Sometimes I can overwhelm myself by focusing all my attention on ways that I’m not “green” instead of celebrating the small changes we have made. As Earth Day 2011 approaches, I thought I’d share with you the 11 ways we’ve changed:

  1. Get to know Earth911.com. Great resource for the latest in all things “green” but what we use most is their search feature that lets you type in anything you want to recycle along with your zip code and it directs you to the best place.
  2. We use Nellie’s PVS Free Dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. They help clothes dry faster, aid in wrinkle & lint removal and act as a natural fabric softener.  I know, I know… we should hang clothes outside and be even greener but I’m not there yet.
  3. Educate the kids! Read Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax about a creature that speaks for “the trees”, watch The Story of Stuff or borrow the DVD of Wal Mart: the high cost of low price from your local library.
  4. Support green companies. We’ve loved Bloomin for a while for their fantastic seed cards, gifts & green practices but a few weeks ago they also did their own Earth Day article that carried suggestions for ALL WAYS to reduce, reuse & recycle. Locally, here in St. Louis, check out Home Eco or the fantastic new Verde Kids.
  5. Turn off water while brushing teeth. Leaving the tap running during the recommended two minutes of brushing can waste up to five gallons of water a day.
  6. Buy local food. Join a CSA, grow your own with the help of Backdoor Harvest or frequent any of our (or your) fantastic farmer’s markets. Additionally, here in St. Louis, Local Harvest Grocery has just moved down the street into a fantastic space and is better than ever offering at least 50% of their goods from within 150 miles.
  7. Buy secondhand clothes. Locally we have The Scholar Shop and Next where I get 80% of any new clothes I need and Kangaroo Kids for the children. We also trade with families that have opposite gender/ages than us.
  8. I share magazine subscriptions with friends. We swap out once we’ve finished and I try really hard not to rip out pages before I pass on. 🙂
  9. Reusable mugs / bottles for coffee & water. See prior posts for details.
  10. We do all our our banking online as well as receive all of our bills via estatements.
  11. Take our own bags anywhere & everywhere.  We have bags stashed in both cars, in my purse and a post-it to remind me to take them into the store. We even have smaller cotton ones for produce.  If you absolutely forget, make sure and recycle the ones you get from the store.

Your turn – What changes have you made?