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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Small Life Changes Can Help Protect Mother Earth and Save Money

Wastefulness is a real problem that continues to impact our environment. We need to be proactive now in order to leave our children and grandchildren with a better planet than we have today. These are some of the small life changes my family has incorporated into our daily lives to be more eco-friendly and as an added bonus, saved money.

Prevent food waste by separating fruits and veggies.  Fruit produces a gas that causes vegetables to ripen quicker and ultimately go bad sooner. We try to prevent food waste by putting fruits and vegetables in designated bins in our refrigerator and keep unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables in separate areas on our counter. Another idea is to have an “eat me first” container for foods that our family knows needs to be eaten sooner before they expire. If we do have expired fruits and vegetables, before throwing them in the garbage, we compost them to make nutrient-rich soil for our garden. Think about it, if you throw away food that has gone bad, you are ultimately throwing away money.

Bank water. Take shorter showers and save thousands of gallons of water a year. If you reduce your shower time from 10 minutes (50 gallons) to 5 minutes (25 gallons), you are saving water, time, and money. Another idea is to install a rain barrel to collect rainwater to water your garden or other plants.

Stop environmental waste. Don’t buy something new when you already own a product that works perfectly fine. If you upgrade to something new on the market, you are creating more environmental waste on top of wasting your money. Do you really need the latest and greatest iPhone 13?

Reduce plastic pollution. Buy products packaged in glass jars instead of plastic ones. Bring reusable bags or choose paper if you must bag. You may think you are recycling but the truth is most plastic is not easy to recycle or reuse and sits in landfills for thousands of years. Another idea is to use a reusable sandwich bag instead of a new plastic baggie for your food. Ditch the other disposables and switch to regular utensils and a reusable travel mug for your meals on the go. Packing your own meals and snacks is great for the environment and your wallet too.

Save paper. Go paperless in your office and opt for electronic bill pay. Use a bidet and reduce toilet paper usage. Use a cloth hankie instead of tissues or washcloths instead of paper towels. You’d be amazed at how much paper you can do without and how much money you’ll save from not buying paper goods.

Did you know that although planting trees is a popular Earth Day activity, fall is actually the season to plant trees and shrubs? It is important that each of us starts somewhere to do our part to save Mother Earth. Choose one environmental change to start and once you have that under your belt pick another that you feel strongly about and soon you will see how your environmental footprint has reduced and how much money you have saved.

Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas is a freelance writer and for the past 8+ years writes the money column for Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine. She has lived in Fredericksburg for 16 years with her husband and is a homeschooling mom to their two boys. Nikki enjoys hiking, knitting and her other side hustles of pet sitting and event management.

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