Spring is the perfect time to “go green” and transition to a more natural lifestyle! Check out these 10 ways to help the planet, your health, and your budget!
One of my favorite things about living in North Carolina is the change of seasons.
Whereas other places may experience just one or two seasons per year, North Carolinians truly feel the switch from summer to fall to winter to spring. Each season brings its own distinct beauty.
And oh how spring has sprung! Our cherry trees in our front yard are now in full bloom, and my green-thumb husband has been hard at work planting a butterfly garden in our back yard.
If you’ve ever been interested in “going green,” spring is the perfect time to start the transition to a more natural lifestyle. You may very well feel like you’re running your own small-space homestead!
Check out these 10 ways to go green this spring!
1. Plant a garden.
My family has cultivated raised beds or “box” gardens for the past four years.
We had no land to use before this year, so we planted our garden on my parents’ land. This year, we have our own backyard. We are still contemplating whether we will invest in the gardens on our own turf this year or use the ones we have already built on my parents’ homestead.
Growing your own food is incredibly rewarding. It is also an excellent way to teach our children where food originates and to be good stewards of the land God has given us! Any vegetation adds in air quality and increased oxygen!
If you’re new to gardening, check out these helpful posts:
Gardening Tips for People Who Can’t Garden
Grow These 5 Expensive Foods to Save Money
Simple Gardening on a Tight Budget
Simple Tips for the Rookie Gardener
I am not a composting expert, but my family is trying our hand at a “real” compost pile for the first time this year!
My husband built a composting area in one corner of our yard. He basically put together concrete blocks and left plenty of room for the soil, leaves, egg shells, coffee grinds and rotting produce scraps to get air.
We will use this compost to nourish our gardens.
Check out this post by Emily of Live Renewed to find out more on how to build your own backyard compost!
We have been recycling for six years now, and I cannot imagine ever going back to the pure consumable lifestyle.
We recycle year round, and it’s very simple where we live since we have curbside pick-up (although we recycled for four years without curbside pick-up!).
Read this post for a peek inside our family’s recycling routine.
4. Use cloth diapers.
I started using cloth diapers several years ago, when we had two babies in diapers at the same time and couldn’t afford disposables!
Now, I cloth diaper our youngest baby in order to save money and in an effort to go green!
Of course, we cloth diaper year round (although I do sometimes take breaks–there is no shame in that!). But I absolutely love hanging my cloth diapers to dry during the spring and summer. Seeing those diapers line drying brings joy to my little mama heart!
I love cloth diapering so much that I wrote a full, 200+-page manual on everything anyone would ever need to know to successfully use cloth diapers!
5. Use homemade cleaners.
Not only are most conventional household cleaners toxic to humans, but they are also dangerous to this beautiful earth which God gave us to steward!
I make most of my own cleaners using cheap, basic supplies like white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. My absolute favorite all-purpose cleaner is this one from Lexie: Naturals. I use it every day!
I also have a small number of Norwex cloths that I use to dust, clean and wash my windows and mirrors. The beauty of these is that you can clean with just the cloths and water!
Pin this post I wrote with links to 67+ homemade natural cleaning recipes!
6. Use cloth rags and napkins and snack bags.
I will admit that when I fall behind on laundry these (and the cloth diapers) are the first things I set aside. BUT, I can most definitely see an impact on our budget when I do stick to cloth. Cloth is always better for the environment as well.
You can get cloth snack bags on Amazon, as well as a variety of fun cloth napkins!
7. Use the dishwasher and/or washer/dryers at night.
I recently discovered that using these appliances at night will keep the house cooler and reduce strain on the power grid during the peak usage hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
We usually run our dishwasher after dinner at night. As of right now I still do laundry during the day, but I am intrigued as to how washing and drying at night would affect our energy bill!
8. Use reusable grocery bags.
I hate plastic bags! Plastic lasts forever, folks!
I get 90 percent of our groceries from Aldi, where I have to bring my own bags anyway. And I’m glad: It cuts down on waste!
Some grocery stores will even knock a few cents off of your grocery bill if you bring your own bags!
9. Open your blinds during the day instead of using artificial light.
Natural light is so good for us. I love that our new house has plenty of windows that allow for an abundance of natural light. This cuts down on energy waste–and your energy bill!
10. Conserve water.
Our next-door neighbor gathers rain water to water her plants. We…shock!…don’t give our girls baths every single day (but we admittedly bathe them more often during the spring and summer when they play outside more often). Here are 20 ideas for conserving water around your home.
Green Your Life
If these ideas have piqued your interest for going green, you should definitely check out Green Your Life, by Emily of Live Renewed. This 250+ page eBook guides you through the basics (and beyond) of green cleaning, water and energy conservation in your home, natural baby care, and much more! You can check out the Table of Contents and purchase the book HERE.
What are your tips for ways to go green this spring?
Thanks to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s discussion! Click here for 10 more tips on how to create an energy “smart” home! The Direct Energy Meridian Savings Plan offers a competitively priced fixed energy charge, up to three FREE Honeywell Smart Thermostats, plus a smartphone app that allows you to control your thermostat anytime, anywhere. I do not personally use this savings plan, but I am thankful for their sponsorship of this post and the opportunity for me to educate you on various ways to go green. 🙂
You are my hero….i.e, Aldi..90 %..that is so wonderful!!
Haha–Dianne! It’s true! LOL
I didn’t know the tip about running a washer and dryer at night. I’d always thought it was a risk with the dryer in case of a fire (does that make me a worry wart?).
Great tips, all around!
If it makes you a worry wart then I am one, too! My thoughts are to run it at night after my girls go to bed but while hubby and I are still awake.
Great post Erin!
In addition to not using plastic bags, I’d expand that to not buying anything made with plastic. Try buying products in glass. Glass is reusable, 100% recyclable and much safer than plastic. Of course, there are times when glass is not safe, especially for kids, but try to avoid plastic since it’s made from petroleum, can leach chemicals, and last forever in landfills or give off toxic chemicals when burned.
Thanks for the list! Off to share!
Thanks, Karen! We have been slowly transitioning to glass storage containers, and I love them! I am thinking of using a stainless steel bento box for packing lunches once my oldest starts school in the fall!
I love SS bento boxes for kids! And even for me!!
I will keep those in mind for sure! I am already brainstorming healthy lunch ideas…kindergarten will be a whole new ball game for this mama!!
Forget the dryer during nice weather, and hang your clothes out to dry. Everything smells so good dried in the sun! — and if you absolutely must, you can always air-fluff with a damp wash cloth for 10 minutes.
Love line drying!! Ah–’tis the season!!
I have fallen in love with all you are doing! Amazing! Thanks!!
I am about to be a grandma for the first time, so all the kid stuff is new to me! And I am so excited to share my garden, chickens, and bees with the grand baby!
God is so good and sooo amazingly generous to us all!
Thanks for all the fun.
Great…. Avoiding toxins in my bathing products is my little effort to Go Green in 2014..
I would like to have a garden again. Though not good with the weeding part.
Me neither! My husband has the green thumb in our family!
I have a big garden with many kinds of plants, and my family stopped using plastic bags some years ago. Besides that, I always teach my children how to protect the environment and keep it green.
Thanks so much for your article.