The ‘official’ description of Earth Day is a day set aside to demonstrate and declare your support for environmental protection and preservation. April 22nd is the day set aside each year for this purpose, but just like Mother’s Day isn’t the only day moms should be treated with lots of TLC and respect, and July 4th isn’t the only day Americans should express gratitude and appreciation for this country, Earth Day is not the only day we should be concerned about the impact we have on the environment.
I cannot tell you I am a recycler that hauls plastic, paper, and glass to the recycling center. I’m also not going to tell you I never use paper towels, spray pest control on my flowers and veggies, and that I have made the switch from plastic forks and spoons to something more environmentally friendly when we go camping. But I’m not a total reprobate when it comes to doing my part. I actually do quite a few things to protect the environment and mother nature. The things I do are practical, cost-efficient, easy, promote good health, and make our home a little more cheerful, welcoming, and homey.
Most of what I do are things our moms and grandmas did ‘just because’. In fact, I frequently think, “Granny would be proud of me” and “Women back in the day knew a lot more than we gave them credit for—we would do well to adopt more of their old-fashioned ways”. So, in honor of Earth Day 2022, I want to share several of my tips for protecting our environment so that it will be a happy, healthy, beautiful place for the future generations of our family to call home.
- I use cloth napkins every day. Even though it’s just my husband and me, it saves money, and it makes each meal a little more special and pretty. FYI: the argument that it costs more because of the laundering involved won’t hold water (pun intended). You do laundry anyway, and the space eight or ten napkins takes up in your washer (four- or five-days’ worth) is nothing.
- Use glass storage containers instead of plastic. Glass can be washed and put in the oven and microwave without emitting chemicals into the food.
- Use cloth, plastic, or silicone bowl covers that can be washed and reused over and over again.
- Compost your coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit and vegetable scraps, teabags, bread scraps, and used paper towels. Even if you don’t have a garden or flower beds, you can put the compost in a tub with ventilation holes or wire basket lined with coconut fibers and give it to someone who does.
- Recycle your magazines, greeting cards, and newspapers by donating them to nursing homes, daycare centers, or art schools to use for various craft projects or learning exercises.
- Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues.
- Use a lunch box and reusable containers when going on a picnic.
- Use socks, t-shirts, and worn-out towels and washcloths for rags. Use an oversized shirt as an apron, and offer your old throw rugs to animal shelters for pet crate bedding.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs.
- Plan your errands in such a way that you avoid backtracking, which wastes gas.
- Replace your furnace filters regularly and keep the housing around your air conditioning unit free of debris.
- Don’t overcrowd your dryer. It’s better to dry your clothes in two smaller loads than one large one.
- Keep the blinds closed when the sun is glaring in the windows during the summer to keep your air conditioner from running excessively. But in the winter, leave them open so the heat from the sun can help heat your house.
- Make sure your house is well insulated. Don’t try to go into the attic yourself. Ask a younger friend or family member to do that task for you.
- When you light the oven, cook multiple items that you can reheat and use throughout the week. Example: Lasagna, meatloaf, enchiladas, and chicken pie. Oh, and don’t forget a few cookies for dessert.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of what I do to ‘do my part’, but it is enough of one to get you started thinking about and doing your part, too.
Guest post By Darla Noble
The views expressed by the author may not reflect the views of Age Safe America, LLC. The content here should not be taken as medical, legal or financial advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your own healthcare, legal or financial professional with any questions.