Earth Day, Every Day :: Three {Not So Easy} Steps to Save the Planet

Earth Day, Every Day :: Three {Not So Easy} Steps to Save the Planet | Houston Moms Blog

Whether or not you keep up with the news, you’ve probably heard that we only have 12 years to save the planet. The global consensus within the scientific community is clear and well- backed :: the earth is warming at a faster rate than ever before and it’s because of us

I’ve always liked the idea of being environmentally conscious but when the IPCC took off their kid- gloves and raised an alarm, something inside of me sparked. By the time my kids are old enough to move out, they’ll be living in a dying world where Europe is uninhabitable, half of the world’s species are extinct, and the population is fighting for basic resources. 

And I’m not prepared for that. No one is prepared for that. 

The simple truth is that the burden of saving the planet doesn’t actually lie with us consumers; it lies with businesses and countries who are the world’s largest polluters. Paradoxically, I also know that we can’t sit around waiting for someone else to save us.

In honor of Earth Day, I’m bringing you three {not so easy} steps we’re taking to reduce our carbon footprint- and you can, too!

Target Your Biggest Waste

Pro- tip :: it’s probably plastic. Whether you’re using sandwich bags to pack lunch, a daily to- go cup with a straw, or getting frequent take- out, plastic is one of the largest pollutants. This is my first year packing lunch for my kids on the regular. Every morning, I was using at least two sandwich bags per kid. SO. MUCH. PLASTIC.

It’s not enough to take an inventory of your habits, you have to make a change. I found some great alternatives on Amazon and I’ve been using them ever since.  That’s at least 30 plastic sandwich bags I have NOT used in the last month! So, there- I gave you an easy one. Here are the products I liked best ::

  • Langsprit Premium Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags– When you’re done, just turn them inside out, pop them in the washer, and start it on a gentle cycle, then lay flat to dry. They’re also dishwasher safe!
  • National Geographic Beeswax Wrap– I’m still getting the hang of using these in place of cling-wrap but so far, they have worked beautifully for wrapping sandwiches. They actually kept the sandwich more fresh than a plastic bag AND you can re-use them again for up to a year!
  • SnapLock by Progressive Lunch Cube– Like a bento box, this lunch cube has sections for a main entree and snacks. I love using Tupperware for crackers and fresh fruit- nothing gets smushed or crushed!
  • Senneny Collapsible Reusable Straws– I am addicted to straws and I could probably keep straw companies in business even if they were banned from restaurants. I even use them at home- I’m using one right now! I chose this product because it comes in a two- pack and it has it’s own key chain storage. 

Educate, Educate, Educate

You’ve heard of the Three R’s- Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. I think a lot of people are lost on how to accomplish the first two. There is no way around it, we have to accept responsibility for educating ourselves on how to reduce and re-use the amount of plastic we consume

It is also up to us to actively seek companies which promote ethical business practices such as honest marketing, reduced packaging, and responsibly-sourced ingredients. Not long ago, my favorite whole wheat bread was marketed as Non-GMO. I knew next to nothing about the research at the time so I assumed it was healthier. Imagine how salty I was to find out that GMO wheat didn’t exist. I was being had! There was no shame in their game and no way I was going to fall for that again.

Pro- Tip :: Stop recycling the plastic containers your foods come in! Recycling is GREAT but Re-using is better. Check out part of our new “greenhouse” made exclusively of used containers from the grocery store ::

Vote By Purchase

Put your money where your mouth is; vote with your wallet and ask businesses to do better. Remember the infamous Starbucks straw debacle? Starbucks decided to change their lids in order to use fewer straws. Many cheered but some folks weren’t pleased. Starbucks was quick to ensure straws are still available on demand. 

Demand is key- with enough of it, companies will change their tune whether it’s packing, pollution, or marketing. Write to businesses and ask them to use biodegradable packaging; tweet to your local coffee shops to start using real tableware for dine-in orders. Keep doing it and eventually, you could see important initiatives begin to take shape.

There are endless ways the average consumer- like you and I- can try to save the planet, from Slow Fashion to supporting biotechnology. It’s not always easy, it’s not going to be enough, but it’s totally worth it. 

What are your best tips for honoring Earth Day? Share with us in the comments. 

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Kathryn grew up in Katy during a time when catching crawfish after a storm was totally normal and you could gorge on blackberries just by walking the fields. While attending Blinn College, she developed a passion for teaching and, after graduating from University of Houston, dedicated several years of her life to working with underprivileged youth. Recently, Kathryn dove head-first into entrepreneurship by pursuing real estate and the dream career she has imagined since she was nine years old- writing! When she isn’t clicking away at her keyboard, you can find her juggling the demands of a blended family, painting in her garage, seeking out Houston’s best kept secrets, or walking the isles of her favorite store, Home Depot. Kathryn has children from her first marriage and later became a “bonus mom” when she met and married the love of her life, Victor. Between them, the couple have six children- Antonio {2000}, Jacinda and Penelope {2002}, Elisabeth {2006}, Naila {2007}, and Sebastian {2008}. Kathryn and her family love the arts, dogs, reading, baseball, boiling mudbugs, pretending to be food critics, and enjoying the great outdoors. You can keep up with Kathryn’s entrepreneurial journey at The Cut and Shooting My Shot.


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