Let's face it, we ALL want to do our best. It's human nature, isn't it? And when it comes to living on this beautiful planet of ours, we try to do the right thing to assure its (and our!) survival.

Some of us are more aware than others, though almost everyone alive today knows that conserving resources is important. But, how far you go to live consciously is ultimately up to you.



There's a lot of pressure these days to 'do your part' to help heal the planet. Do you drive a gas-guzzler or a hybrid? Have you installed low-flow shower heads? And do you compost?

There is no end to the list of lifestyle choices you can make that can have an impact on our planet's health. What's most important is doing what feels right for you. If you like gardening you could grow your own organic vegetables. If you enjoy bike riding you could skip the car ride and take your cruiser to the store. The key is to do what works for you. Because if it works for you you'll keep doing it and that's what's important.

Here's a list of 10 'eco-friendly meets user-friendly' ideas:

1. Use reusable bags when shopping. It's super easy to bring your own bags (especially if you have The Tote Buddy :) ).

2. Always use both sides of a piece of paper. Keep a stack of 'recycled' paper near your printer. Every time you want to print something that doesn't require a virgin sheet, use a 'recycled' piece. And if it's been folded or is too worn and looks as though it'd likely jam your printer, tear it into quarters and use it for scrap. Most junk mail is only printed on one side and is, therefore, a perfect candidate for scrap.

3. Use glass food containers instead of 'tupperware-type' food storage containers and 'baggies'. Tupperware-type food storage conainers are proving to be toxic and use-and-toss baggie-type plastic bags are costly and, also, possibly toxic. Play it safe and use glass storage containers. They're plenty durable.

4. Unplug appliances when not in use. It only takes about 10 seconds to unplug. Everyone has 10 seconds. And, I know, the blinking-clock-syndrome is an issue. Well, unplug everything without a clock, which is better than nothing.

5. Use a reusable water bottle. This is a big one. It takes a little while to get used to this one, but once you've done it you'll never go back. Pick one that you love the look, feel, and color of. Fill it before you leave the house and keep it with you all day. You'll soon realize how easy it is to reduce the number of bottles of water that you buy, saving you money and the planet in a big way. Plus, you'll always have your favorite beverage whenever you want a sip.

6. Use reusable vegetable and fruit bags when grocery shopping. You know the clear plastic bags that you tear off a big roll in the produce section? Well, some really clever folks have created reusable replacements. I bought mine from www.carebagsonline.com and absolutely love them.


7. Leave the lights off during the day. This may seem a bit odd at first, but I bet you'd be surprised how bright natural lighting can be. Try leaving the lights off for a few days and see for yourself. And in the evening candlelight is perfect for a bit of relaxation and preparing the body and mind for sleep.


8. Combine errands. Keep a running list of items needed for your home and pick one day out of the week to shop. Combining errands means that you'll save yourself time and gas money, too.


9. Use natural cleaners. Using toxic chemicals to clean seems like an oxymoron to me. Clean your home with natural products that smell good and won't make you or your family sick. There are plenty to choose from at health food stores everywhere.


10. Buy organic. I would imagine that more people would buy organic if it were less expensive to do so. Honestly, though, isn't it becoming more and more obvious that not buying organic is costing us way too much? The chemicals they're using to grow our foods is being linked to cancer and other illnesses. Eating the healthiest possible food just makes sense.


Hopefully, you'll find some ideas on this list that you'd feel comfortable incorporating into your life. Every little bit does count!

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