As you sit down with your family to open presents this Christmas, don’t forget to give the earth her present. Help keep our environment clean by minimizing waste.
Taking care of the earth is not only a great gift to give her, but it is our responsibility because the earth is our home. So I challenge you this Christmas to give the gift that keeps on giving. Make it a goal to recycle more; be more energy conscientious; or volunteer to pick up litter.
Once you get a rhythm or routine down, it will become like second nature.
What I do as my part of taking care of the environment
Where I live we do not have curbside pickup for our recycling. I have lived in an area with curbside pickup, and it was wonderful. But now I have to take two extra steps to recycle. I have to sort the recycling and take it to the drop-off place. Now that I got into a habit of this, it really isn’t that much extra work.
In my house we have two trash cans – one for garbage and one for recycling. Once the recycling can is full, I sort it into bags. When the bags are full I take them to the recycling center. It literally takes me about five minutes to dump the recycling at the center. And since we began recycling, our garbage has decreased by about two-thirds. That makes me happy.
Since I began recycling, I have also become conscientious of buying packaging that can be recycled. The soaps I used to use to wash my face came in large tubes. They do not have a recycle logo on them. So I began to buy soaps in a pump and bottle, which can be recycled.
Also our recycle center only takes number one or number two plastics. Many of the packaging in the grocery stores are numbers higher, like three, four, and five. Cream cheese comes in a number five package. So we buy them in a cardboard box and reuse the plastic container that I cannot recycle.
If everyone does little things like this, we can keep a lot of trash out of landfills.
As an ambassador for Hike Like A Woman, I pooled advice from my HLAW family. I loved discussing this issue with them, and I learned a few things that I can do better to help our environment. As nature lovers, here is what we do to protect our environment.
Something I think that really helps the environment and makes me feel that I accomplished something, is simply packing out more than you pack in. Otherwise picking up others’ trash you find along the trails or even on the water when paddling. We also do the same at campsites, leaving them cleaner than we found them.
Read about Annie here.
I try to be conscious of packaging when I purchase anything. I always try to purchase the item with the least wasteful, most recyclable packaging. Also, composting, using refillable water bottles, not purchasing individually wrapped/packaged items, are great ways to help.
Read about Michelle here.
Especially in regards to hiking and backpacking, using reusable bags instead of plastic baggies can make a difference. I love using our Lunchskins snack, sandwich size and lunch bags any time we go out. And I bring wet bags for putting dirty or wet clothes in instead of a plastic shopping bag.
Read about Jennifer here.
This is something I’ve recently been trying to be better about, by making my gear and clothing last as long as possible. So for instance, I got my well-worn hiking pants patched and taken in a bit when I lost weight, instead of buying new ones. I’ve also been trying hard to repair and repurpose gear, and to not get sucked into “upgrading” my kit.
Read about Ruth here.
I can NOT honestly say that the decisions I make are based on purposeful, thought-out decisions to be eco-friendly. Shame on me, right? I think as I age, I just make wiser choices without the true conscious thought of how does this work out for the environment in years to come. For instance, I buy energy efficient appliances, drought tolerant plants for landscaping and, yes, an “eco” model car. My husband and I carpool to work, drive at a rate of speed that typically keeps the car in eco mode and most importantly…we park it and hike a lot more.
In my younger days I would drive through a lot of places, but once I discovered that hiking gives you so many views and opportunities that you will never get from the road, I have been afoot! I would have to say that hiking has made me more conscious of the environment in regards to “trash-in, trash-out” and leaving the trail better than I found it. I think as an outdoor enthusiast, we subconsciously make decisions that have long-term positive impacts without even realizing it…imagine what we could do if we were conscious about it!
Read about Lorna here.
It’s hard to shrink your carbon foot print. Many of us use water bottles or bladders when we hike, but are you using them everyday? I use enviro friendly laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. Almost all of my art work is done of reused, repurposed, recycled materials. My kids all carry lunch in reusable bags and use Light My Fire flatware to eat with. They also carry refillable cups or water bottles. We have recently been using recycled blued jeans a plastic to make shoes for children in Uganda, who are affected by a parasite called jiggers, with a company called Sole Hope. Many of my students have been making dog tug toys for local animal shelters out of old T-shirts.
Read about Amy here.
I try to keep my gas guzzling SUV in the garage as much as possible by walking or riding my bike on errands around town. My kids have been known to share the bike trailer with a load of groceries. I totally judge my neighbors though….they spend 15 minutes warming up their truck to drive their 8-year-old three blocks to school. I make my 5-year-old walk the half of a mile to his school, rain, shine, or snowstorm. World’s. Meanest. Mom.
Read about Rebecca here.
I now make my own deodorant and toothpaste, and am working on other products – soap, body wash, lotion, candles, etc. I’m doing so in an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals I personally use on my body and in my home but also to reduce the amount of chemicals and waste used in the manufacturing of such products. Obviously I am only one person and may not make a significant change, but it all starts with one person!
Read about Jennifer here.