How to Protect the Earth at Home

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Take a realistic approach to protecting the earth and first consider what you can do in your own home. This is much more manageable than taking on the world. It is in these simple everyday steps that one can make an impact. By setting a good example for your children, you are fostering a sense of stewardship that will last generations to come.

  • Make your own non-toxic cleaning products. Doing this will reduce the use of plastics because you are reusing plastic containers to hold the cleaning products. The ingredients are also biodegradable which means it is gentler on the environment.

  • Use cloth bags at the grocery store and for all your grocery needs. Store them in the trunk of your car so you always have them on hand. You don't have to limit their use to the grocery store. If you don't have a cloth bag with you when you are shopping, ask yourself if you need a bag at all.

  • Explore the idea of purchasing energy-efficient appliances. They may cost more upfront but in the end you will save money because they use less energy. Replace regular light bulbs with their energy efficient counterparts. You pay a little more, but the life of the bulb is significantly longer.

  • Set up a compost bin. Add a few less things to the landfill by composting your kitchen scraps. All plant-derived foods, coffee grounds and tea leaves can be composted. Have a small container in your home to place items in. When the storage container gets full, transfer the waste to an outdoor bin. Use the resulting rich fertile soil in the garden.

  • Grow an organic garden. Being able to rely on yourself for fresh produce is very rewarding. Share your harvest with neighbors, can and preserve the excess for years to come. If you don't have the space or time to grow a garden, shop locally and support local farmers.

  • Reduce the use of car travel. Consider using public transportation, walking, car pooling and bike riding to get to where you want to go. If you must travel by car, shop for a fuel efficient/hybrid vehicle and keep up-to-date with emissions checks.

  • Reuse clothing. When possible, look for hand-me-downs for your children's clothing. Shop resale shops, garage sales and pass clothing items on to friends and family. Consider doing this with toys too. When you do buy toys, choose ones that are built to last. So many of the plastic toys available fall apart quickly and end up in the trash.

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