By Kim Masoner
It's very easy to be green. Just take a good look at your trash. Pick one item to eliminate, and figure out how to do it. Repeat as often as you can, and we will all make a big difference! Before throwing anything away, ask yourself if it could be recycled, reused by someone else, donated or composted.
Share these simple steps with your friends and family. If every person who reads this tells one person who tells one person who tells one person... you get the idea. For our planet to get cleaner, we ALL must be greener. And it's easy. Here are things I've changed in my life.
- I now always carry a reusable water bottle with me (I keep them filled in my refrigerator and just grab one on the way out the door), so I no longer use single-use water bottles (even though they can be recycled).
- I no longer buy Coke in a six pack with six pack rings as these rings are plastic and if they find their way to the ocean, they harm animals (I now buy Coke in a box and the cardboard can be recycled).
- I now have a glass straw thanks to glassdharma.com (if it breaks, glassdharma will replace it free of charge), and I keep it in a bamboo carrying case in my glovebox so I no longer use plastic single-use straws.
- I now take my printer cartridges to Costco to refill rather than take to recycling; Costco fills them for one-third of the cost of a new cartridge, and I'm creating less trash.
- I no longer buy single-use batteries. I only buy rechargeable batteries and then simply recharge them (batteries can be recharged up to 250 times!).
- I no longer leave my phone plugged in overnight charging as it only takes an hour or two to charge (saving me electricity).
- I changed all of the light bulbs in my house to the energy-efficient kind (saves me money on my electric bill).
- I try to buy food at the grocery store that is in glass containers instead of plastic (like salsa, for example), and then I wash the containers and use them for leftovers.
- I now use a natural wooden dish brush instead of a plastic dish brush.
- I collect Capri Sun juice pouches from our cleanups and send them to a company called terracycle.net, and they give me 5 cents for each one and create great lunch bags, pencil pouches and backpacks out of them.
- I no longer use single-use plastic grocery bags. I now take my own reusable bags to the grocery store.
- I now crochet single-use plastic grocery bags into bedrolls for the homeless. (Here's a video that shows how you can do it, too.)
Kim Masoner, a former businesswoman, found her second act as the leader of SaveOurBeach.org, a nonprofit group that organizes beach cleanups and other eco-friendly events across Southern California.
Read more: For Kim Masoner, Every Day is Earth Day