Earth Month: Seven Easy Earth-wise Habits

Sara Tetreault, the creator of Go Gingham, takes a “Good for you, good for the environment, and good for the pocketbook” approach to sustainable and stylish home-cooking, home-making, home-steading, and home-swapping. In honor of Earth Month, Sara shares seven easy tips for living a greener lifestyle, every day.

Changing habits can be hard but embracing a greener lifestyle is easy with these seven Earth-wise habits. Before you know it, you’ll join me in celebrating Earth day every single day!

1. Add a recycling basket next to your garbage can under the sink in kitchen. Add a scratch paper basket in the kitchen – envelopes, junk mail can be used as note paper.

2. Grow a vegetable garden instead of grass or hedges. Making space in a yard for growing food is a much better use of sun and water than grass. No yard? When you’ve finished your Earthbound Farm organic salad, try reusing the container to Grow Something Green.

3. Buy second-hand, first. Find fun in the “hunt” instead of buying new and “off the rack.” Look, search, be creative, and reuse everyday items in different ways. A card table with a design on it can be hung on a wall. Pictures from vintage storybooks can be placed in frames to decorate a child’s room. Porcelain bowls can be used to organize pantry shelves. Rethink clothing that you already own and turn jeans into capris with a simple hem, or make skinny jeans by taking in the side seams. You could also turn a dress into a skirt and top.

4. Instead of buying new home organization containers, rearrange what you already own. Baskets and boxes can be moved around and look refreshingly new when put in a different spot.

5. Skip wrapping paper and use old maps found at garage sales/estate sales or saved from National Geographic magazines. Save grosgrain and satin ribbons, too, and use a hot iron to get the wrinkles out. With sharp scissors, trim the ends to make the edges look fresh and crisp again. Make gift bags for the holiday season using fabric scraps and with right sides sewn together. Leave tops open or fancy cut with pinking shears. Add one of the saved ribbons that you pressed and trimmed for a finishing touch.

6. Embrace the harvest season. In the summer, plant seeds and grow gourds, pumpkins and squashes. In the fall, decorate the mantel or gather the vegetables in a large bowl. Once the holidays are over, roast, eat or make into soup. Save some of the seeds and dry them to use again the following year. Use nature to decorate at home. Pine cones, branches, and leaves can all be composted once the season is over.

7. Keep glass or sturdy boxes that food comes in to reuse. Glass jars can be reused for storing grains or spices and boxes can be covered with fabric to make pretty storage containers.

Change one habit and make it stick before moving onto the next. You’ll find that Earth-wise habits are not only good for the Earth but also for your budget.