Guest Author - Meredith Ball
Living naturally and helping Mother Earth is not a big step. Rather, all it takes is a little step at a time. So, to break it down into doable chunks, we will implement one new green tip each month of this new year. By the end of the year you will have twelve new ways you are living a greener, more natural life!
Just cool it January: Yes, it is cold outside in most places right now. If you live in a cooler environment, lower that thermostat. Yes, you read correctly - lower it. Instead of running the heat as soon as the temperature in your home hits 60 degrees, consider saving that electric or water by delaying the heat until 50 degrees. An alternative and great way to keep warm is to simply layer up in that big sweater, under the blankets, with a good book and a mug of hot cocoa!
For the love of chocolate February: The month of love, Valentineís Day and lots of chocolate! Consider buying Fair Trade Organic chocolate for your loved ones this month. You will feel better knowing that local producers created this sweet treat without pesticides and in harmony with that land.
Make it cleaner March: Spring is right around the corner so it is time to invest in some green cleaning products. Once your chemical based cleaners run out replace them with good old fashioned baking soda and vinegar. This concoction keeps windows and countertops clean and sparkly.
A bucket of water April: April showers bring May flowers so take this opportunity to set out rain barrels for watering your garden. Recycle the Earthís water in this way and save not only on your water bill but also on depleting one of Earthís most valuable resources.
Muscle building May: Now that the weather is warming up consider an alternative form of transportation to work. Remember that bicycle you have in the garage? It is calling for you to take it for a spin. Even if you canít bike to work due to distance or logistics, try doing a local errand by just adding a basket to the front of the bike for carrying goodies home.
Jolly harvesting June: Plant that organic vegetable garden you always dreamed of! Make it a family activity for the entire summer and harvest delicious ingredients for meals as well as fun family memories!
Jump in the sun July: Especially since it is lighter out longer, there is no need to have those lights on in your home most of the day. Be sure you and your family switch off all lights immediately after use.
A pile of leaves August: The leaves will start falling and make great compost and mulch. Start that compost heap and you can use this rich fertilizer toward the planting of your winter garden.
Shining September: Swap out all incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs to help your light last longer with less draw on electric.
Off in October: Invest in a power strip so that it is easy to flip the switch to turn off all of your electronics at once.
Nothing to it November: That incredible Thanksgiving meal you are making is sure to include all of the delicious ingredients from your garden. From squash to pumpkin your guests will enjoy the rewards from your compost and recycled rain water!
Dazzling December: Make this holiday seasonís focus about using less to give more back to Mother Earth and your community. Use newspaper as a vintage look for wrapping paper for those holiday gifts. Gift your time by volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Or, decide to decorate a replantable tree. The ideas are endless!
Hopefully you can plan a little bit of green into this year each and every month. If you have other ideas or additional ideas, go for it! When it comes to helping the environment the sky is the limit!