less resources than taking a bath (and it will reduce your water bill).

What do you do that is green? Would love to hear your eco-friendly ideas!!

Come back tomorrow for 7 more ideas on green-living.
-Sarah

Tags: bulk purchases, buying in bulk, canned beans, carbon footprint, cloth diapering, co ops, craigslist, go green, local food, packaging material, seasonal produce, spice jars, thrift store, thrift stores, usable water, water bottle, water bottles, water filter

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