BY PAULA SIROIS
It’s OK. You can admit it. All things green and earth-friendly have swept the nation and pretty much everywhere you look, people are either talking about recycling or carrying those bags that we’re all supposed to use instead of paper or plastic.
And here you are stuck in the middle. You recycle at home, but you don’t really know your carbon footprint number. You don’t bring your own bags to the grocery store, don’t have a compost bin in your backyard and don’t know how to incorporate being green into your busy life.
Here are three ideas to get you started:
1. LESS REALLY IS MORE: Start focusing on using less of everything. For instance, a slow cooker requires one pot and that’s it. Compare that to all the pots and pans we use to make dinner, and all the water we use cleaning them. Consider using less packaging when making your kids’ sack lunches. One reusable lunch bag will save countless brown bags over the course of a year. Consider buying the economical glass jars of honey instead of the smaller plastic versions.
2. ONE A DAY IS ENOUGH: Sit down with your family and come up with a list of green ideas and then tackle one a day and see what happens. Those things that work for you will be repeated over and over again while others that may not fit your lifestyle and family yet, like composting, will be put aside for later. Consider biking one day a week instead of taking your car. Or use a line to dry your clothes just one day a week, or make Wednesdays a meatless-meal day.
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE DIRT: Being green isn’t just about edible gardens and raising chickens; it’s also about reusing and repurposing things. Simply bringing clothes to Goodwill is part of it, and so is turning the glass jars that once contained tomatoes or soups into candleholders or flower vases. Think about other ways to use everything you have and you’ll be a real-life green advocate in no time.
Paula Sirois is a Florida-based writer who specializes in family life and frugal living for www.RetailMeNot.com, the No. 1 coupon site in the world.