• Ashley McGuirk

10 Easy Ways To Show Our Planet Some Love

Happy Earth Day Friends!

What an incredible planet we live on! How amazing is it that our planet spins on its axis in the middle of space and sits the perfect distance from the sun? It’s a miracle in itself and we get to live here, enjoying this masterpiece we call earth. Seriously though, take a minute to think about it. Earth provides us with everything we need from water to food, to shelter, to air etc. It’s our universal home and it deserves nothing but love and respect from all of us. That’s why I’ve decided to share 10 ways to give our planet some extra love. Below you will find 10 easy, at home practices to reduce waste, recycle and improve our mother earth. Not only do these practices benefit our environment, they also benefit our wallet. So, I challenge you to pick at least one of the following tips and adapt it into your lifestyle. See how it changes the way you help reduce waste and save money! Win-Win.

After becoming a mother, I've realized how important it is to create a healthier and brighter future for my family. Our planet needs our help and by recycling, reusing and adapting practices that create less waste we're doing our part. I want to set a wholesome example for my children to treat our mother earth with love and compassion. Making the choice to become more sustainable has been humbling, but also rewarding in many aspects. I'm doing my part to create less waste, to decrease pollution and give my children the chance to celebrate our environment. I want them to have the opportunity to swim in oceans, run through fields, climb trees, experience wildlife, hike to the top of mountains, plant seeds and watch them grow. In my lifetime, Ive come to the realization that experiencing nature and exploring our environment have provided me with some of my favorite memories of all time. I want this for my children AND for your children. Please, take a moment to consider the tips I offer below. In doing so, you are giving our children's future a chance to experience the magic of mother earth. Remember, every little bit counts.

1. Eat one plant based meal a week

I know many of you may roll your eyes when reading this, but seriously, think about it for one minute. Eating one plant based meal per week adds up to 52 meals a year! If one of us or even two of us put this into practice that would be over 100 meals per year that didn’t include meat! Why eat a plant based meal once a week? Because cattle farms are the biggest contributor to pollution on the planet. By choosing to eat just ONE meal a week that contains only plant based ingredients you're helping save water, plants and our environment. In addition to this, eating one plant based meal per week also provides amazing health benefits. These days there are thousands of plant based meals that not only nourish your body but also taste freaking incredible! So please, take into consideration swapping out one meal a week with only plant based ingredients. Below I have linked a couple of my favorite blogs that offer a ton of plant based meals that are too yummy to pass up.

· Plant based recipes blog 1 Minimalist Baker

· Plant based recipes blog 2 Rainbow Plant Life

· Plant based recipes blog 3 From My Bowl

2. Use a refillable water bottle!

I’m so surprised whenever I see someone with a plastic water bottle these days because the amount of plastic on earth right now is at an alarming rate. One way to help contribute to less plastic waste is using a refillable water bottle. Not only is it more expensive to buy plastic water bottles every week, but it also contributes to a TON of waste. Do yourself and our planet a favor by purchasing a refillable water bottle! There are thousands of styles and brands to choose from and they’re very affordable. If you’re not sure where to start I’ve linked a couple of my favorite brands.

· My favorite Refillable water bottle

· Glass refillable water bottle

3. Reusable grocery bags + mesh produce bags

This one has been on the up rise for years and I think it’s absolutely brilliant! Reusable grocery bags are great for many reasons and the top two are saving money and saving the environment. You can find them at any grocery store on convenient store for 1-5$. I also took it a step further and recently purchased a pack of reusable mesh bags for my produce. It’s a great way to store produce while shopping at the grocery store or farmers market. I realized the amount of plastic being used to transport produce to and from the grocery was unnecessary. The mesh bags are cheap and easy to use. In the long run, it will save you money and help reduce the use of plastic bags. They’re easy to find, use AND they’re incredibly affordable. Also- they come in handy for so much more than groceries. I use mine whenever I bring food over to cookouts and I pack them in my luggage for easy, on the go beach bags.

