This post is brought to you by SheSpeaks/P&G.
With Earth Day quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking more and more about the way my family lives. Now, we’d like to think that we are pretty aware of living a somewhat green lifestyle. I mean, we recycle. We turn off lights when we leave rooms. My older son even generously tries to conserve water by avoiding showers. We thought we were doing good. Until I started to look around.
I looked outside in the recycling bin and found plastic water bottles spilling over the top. I opened up the dishwasher that had just been run to find that it was only half full.
And I realized right then and there that we could do more. That we could make some changes. That we could have an #EverydayEffect. So, I sat down and talked to my family. Because while I wanted to make some changes, I didn’t want them to be overwhelmed. And I especially wanted to get the kids involved and have our change be something that they could take part in and embrace. After much thought, we decided to take the P&G Everyday Effect challenge together and we quickly saw an where we could really improve. You see, we go through LOTS of water bottles. In fact, we drink probably upwards of a case a week. And even though we thought we were doing well by recycling those bottles, we could be doing more. So, we started with a two week period. And we pledged that for those two weeks we would replace plastic water bottles with reusable bottles.
Now, I know, I know – this seems like a little change. Something that may not even have much impact. But, consider this:
Recent studies have shown that Americans use on average 50 billion water bottles each year and climbing. ~isustainableearth.com
And while recycling is great and I encourage every person to do it, wouldn’t it just be better to eliminate the plastic bottles all together? There would be less waste. Less plastic in landfills. And even less money spent for families.
So, over the past two weeks, we’ve kept count of how many times we’ve refilled our water bottles. And of how many plastic bottles we have avoided using. And for just our little family of four, the number has been staggering! By using our reusable bottles, we have avoided drinking over 100 bottles of water! In just two weeks (yes, we drink a lot of water in our family). Our #EverdayEffect has kept over 100 plastic water bottles out of landfills. Now, that’s a pretty massive impact!
We plan to continue on this journey and continue to use our new water bottles to replace plastic ones. And I know that as huge as our number for two weeks feels, at the end of a year, it’s going to really be massive!
But, in addition to just showing my kids the lesson, I really wanted them to get it. And for my kids to learn something I have to make it fun! And I wanted to use the old plastic water bottles that we were no longer using to do it. So, what did we do? Why we turned them into a fun craft – bottle butterflies – that fly around and remind all of us that something old can always be turned into something new and beautiful! And the boys really got it when they associated it with the fact that just as a caterpillar can turn into a beautiful butterfly, the items we reuse and recycle can be made beautiful by our efforts!
To make our butterfly, we simply cleaned out our old water bottle. Then we wrapped a strip of construction paper around it and secured it. Next we used a pipe cleaner to wrap around the neck of the bottle and create the antenna. Then we glued on fuzzy balls for eyes with hot glue. Finally we cut out wing and secured them and attached pipe cleaner legs. Our final product was a beautiful little something made out of an old water bottle that would have simply gone in the trash.
One we were done, J-Man sat down and wanted to share with all of you what he had learned. So, here he is!
And similar to what J-Man said, we want to make changes to inspire change! So, take a look at your life – at how you live and what your family uses. And determine how you can have an #EverydayEffect just by making small changes in your life! And to get your started, here are 6 simple ways that you can impact the environment!
Get Rid of Plastic Water Bottles
I don’t need to go back over this one – you saw above how simple this can be but what an impact it can have! Next time you’re out, pick up a cute reusable bottle and then kick your plastic bottles to the curb (or recycling bin that is).
Turn Off Lights
If your kids are like mine, this can be a struggle. They just love to walk out of a room and leave them on. So lead by example and then follow behind them for a while until they get the hang on if. It won’t take long and they will be helping you to conserve energy.
Turn Off the Water While you Brush
I know – you only brush for 1 to 3 minutes so what’s the big deal? It has been estimated that a bathroom faucet uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If you brush for 3 minutes, you’re using roughly 7.5 gallons of water EVERY TIME YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH! So stop! Instead, turn the water off, brush your teeth and then turn it back on. This simple change can make a huge difference.
Get Reusable Bags
If you’re like me, you may have a pile of plastic bags sitting in your pantry. And you may not realize how simple it is to do something about that! Reusable bags are not only great for the environment but they can also be super cute! So pick up a set of bright, reusable bags and stop using those ugly brown plastic ones. Not only will you be making a difference but you’ll look great while doing it too!
Did you know that your chargers use energy, even when they aren’t charging anything! Now, yes, the amount may be small but when you add it up for a whole year, it’s actually quite a lot of energy. So, when you’re done charging your phone or your laptop or any other device, take an extra second and unplug the charger.
Load Your Dishwasher Better
Dishwashers can hold a lot of dishes – when loaded correctly. However, we often get lazy and just throw them in there however they fit and don’t utalize the room. Then we run them when they aren’t really full! A great way to save energy and water is to make sure you’ve fully loaded your dishwasher each and every time! This can help you cut back from running it daily to every few days!
These simple ways to conserve water, energy, power and more can have a huge impact! And while you’re only one person, by using these tips, your #EverydayEffect can be huge!
To learn more about the #EverydayEffect movement, be sure to visit the P&G website as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages. And don’t forget to enter the P&G #EverydayEffect Pinterest Giveaway here.
This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G.