*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program.
Tomorrow, April 22nd, is the 44th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day. This year the Earth Day Network announced that the main focus of Earth Day will be to help put a face to climate change. One of the easiest ways to help prevent climate change is through a commitment to minimizing waste and recycling as much as possible.
At our house, we have made several small changes over the years that have not only helped us be more environmentally friendly, but have also had a favorable impact on our wallets.
We reduced our usage of paper towels, by using wash clothes and old diapers for cleaning and dusting. We are able to use it for a little while and then, I simply rinse them and toss them in the wash. We still use some paper towels for certain clean-up, but generally use less.
We reduced our usage of paper napkins, by purchasing and using cloth napkins everyday. My family was a little hesitant at first, but now has fully embraced them. You can see my post on moving to cloth napkins here.
We reduced our usage on paper plates by purchasing a set of plates that we can use for game night, birthday parties and other social gatherings at our home. When we are done, we simply fill the dishwasher and clean them up. We actually recently extended our purchase to include not just 24 dinner plates, but about 15 snack plates too. For those that want a smaller plate. You can see my post on eliminating paper plates here.
We reduced our usage of plastic utensils by purchasing a set of inexpensive silverware that we can use for game night, birthday parties and other social gatherings at our home. We found a set of silverware at Sam's Club that allowed us to get enough place settings to meet our needs even at our larger gatherings. You can see my post on elmininating plastic utensils here.
Each year Hormel Foods strives to do their part in the conserving energy and reducing pollution. In 2011 they reduced their solid waste to landfills by 29 percent and completed 33 packaging reduction projects to reduce materials used by 4.2 million pounds! To learn more about these successes and many others please visit http://2011csr.hormelfoods.com/goals/.
There are plenty of simple ways that you and your family can help out this year, including:
* Next time you want to enjoy a picnic, pack-up an eco-friendly basket with dishes from home instead of paper plates and plastic utensils. Enjoy a healthy spread with products that are known for their eco-friendly and sustainable packaging. One example is Hormel® Natural Choice® deli meats. Hormel® Natural Choice® deli meats comes in packaging made of 100 percent recycled material – making them the only national brand that features 100 percent recycled packaging. Just last month, Hormel® Natural Choice® launched their new line of Family Pack deli meats – perfect for feeding a large group and cutting down on your trips to the store.
* Pack lunches in reusable containers instead of plastic zip-lock bags that can only be used once. Take it a step further by saving and using plastic containers from take-out meals.
* Opt to receive bills and notices through email instead of by mail. Most banks and organizations offer a “paper-less” option, which will not only help cut down on wasted paper, but shorten your stack of mail that comes in every day.
* Offer your support through a contribution to the Earth Day Network! Or check out the many opportunities to volunteer in your community. http://www.earthday.org/take-action
What efforts do you and your family make to try and minimize your carbon footprint? What is your favorite “eco-friendly” activity?
No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information for this post.