Spring into Action: Earth Day Activities

Earth Day Activities

There is no shortage of Earth Day Activities to help celebrate and preserve our beautiful Earth, especially with all this beautiful weather we’ve had. In honor of the beautiful weather and Earth Day right around the corner, I’ve compiled a list of Earth Day Activities.

There is no shortage of ways to spring into action. Help celebrate and preserve our beautiful Earth with this list of Earth Day Activities.

  1. Take Alternative Transportation

    As much as I like a quick car ride to work, it often serves as a barrier to me and my environment. There is so much we miss in the car. Taking a walk, riding a bike or even a bus can completely change the point of view. You might find a new restaurant, hang out place, even make new friends when you think outside the car. Plus, one less car on the road has amazing environmental benefits and health benefits.

  2. Have a Buy Nothing Month

    There are so many benefits to having a buy nothing month. From the mining or harvesting of resources, to pollution and working conditions of factories, capitalism is not the best thing for our Earth. An economy based on capitalism does our Earth a huge disservice and wreaks havoc on our pocket book. Being aware of what we buy and why we buy can put us in better position both financially and environmentally.

  3. Plant a Garden

    There are so many environmental and personal benefits to growing your own food. The average piece of produce travels over 3,000 miles to get to your plate. As the produce travels, it loses its nutrients and taste. There is nothing more delicious than a freshly picked peach, picked at just the right time, but there is no way to enjoy those benefits unless you grow your own. Plus, if you grow your own food, you get to control whether pesticides are used.

  4. Use Reusable Shopping Bags

    As Americans, we go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year, costing retailers about $4 billion dollars.

    There is a mindset that plastic bags are “free,” but not only do stores hide their cost in higher prices at the register, but also there is a cost for taxpayers of .17 cents per bag in pollution clean-up costs too. In the state of California alone, public agencies spend more than $25 million annually to manage plastic bag pollution.

    It’s easy to forget those reusable bags. I’ve gone to great lengths to make sure I never have an excuse to not use them. I put a set in my car’s truck, but some by the doors, so I can grab them as I leave, if I plan to walk.  Another solution is to get bags that fit easily in your purse, pocket or on your keychain, so I can have them at all times.

    Even without plastic bags, we still bring in tons of plastic items into our homes. To take this step to the next level, you can opt for plastic-shopping. Bring your own produce bags or bulk items sacks.

    There is no shortage of ways to spring into action. Help celebrate and preserve our beautiful Earth with this list of Earth Day Activities.

  5. Pick up Litter

    There is only a few times in life where you can have your cake and eat it too. What better Earth Day activities would there be than to make the Earth a cleaner and better place, while also enjoying the beauty of nature?

  6. Reduce Food Waste

    According to the USDA, Americans throw away 25 percent, 52 billion pounds, of the food they purchase.  During the holidays, it is estimated, we throw away three times during this time as much as we do the rest of the year. This one area you can definitely make a major dent in saving your family money and also helping our Earth.

    Food waste is an epidemic in America and probably in many of the other first world countries throughout the world. There are many reasons for this problem. Food is getting cheaper and cheaper, so now people tend to undervalue these products. Also, people are so far removed from where their food comes from and how much work goes into it that again, people undervalue their food.

     

    Get organized and start meal planning is one of the best ways to reduce food waste. You can also plan to trade leftovers and meals with family and friends, if you’ve bought too much or made too much for your family. Although it should be a last resort, you can also compost raw produce to help cut down on food waste.

  7. Set Goals

    Sit with the family and set specific goals to recycle and save energy- It’s often as easy as changing your light bulbs, adjusting the setting on your fridge, or making a routine trip to a nearby recycling bin.

  8. Switch to Non-Disposables

    Really, using single use products is just silly. I get so tired of seeing my apartment complex’s trash filled with single use plastic items, Styrofoam and paper products.

    I mean come on. Water bottles only contain FOUR cents worth of water and for what? There is more and more information being released that clearly says tap water is no worse than bottled water. Yet, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year.  Only 25 percent of that plastic is recycled, but if we recycled the other 75% we could save 1 billion gallons of oil and 44 million cubic yards of landfill space annually. If you just HAVE to have bottled water, opt for gallon jugs or those huge reusable jugs for your bottled water needs.