· Reusable grocery bags

· Reusable mesh produce bags

4. Reusable containers or Tupperware

I’m sure most of you could have guessed this one, but I’m going to challenge you and take it a step further. Whenever you reach for a plastic sandwich baggy or aluminum foil to wrap some leftovers in, instead try to store them in a reusable container. I store leftovers in glass mason jars or containers I have stored in my pantry. It makes all the difference and yes, you guessed it!! It will save you money and create less waste.

· Reusable mason jars

· Reusable Tupperware

5. Cloth dinner napkins

Now this one is a little old school but it makes all the difference! Last year I made the switch to cloth dinner napkins instead of paper towels. I realized we were going through rolls of paper towels left and right and it was creating so much waste! So, I went to TJ Maxx and picked up a pack of 8 cloth dinner napkins. They were under 10$ and I just throw them in the wash with a load of clothes because they barely take up any space in the wash. It will save you mullah and decrease waste. Below I've linked a pack of 12 solid color dinner napkins for under 20$.

· Cloth dinner napkins

6. Reusable silicone mats for baking/roasting

Any bakers around here? I LOVE to bake. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time. So, when I began this journey of creating less waste I realized how much parchment paper I was using on a weekly basis. Let me tell you, it was a lot! I used it for baking cookies, breads, healthy candy bars, roasting veggies, potatoes etc. I couldn’t believe how much money I was spending on top of the waste! So, I went ahead and ordered some reusable silicone baking mats from amazon. They’re a life saver! You can use them for just about anything and they’re easy to wash. Just through them in the dishwasher and that’s it!

· Silicone baking mat

7. Reusable silicone sandwich baggies + Bees wax wraps

At first trying to find a way to replace sandwich baggies with something reusable was a challenge. That’s when I discovered Stasher bags and bees wax wraps! Silicone baggies are reusable and easy to care for. They’re dishwasher safe and a great way to save money and create less waste! Same thing goes for the bees wax wraps. They’re adorable, easy to clean and if you’re feeling really ambitious you can make your own. Both products make excellent gifts and can be used for so much more than just food and sandwiches. I’ve linked both products below!

· Reusable Silicone Sandwich Baggy

· Reusable bees wax wrap

8. Reusable silicone stretch lids

These lids are a life saver when you don’t want to dirty up another bowl or container in the kitchen. All you have to do is stretch the lid over your dish and store it in the fridge. You can find this silicone stretch lids are Walmart, target or amazon. They’re affordable so easy to use! We love using these lids whenever we run out of Tupperware. They come in handy all the time!

· Reusable silicone stretch lids

9. Reusable eating utensils to keep in your car or lunch box

So, I have to be honest, I can’t take credit for this one. I have to give all the credit to my mother in law who loves finding new ways to create less waste. She shared with me her little pack of eating utensils that she keeps in her car 24/7. They’re made out of bamboo are can be easily stored in a lunch box or glove compartment. She uses them often whenever she’s out at lunch and loves putting them to use. They make great gifts and come in handy so much more than you’d think. During the summer, these reusable eating utensils can be used for camping, during picnics or cookouts. They’re a great way to reduce plastic silverware.

· Reusable bamboo eating utensils

10. Compost!

Composting is a great way to cut back on food waste in our trash. This is because most food waste is biodegradable. Therefore, it breaks down on its own over a period of time. By adding your food waste to a compost bin, you create rich soil that can be used for growing other plants. It’s a cycle of life that is so beneficial for our environment. If composting isn’t your thing that’s okay! If you live near woods or have a huge yard simply throw all of your fruit peels, veggie scraps, eggs shells and coffee grounds in a pile. Mix the pile with a shovel or rake and that’s it. The environment will take care of the rest.

· At Home Compost Bin

If you've read this far, thank you so much for your time. I know this was a bit different than my usual blog post, but it's something that really resonates with me. I hope you found some of these tips helpful and hopefully we can create a cleaner, brighter future for our community and overall, our planet.

Happy Earth Day!

Stay Sweet,