I remember when I first saw organic salad mix being sold at Costco. I thought to myself, “This country has arrived; we are moving towards being greener, and lo’ the planet shall be healed!” Today shopping through Costco or any store for that matter, you can easily find a product that is “reusable, recycled, 100% natural, organic, or plant based.” It’s remarkable how the mainstream has caught onto the environmental movement and how consumers are embracing it!
Everyday we make choices that impact the health of our planet. We can begin with the choices we make in our home, including how we clean it, decorate it, furnish it, what we do with our waste, etc. By making a few (or a lot of) tweaks, you and your family can contribute greatly to the healing and regeneration of the earth.
- Bar Keeper’s Friend: An old-time, soft cleanser that uses rhubarb powder as its active ingredient to cut grease and grime. It cleans glass stovetops, counters, toilets, porcelain and more
- Lemon oil: Shine-up bathroom tiles and prevent mildew
- Denture tablets: Drop a tablet into the toilet for a half hour or over night and that pesky ring inside the commode should come off with just a light swish of a brush
- Wet pumice stone: By far the best oven cleaner and much more gentle than a harsh chemical on you and on the planet
- Vinegar and water: An excellent deodorizer especially for a not-so-fresh bathroom. Just spray the shower once you have finished showering and the odors are absorbed within an hour
- Food waste: Anything that is not derived from an animal, save for egg shells, can go into a compost bin. You can have a little can by your sink for vegetable scraps, coffee filters, hair from your brush, and even dryer lint. You can collect the compost and then have a bin outside for your garden or find out if there is a community compost where you contribute your scraps for the greater good
- Re-using resealable bags: They’re great; they take up very little space in the fridge or in a lunch box and you can even write on them. The press and seal bags can be washed and dried many times allowing you to reuse a box of them for a long time
- Paper: Buying unbleached paper products or recycled paper products: Includes toilet paper, paper towel, napkins, & feminine pads
- Fibers/Fabrics: Choosing eco-friendly fabrics such as bamboo, hemp, or recycled plastic the next time you consider purchasing clothing, blankets, linens, or towels
We have friends that live in Key Largo in a tree house. We love visiting them because they designed their house so one actually feels that they are living in a tree. They did this not only for the sensation but for catching the cross breezes as they chose not to have air conditioning. They also have a Clivus composting toilet that never ceases to lose its novelty. The house is raised on stilts and because of this, they were able to install a composting toilet. There are no flush levers on Clivus toilets, you just “go” and so does “it.” “It” drops into a very large composter downstairs, in this case in the car port, and once in a while, our friends have to add a pinch of this or that to help the waste break down but otherwise, there is absolutely no smell and no wasted water. Anything that would normally be composted can just be “flushed” down the toilet! The kids love it!
- Building supplies: Yes, it’s true, you can have an entire house that is green. There is even a “Green Depot” on line at www.greendepot.com
- Using environmentally friendly services: From telephone and wireless service to green plumbers and beyond, you can find a company, local or otherwise that can offer virtually any business in a green alternative, visit www.greenhome.com/resources to find out about environmentally friendly carpet cleaning, painters, home cleaners, etc.
- Want to live off the grid? Build a yert or a mansion or maybe you want to start off with a zero-carbon dog house? There are plans available at www.dreamgreenhomes.com. If you build one of these structures, please share your images!!
Whether you choose mild, medium, or spicy, your efforts make all the difference in the world, literally. What goes down your drain today, ultimately makes it way into the ocean at some point. The Earth is our home for just a little while and it is meant to be shared. Like a quintessential houseguest, treat our planet like you would another person’s home: gently, with kid gloves, and with loving care.
Enjoy this weekend of celebrating our home, the only one of its kind that we know of! Take pleasure in whatever weather your area has to offer and relish in the sun, rain, wind, snow, or cloudy skies. Take deep breaths of air and spend quality time out of doors exploring, looking, and being grateful for green space, water, soil, and clean breezes.
Happy Earth Day to You!
In good health,
Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades
Writer and Social Media Correspondent
Professional Fitness Instructor
FB: The Write Fit & Open Barre Happy Hour