    Here
    are some other great ways to drastically reduce your use of plastic and why these steps are so important.

    This doesn’t go for just bottled water. This also the case for Styrofoam. Styrofoam has a whole list of chemicals linked to all kinds of health problems that can be leached into your liquid, especially hot liquids like coffee. Plus, Styrofoam is virtually impossible to recycle or reuse.

    This is why a reusable bottle is one of the first changes you can make to help reduce the amount of trash you throw away.

  9. Contact

    And last, but not least, contact corporations, your local representative in congress, anybody who practices unsustainable. Ignore the first paragraph of this post and it has EXCELLENT info about why you should contact your congressperson and how to do it.

    Earth Day reminds us we all share the same planet. Sharing Earth means taking responsibility for what we use and how we use it. It is a day to think of the environmental challenges we face and how to solve them. Protecting Earth is every person’s and every country’s responsibility.

Looking for some other ways to celebrate spring? Check out these other posts!

How the Beauty of Spring Shows the Renewal of the Gospel – The Peculiar Treasure

DIY Spring Flower Pots with Patina Copper – Curbside Overhaul

How to Choose Plant Varieties in the Garden – Little Sprouts Learning Garden

Don’t forget to pin these Earth Day activities for later!

There is no shortage of ways to spring into action. Help celebrate and preserve our beautiful Earth with this list of Earth Day Activities.

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How to Get Organized and Save Money

My Journey to Get Organized and Save Money

Over the past few months, I’ve had an influx of chaos, so I decided it was time to get organized and save money. During my research for finding the best tips and tricks for a budget, I learned 21 percent of Americans don’t have a savings account. Of the Americans that do have a savings, 62 percent don’t have over $1,000 in their savings.

I was pretty shocked by this news. With my personality I always thought it was important to save money. It was the only thing that could help me function at times, knowing I had money to fall back on. I wanted to help others get those same tools, so they too could have the security of a savings.

When I was younger, the solution for saving money was simple. Just don’t spend any. All I had to buy was gas to get to school and work. The other things such as food while I was out, entertainment with friends, clothes and gadgets were optional. For the most part I would have rather save money than spend it on that.

Getting organized to save money is not always the easiest, but with these nine tips, you can be sure to have a successful no-spend month.

Adulting is Hard

Of course, saving money as an adult is a bit more difficult. You have bills for one. For two, after you spent such a large amount of money on all that boring stuff, it feels like you’ve earned it to play a bit. As an adult, I have a weakness for food. When my mom made all my meals, it was easy to make good choices because it was a no-brainer. Occasionally, I would go out with a friend or on my lunch break.

Now that I have to cook for myself all the time, I have to make good choices from beginning to end. That’s a lot more difficult. I have to decide to buy wholesome ingredients, then actually go home and cook them. That’s a huge battle, especially when it’s easier and tastier to eat out. Plus, it’s a comfort thing. My mom’s food was comfort. Cooking my own food is never comfortable, but eating that greasy mushroom swiss burger “that I earned” totally is.

When I moved out on my own, I easily spent a fourth of my paycheck on food-both to cook at home and eating out. It was the only thing I’ve really worked on curbing back. One way I did this was cut down the amount of times I go to the store. Not only is it time consuming, but the more I went, the more I spent. I was always finding something that wasn’t on the list that I just ‘needed’.

My Solution to Save Money

I joined a pre-paid local community-supported agriculture program to get all my veggies once a week. I plan all my meals around what I get there, which makes it a ton easier. Instead of making whatever catches my interest on Pinterest that might have a bunch of expensive ingredients that I only need a tiny bit of, I can use more staple ingredients. Every 2 or 3 weeks, I make a trip to the store and stock up on meat for the freezer, dairy and other staples, along with any toiletries I need. This has been the biggest change I’ve made to save money.

Now that you know a bit about my story, here are my tips to prioritize and get ready for a no-spend month.

