Don't buy bottled water! When we installed a new sink and faucet in our kitchen, we were sure to include a small faucet for a water filter. It provides us with fresh, purified water for drinking and even to use while cooking. Instead of plastic water bottles, I just re-fill a reusable aluminum water bottle with water from our filter. Re-usable aluminum or stainless steel water bottles have gotten less expensive and you can usually find one for under $10 like this nice one from Target.
Eat Earth Friendly! Many people may be surprised to learn that not eating meat is the single greatest thing you can do to minimize your carbon footprint. The meat industry is one of the biggest pollutants in the world and a United Nations report found that it is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." Raising meat requires a huge amount of resources with the amount of land it requires, water used, grain fed to animals, gases emitted, and fuel used to transport. The meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined! Not ready to give up meat? Try cutting back by not eating meat one day a week, this is easier than it sounds and can make a huge difference on the environment. You can also minimize your impact on the environment by buying food locally and growing your own fruits and veggies. Read more at Choose Veg and Go Veg.
Use recyclable shopping bags! I think most of us are doing this by now, but if you're not, get with the program! Not only are these more Earth-friendly than using plastic/paper bags, but they are also much more convenient as they are sturdier and hold more than the bags you get at the grocery store. I keep a few re-usable shopping bags in the car so I have them with me whenever I got to the store. And remember, they're not just for the grocery store, use them when shopping at other stores too. They're usually about $1, but this week at Walgreens you can snag 3 bags for $1 with this printable coupon.
Recycle! We all know it's important to recycle, but did you know that you can recycle light bulbs, clean aluminum foil, pie tins, and single use and rechargeable batteries? Check with your local township to see what types of items they recycle and the proper process to do so. For the usual recyclables, like paper, plastics, and glass, I found that putting plastic bins right in my kitchen pantry to create an easy recycling station made recycling easier and more convenient. Check out Earth 911 for more information on what types of things can be recycled.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day and to live Earth friendly? Many companies have Earth Day promotions for today. Today only, you can get your printer ink cartridge refilled at Walgreens for just $1, get a free bottle of facial cleanser from Origins, and win some great prizes from Earth 911!