While today is officially Earth Day, many related celebrations and promotional events took place this past weekend. I didn't attend/am not attending a celebration or anything, but today is just as good a time as any to get inspired by some good music (see bottom of post for Music Monday Earth Day Edition goodness), share some great green links (also towards the bottom) and re-commit to my own goals.
Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 each year, is now in its 23rd global year (originally proposed in 1969 and observed in the United States for the first time on April 22, 1970, it didn't become an international celebration until 1990). While there have been too many positive outcomes to bringing awareness to our environment over the years to recall here, there is still much to be done. And I do not have the answers - but I know what I will be doing to hopefully do my part in keeping our planet as clean and safe as possible.
The biggest thing for me - and I've been doing this for well over a year, but am still not 100% on board - is to continue the switch to home-made, eco-friendly cleaners that are also as cruelty-free as possible. To be honest, I'm more worried about animal cruelty than I am protecting the environment, but they do eventually go hand in hand. And I'll be attempting to do much better at the three basics: reduce, reuse, and recycle. More on those in future posts, hopefully. But any recycling I do is going to be an improvement over the amount I do right now, which is, shamefully, next to nothing. And my second home, Target, now has a small recycling center inside the store, so this should be a no-brainer.
Many of the following ideas fall under the basic three, but I thought they were worth mentioning on their own.....
Go paperless. I have my bank statement accessible online, only write paper checks every once in a great while, have gone mostly from paper books to an eReader, and will be putting as many coupons on my cell phone as possible. Shopping lists and calendars are all online as well! The only exceptions to the paperless goal at this time are:
While these may not be options for me, there's nothing saying they can't be perfectly viable paperless options for you, so definitely consider going paperless when and where you can and recycling/reusing the paper you have.
Go plasticless. I've been an advocate of the reusable shopping bag for a few years now, though you probably couldn't tell by seeing me shop. I am so bad about forgetting to bring them with me! But I finally settled on a design that works for me (I prefer the nylon ones that roll up into themselves in a self pouch which I can then just throw in my purse, many of which are relatively small). The best thing about any reusable shopping bags are that they are cheap, now readily available from virtually any retailer or grocer, and you can really have fun with them. So have some fun with them! (Just be better than me about remembering to put them in your purse or somehow carry them with you.)
Here are a few of my favorite green links - some to websites, and some to some of my favorite green cleaning products. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
- Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day cleaning supplies. Yummy and unusual scents. I love their dishwashing liquid - I use only a teensy amount, and it lathers up so nicely and gets my dishes so clean with little effort. And you can smell the scent all the way through the house.. I want to try each and every scent! Pure cleaning bliss.
- Method. has long been a staple in my household. Like Mrs. Meyer's, they also come in a variety of divine scents, all of which I want to try. Bonus? They're very affordable for green cleaning products and probably more readily available in retailers than Mrs. Meyer's.
- I don't have much experience with Seventh Generation products, but have been satisified with their dishwashing liquid and laundry detergents when I've used them. They don't seem to have the same range of scents as Mrs. Meyer's and Method, but they are affordable and readily available as well.
- Gorgeously Green has a large variety of home-made recipes for just about everything you could possibly need. I find the essential oils Sophie Uliano suggests a bit pricey for myself and most people on a tight budget, but you can definitely draw inspiration from her recipes, and substitute any different brands that you are comfortable with! That is what I plan on doing.
- Sayward at Bonzai Aphrodite is a newly certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator (congrats on this accomplishment, Sayward!), but she is also Socially Conscious, Totally Fabulous and I have drawn a wealth of inspiration from her blog posts. I'm sure you will, too :)
- Punk Rock Homesteading - lots of fascinating ideas here that are geared towards survivalism and sustainable living.
- Mousevox is a blog run by Rachel of Mousevox Vintage, where she promotes sustainability and eco-friendliness in her own unique way by styling fabulous vintage clothing finds sure to appeal to new generations.
Now for Music Monday - Earth Day Edition, I have two different songs called "Don't Go Near the Water"....today's theme at 4Ms is actually songs about earth, but these environmentally aware songs are still very fitting for an Earth Day theme in general.
My favorite is Johnny Cash's song, and I picked this video because the other two were just too hard to watch because they were mainly set to slideshows from the BP oil spill.
And if The Beach Boys are more your thing, here's a song by the same name that I found by them. It may not be the same song, but definitely carries the same message. And for me, it was a trip in and of itself just to watch such a vintage video!
Who are some of your favorite environmentally conscious artists/bands/musicians? What are some of your favorite earth-inspired and/or environmentally aware songs? Speak up in the comments!
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