  1. Figure Out the Why

    There are many reasons to participate in a no-spend month. For some it’s to save money, for some it’s a way to find out exactly what you’re spending money on and why. A no-spend month can help you declutter your life, mind, and organize your priorities. For me I lend toward the environmental reasons. From using up the Earth’s resources for the production process to pollution in the manufacturing process and finally the disposal process- capitalism really puts the Earth through the ringer. Not to mention the human rights war fought in each step of the process. Knowing these costs help keep me focused on what’s important and helps me decide what I need to have in my life. You have to do the same in preparation of your no-spend month.

  2. Know Your Weaknesses

    And have a plan. For me, it’s obviously food. On a bad day, I really want that ice cream shake and mushroom swiss burger. Really, really bad. So what is going to be my reward instead? Giving myself time to read a book? Taking the night off to watch a movie I already own? Making myself a special dinner out of what I already have? Finally getting to that special upcycle project I’ve been itching to do? These all are great options to replace that ‘reward’ that wasn’t really good for me, my budget or future. Knowing my weakness can help me put a plan in place to avoid a fall. Even if I do fall, it’s not the end and the rest of the month still counts, so I have to find a way to get back on track as soon as possible. Also, I try to think about the thoughts behind that action. What was the true motivation that lead me to that choice, so I can address it and avoid it in the future.

  3. Take Back the Power

    Some times social conditioning can really take a negative toll on our life. Companies capitalize on that tiredness we feel from a rough day at work and the need we feel to be rewarded. They also capitalize on that anxiety we feel when we see a SALE that we just don’t want to miss. I don’t need a special outfit for that special occasion. Just because there is a once in a life time sale, don’t mean another opportunity won’t come around. The people and cat in my life will still love me even if I don’t buy that necklace or that new pair of shoes. Those things don’t define me. Getting rid of the stuff, so that the important things can fit was an important lesson I learned in my no-spend experiences.

  4. Practice the Pause

    Before I start a non-spend month, I practice saying no. Instinct tells me to indulge as much as possible before I cutback, but I find it’s much easier to practice before, so there’s not so much whiplash. Most people tend to have problems with cold turkey approaches, it’s important to kind of get in the groove before the no-spend month. Before purchasing or even eating anything, I ask myself is this something that I really need in my life? In my body? Will it improve my quality of life?

  5. Make a List of Necessities

    What do you have to pay for? These things include rent, utilities, debts and other monthly expenses. It’s important to know exactly how much money you have coming in and going out. It will make budgeting decisions in the future much easier.

  6. Take Stock of Food

As I mentioned earlier, this is the hardest category for me. Some no-spenders don’t buy any food at all. Instead they rely only on what they have in the pantry to cook everything from scratch. Others just buy fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. This is a difficult category because it is considered a ‘necessity’ but there is a fine line. You have to find a strategy that works for you. Because my weakness is obviously food, I avoid the store at all cost and just use what I have. It inspires me to be creative to use what I have.  Cutting down trips to the store will help cut down on buying unnecessary items and also save gas.

7. Get rid of disposables

Rather than stocking up the week before you start a no-spend month, it should be about using what you have, instead of stocking up in preparation. It would be impossible to participate in a no-spend month with disposable items in the equation. Paper towels, napkins, paper plates, disposable cutlery is replaceable with permanent items.

8. Cut out luxuries

That latte you get every morning? It’s a luxury. That newspaper you read on the train ride? Luxury.

This will vary from family to family but, in general, recurring bills, gas and groceries would be considered necessities while lattes, restaurant meals, and new shoes would definitely be off-limits. But again, food causes a bit of a predicament because even groceries can be a luxury. Steak every night with cheesecake and bottled water would be considered a luxury. Learn how to cook a whole chicken, shred your own cheese, and cut your own vegetables. Single-serve and pre-packaged items have a higher mark-up and when there is a cheaper alternative it goes in the luxury category. Think what your parents and grandparents did. Those little things add up.

9. Get Creative

Creativity is essential in a no-spend month. Have a special event and you need something special to wear? Dig through your closet and get creative. Have a birthday coming up? What can you make out of what you already have as a gift or maybe even cook something special for that person. No-spend months are all about getting creative and using what you have. To me, that’s the part that makes it so fun. Anyone can go find a sale item, but not many people can see potential in what they already have.

