Let’s talk about Earth Day. I like the Earth, you should like the Earth too! ALSO! I’m so excited to go see the movie Oceans tonight!
Things that make me not so happy include this:
That’s a big, dead, grey whale that washed ashore in West Seattle not too long ago. I have this not-so-secret fascination with whales and this was probably one of the most sad things to happen in a while. He didn’t die of like “oops the orcas attacked another grey whale” (which has happened several times this year already) but he starved to death…and when they autopsied him they found garbage. A LOT of garbage. This whale’s stomach included a golf ball, TWENTY plastic bags, small towels, duct tape and surgical gloves. OH AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE PAIR OF SWEAT PANTS!
Mostly I just find this ridiculous, like, REALLY PEOPLE YOU COULDN’T KEEP YOUR SWEAT PANTS OUT OF THE WATER? It’s really sad!
So today…in addition to this…
We’re going to talk about the easy things I do at my house to be a little more Earth-friendly, and WHALE-friendly!
I’m not even going to bother sharing with you the recipes for these cookies, it’s the same recipe I’ve used a million times.. if you need help with your cookie baking and frosting you can go
As for the land pieces…SO EASY.
Just find a picture of the earth you like, use your handy dandy photo editor to flip it so it’s backwards (this isn’t 100% necessary, but I wanted the flat side to be showing on my cookies, so I did the backwards version. Just do a bunch of these up…
Let them dry! Frost and Flood your cookies, and start placing them. This seems super labor intensive, but it’s not, I probably hammered these out in like 15 minutes.
The first speech about Earth Day was made in Seattle in 1969, so I feel like it’s my duty to keep up with all the people in Seattle who are doing a much better job than myself to save the planet, but, I AM TRYING TO HELP. Here’s the little,we don’t even notice it anymore, things we do to help save the planet…
Reducing our paper towel use. This was a hard one for us, but has been a lot easier since I also switched us first to commercial Earth Friendly cleaners (and now in the process to switching to natural homemade versions, recipes will comes as I have a chance to test out recipes and see what works). We use the dish towels on the stove for drying hands and dishes, wet countertops, etc. Pretty much anything that is non-messy. The rag hanging on the knobs under our sink is exclusively for cleaning. I’d say the worst part of this is that I had to give up my cute, always neatly hanging dishtowels on the stove. Now whatever dishtowel I pull out that week (sometimes they last only a week, sometimes less, sometimes more, depends on the usage.) is what is seen for the rest of the week. OH AND ALSO, THEY GET STAINED. That’s right, I stained my cute ikea dishtowels. This was a hard transition for me. On the same token we also use all cloth napkins now!
Air Dry! I absolutely hate it when I bump into that thing and it switches to heat dry. Not only is that a HUGE energy hog but if I’ve put anything plastic in there haphazardly, it’s going to get melted. Yeah, I’ve done that to my fancy kitchen aid measuring cups.
Speaking of dishwashers! One recipe I have used, tested, and love is a homemade dishwasher detergent. It’s super super easy, you can mix it in an old dishwasher detergent bottle, and every time you refill it you can pat yourself on the back for not having the extra waste! I’m always excited to re-use instead of recycle! Plastic recycling is a bummer, while I am glad people are recycling, plastic gets worse every time it’s recycled, so, it’s a faulty system. WHEN YOU DO IT THIS WAY! You can not even bother with the recycle part and reuse instead! I’m also currently saving a couple laundry detergent bottles for my next experiment in making my own laundry soap.
I am totally supportive of making your own cleaners, cleaners are expensive and if being frugal is good for the planet, DO IT.
This is the recipe I use for dishwasher detergent, I’ve never had any problems with not-clean dishes, but I have heard you can throw a 1/2 cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher if you’re having problems…
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
mix wet ingredients together in a bowl, mix dry ingredients in a bowl, using a funnel pour wet ingredients in detergent jug, then add dry ingredients, shake well!! Oh then you have to shake it well each time you use it, BUT YOU CAN DO THIS. Trust me.
This is a multi part thing to do! 1. REUSE REUSE REUSE. I used these egg cartons as planters. 2. You’ll also notice they are the cardboard ones, which are totally recyclable. 3. I’M ALSO USING THESE TO DO STARTER VEGGIE PLANTS. Eating locally is Earth friendly!
The only trucking that will need to be done with these vegetables is me walking my butt out to the greenhouse to pick them when they’re ready. And maybe go out there to water a few times.
I think the best way to explain this picture to you is with a quote from The Boyfriend over a year ago…
Yes, it is true, that short little thing is our trashcan, the gigantic can is our recycling can. It’s nice that while recycling is not mandatory where we live, everyone does it! Our recycling dumpster is always full! Our next thing to conquer is to reduce our waste all together. I’d like to have wayyy less garbage and recycling.
Reusable shopping bags!! I definitely don’t want to contribute to the plastic bags in that whale’s stomach. This bag is always in my purse, and I’ve even really messed with the Republi-Dad by pulling it out at the small town grocery store he shops at.
Buy in bulk! The Boyfriend probably has no clue we do this. He never goes shopping. But! We buy in bulk! There is less packaging wasted this way and almost every time it’s MUCH cheaper.
The Automatic light. I’m not going to lie, the original reason for this light was because I was having to turn on a million lights to go downstairs because I’m scared of the dark. OH NO! EVERYONE KNOWS NOW. But yeah, I kind of freak out when I can’t see what’s in a room and our place stays pretty dark. But on the other hand! This is really eco-friendly! We never accidentally leave the light on and we can use this one light to go from the living room to the bedroom without turning on any others.
Not every lightbulb in our house is a CFL, but we’re working on it. Awesomely, the electric company around here routinely offers free ones or trades your old lightbulbs for new CFLs, I think The Boyfriend is pretty interested in the new LED bulbs, but we’ll see…they’re pretty pricey. But yay! CFLs, we like that they’ve started making the Reveal Bulbs as CFLs because The Boyfriend and I like the kind of light they put off, so we’ll probably work towards switching to those.
And the tiniest, easiest, little thing you can do…stop drinking bottled water! We use these cups all the time, and it’s probably disgusting how infrequently we wash them. But yes! Even The Sister can handle using a plastic reusable cup.
It’s not about doing everything, it’s about doing something.
Happy Earth Day!