Spring: Time for Families to Go Green

"Spring: time for families to go green" by Colleen Mallette (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2018), CC0/PD

Spring is such a beautiful time of year here in the Mid West. The grass turns bright green again, the trees burst with green leaves and the budding perennials start blooming. All this greenery makes me think about the importance of being “green” around our homes. Being eco-friendly is more than just a catch phrase that applies to celebrities. Each person’s imprint on the earth makes a difference and it is important we all do our part to make this beautiful world God created endure for generations to come.

I thought I was doing a good job of being green. However, my college-graduate son has introduced our family to many additional ways we can help save our earth. It’s not just about recycling; it’s important to cut down on all use of disposable plastics and reduce carbon emissions from our cars, the amount of water we use, and the trash we produce.

Doing these things not only helps the environment, but typically saves money as well. Besides, they are great habits to teach our children for the future of our world. If every reader implemented just one of these earth-saving tips daily, think of the impact it could have on our energy sources and landfills!

Here are ways to help your family go green this spring:

Reduce trash:

  • Cut down on disposable paper product use – use sponges or rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, ceramic plates instead of paper plates, reusable microwave plate cover instead of waxed paper
  • Use parchment paper instead of foil (which doesn’t decompose)
  • Use containers for food items like leftovers instead of plastic bags
  • Find ways to repurpose items instead of throwing them away
  • Make your own compost area
  • Use dryer softener balls instead of disposable softener sheets
  • Reduce excessive purchases of food, clothes and toys
  • Sign up for online paperless billing
  • Switch to cloth diapers, at least just when at home

Reduce plastics:

  • The big thing now is to eliminate plastic straws – use paper or none
  • Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic disposable bottles
  • Use reusable cloth grocery and shopping bags instead of the stores’ plastic bags
  • Use reusable mesh produce bags at the grocery store instead of their tear-off plastic bags
  • Use washable fruit and vegetable containers with strainers built in

Reduce carbon emissions from vehicles:

  • Coast when approaching intersections or stop signs
  • Don’t punch the accelerator hard when the light turns green
  • Drive the speed limit
  • Combine errands to one trip and resist running to the store for just a few items
  • Get oil changed regularly
  • Clean out the garage so your car can sleep indoors overnight and last longer
  • Walk or ride a bike or public transportation when possible

Save energy:

  • Use LED light bulbs as you replace current ones
  • Turn out lights when you leave a room, hold off turning them on at dusk
  • Install programmable thermostats to keep the temperatures low when no one is home, overnight or on vacations
  • Reduce the time you let water run whether you are showering, brushing your teeth or washing your hands
  • Use cold water as much as possible (laundry, showers and washing hands), don’t turn the water on high and fix that leaky faucet
  • Hang laundry outside on a line to dry when possible
  • Turn off your computer completely at night
  • Unplug chargers and infrequently used appliances like the toaster
  • Switch appliances to energy efficient models when they need to be replaced (“Energy Star” labeled)

Adopt just one of these ideas to improve your family’s imprint on our wonderful world: Recycle – Reuse – Repurpose today!

Copyright 2019 Colleen Mallette


About Author

Colleen lives in Ohio and is the proud mother of three young adults. She loves being a full-time stay-at-home mom and a part-time bookkeeper for her husband. She likes to read, write, scrapbook, and volunteer, and is excited to use her talents to share God’s love and the hope of His promises through CatholicMom.com. Colleen is co-author of “In Godʼs Hands, Miracles in the Lives of Moms” and blogs at Colleen's Contemplations.

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