Getting organized to save money is not always the easiest, but with these nine tips, you can be sure to have a successful no-spend month. Be sure to leave a comment with your best advice for a no-spend month.

Check out these other awesome posts for more tips and tricks to get organized this spring!

Ordering Seeds, Stay Organized – Little Sprouts Learning Garden

Organizing Tips for the Unorganized – Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

Free Ways to Organize your Stuff -They’re Not Our Goats

How to Organize Your Life When You Are Not – The Peculiar Treasure

For the Birds: DIY Bird Seed Container – Curbside Overhaul

Don’t forget to pin these tips for later!

Getting organized to save money is not always the easiest, but with these nine tips, you can be sure to have a successful no-spend month.

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How to Have a Waste-Free Holiday

Waste-Free Tips

Is it possible to have a waste-free holiday? It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays and forget to be careful about the things we waste.  Check out these tips to help cut down waste in the areas of packaging, food, gifts and decorations, and start enjoying your waste-free holiday.

Check out these tips to help cut down waste in the areas of packaging, food, gifts and decorations, and start enjoying your waste-free holiday.

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7 Ways to Repurpose Leaves and Celebrate Fall

Fall is the air. As the temperatures cool down, the leaves start turn pretty colors, and people get their rakes out. Raking leaves is necessary because leaves can clog drains, get stuck in the gutters and coat everything. But what happens to those leaves we bag up? Despite the fact that they still have use, most are layered on top of the landfill to buried under layers of more trash. What a waste when there are so many ways to repurpose leaves.

There are so many good uses for the fall leaves. Instead of packing them away in the landfill, we can repurpose leaves and celebrate fall!

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How to Pack a College To-Go Bag

What is a To-Go Bag

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I’ll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it’s important. Obviously, some of the things I present are extreme, but I’m an extreme person. Don’t feel the need to do all these things, every day, but do consider some small changes to help reduce the wasted opportunities of every day life.

To-Go bags in college are essential to any time and money saving lifestyle. Today, I'll talk a little about what a to-go bag is and why it's important.

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Save Green Even When You Can’t Upgrade Appliances

Tips to Save Green for Renters

When you don’t have complete control over your living circumstances, it can seem impossible to save green, whether money or energy. Sometimes making these lifestyles can require more money, or maybe more control over your living situation.
The biggest hurtles to saving green are:
  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning
  • Lighting
  • Clothes Washer
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Refrigerator (if it was made before 2001)
  • Water Heater

All these are pretty difficult to control when in a renters setting or with low income. But with these tips, no matter where you can save both money and energy.

When you don't have control over your living circumstances, it seems impossible to save green, whether money or energy. With small changes it can be done!
This post contains affiliate links. The purchases through these links help grow the blog.

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Organize Your Way to Less Food Waste

Tired of Food Waste?

Food waste is an epidemic in America and probably in many of the other first world countries throughout the world. There are many reasons for this problem. Food is getting cheaper and cheaper, so now people tend to undervalue these products. Also, people are so far removed from where their food comes from and how much work goes into it that again, people undervalue their food.

Tired of wasting food? With these simple guides, you can learn to meal plan like a pro to save money and waste.

Recent developments in my life have made me realize how much money I am wasting through my food waste. Not only is food waste bad for the environment, but it’s bad for my budget. I’ve gotten better over the past few years, since I first moved out on my own. But with the help of my ultra organized mom, I am taking my mission to reduce food waste to a new level.

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Don’t Break the Bank With These 5 School Break Boredom Busters

School Break Boredom Busters

Boredom Busters like the ones listed below are an affordable way to keep your kids busy. My mom, a daycare provider, has a great saying “If you don’t keep the kids busy, they’ll keep you busy.” It’s a mantra she says especially around the summer months when kids are out of school, as she plans activities to make sure her kids keep their hands and minds busy.

With school break just around the corner, things aren’t going as planned, not enough money or time off to go on vacation, what’s a girl to do?

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