Happy December, folks!
I’m pretty pumped that December is here. For many, myself included, 2016 was a rough year. I look forward to all that 2017 has to offer, but I’m also trying to look back on 2016 with some grace and remember that I’ve learned a lot through those rough days, and I have my little family unit for which I am forever grateful.
Now, onto green habits! My five November green habits went surprisingly well!
My thermostat is programmed, I began buying bulk products where possible, we’re making the switch to green cleaners and I have a much better understanding of what our recycling situation is looking like, where we can make changes, etc.
The goal, of course, is to build on the previous month with an additional five new habits. Check them out below and see the giveaway at the end of the post! Here we go:
1. Commit to the Refillable Cup
While it’s true that my city now recycles coffee cups, it would be so much better to not have to recycle them at all. Every year 58 billion – yes, billion – paper cups are thrown in the garbage, and it took 20 million trees to process said cups. And it took about 12 billion gallons of water, arguably our most valuable resource, to make them. I’m a near-daily visitor to Starbucks. Now, budget aside, I’m probably in the range of 300+ cups thrown out per year. I’ve maybe recycled 30 since our city changed their policies, but it’s not as though recycling doesn’t require significant energy and resources, too.
I’ve always HAD a recyclable cup, but in the moment I either forget it or it isn’t clean. New habit to develop – I’m sticking a post-it note on my door to remind me each morning to put the cup in my bag. Fingers crossed.
2. Sew Energy-Efficient Curtains
Okay, so this is a project and not a habit. Maybe we need to change the name of this series… Anyways, we’re headed into winter, and it has made me painfully aware of how much heat we are losing through our bedroom curtains. I’m cold, the bedroom is cold, and our poor heater has to work double-time to try and keep the bedroom comfortable. We have energy efficient curtains for the other major windows in the house, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend $60 per panel (we’d need 3 panels – $180 –eek!). Now for the sewing project. I went online and found some examples, bought the fabric, insulated quilt batting, and all the related supplies for a total of $60 – a third of the price of getting them from the store.
Will it take me a few days and require me to make them in the wee hours or while the baby is sleeping, yep. Am I still willing to do it? Yup.
3. Switch to Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
As part of our garbage/recycling audit, I noticed that the room we do the worst at recycling in is in the bathroom. Apparently this is super common, as the effort to clean out old shampoo, conditioner or soap containers puts people off recycling them. Again, think of the billions of bottles that get thrown away (many I hope are recycled) per year. Can we avoid that? I say yes!
When travelling through Southeast Asia, David and I wanted to bring carry-on only. This is mainly because I feared a Brokedown Palace situation, so refused for my bags to ever be out of my sight. The problem would be toiletries. The solution? Lush Shampoo and Conditioner bars. Three shampoo bars lasted TWO people three months. Seriously! I couldn’t believe it. They take up no space and my hair has never been cleaner. At the time the conditioner bars were so-so, but they’ve since reformulated the conditioner bars for improved performance. You can even buy reusable tins for personal use or travel ease.
Men – shield your eyes for the next one.
4. Switch to Cardboard Tampon Applicators
Don’t get me wrong, ladies, I love Tampax Pearl. They’re smooth and glide easily, but that plastic sits in a landfill for decades. Is it really that hard to switch to a cardboard applicator that I can then recycle? Nope. We’re talking maximum 5 minutes of my life every month. No biggie. Easy switch.
5. Place a Recycling Box in the Bathroom
Out of sight, out of mind. We recycle the least in our bathroom in part, I believe, because we then have to bring all recyclable materials to another room. Especially for someone like my husband who doesn’t come from a recycling culture, we need to make these switches easy. No more tossing the toilet roll cardboard, boxes that housed soap or old medication containers (yes – check for the recycling symbol!).
Okay, so, BIG GIVEAWAY TIME! You’ve just heard me rave about the Lush Shampoo and Conditioner products, so I’ve bought a set, including tins. for one lucky reader. This giveaway is open to anyone in North America or the U.K. Here’s what you have to do to enter:
- Go to the Girl Tries Life Facebook page
- Like the page if you don’t already.
- On the FB post for the giveaway (tagged at top of my FB page), tag 5 friends who you think would share your enjoyment of this blog.
That’s it! Easy peasy. I’ll be picking a random winner on December 16th, so you’ve got one week!