On two recent trips, I became curious after receiving drinks with paper straws at both mom & pop establishments and well-known coffee houses. First, this was a fun throwback to my childhood years! Second, after doing a little bit of research, I found this is a helpful step in reducing the amount of plastic in our waters. Third, Avalon can provide many eco ideas for your promotional campaigns. There are various items that are actually made from recycled materials – bags, drinkware, apparel, print and more. Also, we offer many items/ideas that help reduce waste and lessen the bulk in our landfills. Always happy to show green, ecological safe products!
With Spring happily upon us (well maybe not this year in Ohio) and Earth Day and Arbor Day behind us, and after a little thought, I put together some ideas that we can incorporate in our lives – simple things to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle on a daily basis:
1. Make a shopping list
You’ll be more focused to buy what you need and won’t buy in excess. This will keep some waste out of landfills and money in your pocket!
2. Visit Your Local Farmers Market
Shopping at your local farmers market supports small farms and businesses AND is a good way to keep you and your family healthy with locally grown produce that are usually organic.
3. Bring Your Own Bag
This environmentally-friendly decision saves you from having those crazy blue bags overflowing your pantry and you’ll also be doing the environment a large favor! I always joke if those bags were nickels, our family would be very rich. To go one step further – consider dedicating a couple “bring you owns” to use instead of the plastics produce bags provided at the grocery store, which take years and years to degrade. I also carry a couple of thermal bags for meats, cheese, eggs or other goods that need to be kept chilled just in case there is a distraction on the way home. Yes, I too have to march back to the car when I forget to grab them – but I remind myself of the larger benefit!
4. Use Natural Cleaners in Your Home
While store-bought cleaners might seem convenient, many actually have harmful ingredients and chemicals. The cleaners can cause harm to both your home and the environment – from the aspect of both the chemicals used and plastic containers they are packaged in.
I always joke if those bags were nickels, our family would be very rich.
Making the switch to natural cleaners, like baking soda, vinegar and fruit, can make your home healthier and fresher while contributing to the green movement.
5. Household Plants
Although they add dimension to your home – common house plants can do more for you than enhance your interior décor. They actually help increase oxygen levels in your home and clean the air by removing toxins. The largest producer of toxins in your home is your carpeting, so add some live greenery!
6. Crush containers or cut bottle carriers
Our sea animals are suffering at our expense. How many pictures have you seen of fish, birds, turtles, dolphins and other marine life trapped in nets, eating our plastic waste, noses stuck in containers or plastic packaging? Take a minute to crush, cut or not buy items that are not fully biodegradable.
7. Celebrate without balloons or lanterns
Mylar balloons are not at all biodegradable. On the other hand, latex balloons are 100% biodegradable but the strings, ribbons and other decorations that go with them are not. In fact, the decorations are widely attractive to marine life. There are many other creative ways to celebrate that won’t be as harmful.
Especially if you have children, it is so fun to plant your own food. We have become enamored with planting in straw bales – the yield has been astonishing. I’ve always been a container gardener, but those will now forever be relegated to flowers. We are having fun with this new method. Impressive to have a salad made from our own mixed lettuces, spinach, basil and tomatoes! Discovery of last year – heirloom chocolate tomatoes!
9. Give up gum
Gum was originally made from tree sap, but of course is not any longer. It is now made from a synthetic rubber, so not only are you chewing on plastic, but you may also be chewing on toxic plastic such as polyvinyl acetate which is manufactured using vinyl acetate. Ugh. By skipping the gum and its plastic packaging, you are taking a step in the right direction.
10. Buy boxes, not plastic bottles
Buy laundry detergent and dish soap in boxes instead of plastic bottles. Cardboard can be more easily recycled and made into more products than plastic.
We all know we can play a part in reducing waste!