One Month to a Greener, Happier You
April 16-April 30
Friday, April 16: Indulge your inner beauty junkie.
Why not try an eco-smart version of your hair and makeup staples? Our faves: Biolage's Colorcaretherapie Delicate Care haircare line (packaged in 100-percent-recyclable materials) and Physicians Formula's new Bamboo Wear face powder, which comes in a refillable compact.
Saturday, April 17: Take a trip to a farmers' market.
Locally grown produce requires less fuel to transport and it's fresher, too. Find a market near you at localharvest.org.
Sunday, April 18: De-clutter without trashing the earth.
Instead of hauling your unwanted stuff to the dump, get your neighbors together and host a street-wide yard sale. Sure, it may take a little effort but think of it this way: You're basically getting paid to clean your house!
Monday, April 19: Cut the engine.
For every two minutes your car idles, it uses about the same amount of gas it takes to travel a mile, according to the Consumer Energy Center. If you've arrived early for school pickup or your husband has just run into the grocery store for a few things, turn off your car.
Tuesday, April 20: Ignore a few chores.
Go ahead, let the laundry and dirty dishes pile up. Washing anything less than a full load of either wastes water and energy, not to mention your time.
Wednesday, April 21: Bring a mug to work.
Sip coffee from a real cup instead of the landfill-clogging disposable kind.
Thursday, April 22: Earth Day: Give green gifts.
No one expects to get an Earth Day present, but why not surprise a friend or relative with a cute reusable shopping bag? Envirosax's totes are just $8.50; choose from a variety of cool designs at envirosax.com.
Friday, April 23: Catch an eco-themed flick.
Ooh and aah at amazing never-before-seen footage of life beneath the sea in Disneynature's new film Oceans, in theaters this month.
Saturday, April 24: Send someone your love the planet-friendly way.
Botanical Paperworks' greeting cards come with a unique surprise gift: the seed-embedded paper sprouts wildflowers when the recipient plants it (six cards for $20 at botanicalpaperworks.com).
Sunday, April 25: Take a hike.
Learn about conservation issues and get in shape at the same time with your local Sierra Club. The organization's free outings -- which include hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and more -- are perfect for families. Find out more at sierraclub.org/outings/chapter.
Monday, April 26: Compost the easy way.
Not thrilled with the idea of letting smelly garbage rot in your backyard? An indoor composter might be the perfect solution. Check out the variety of options at compostbins.com; many are the size of a small trash can and cost as little as $25.
Tuesday, April 27: Save water and add romance.
Waste less H2O by showering with your husband today.
Wednesday, April 28: Protect the earth -- and your bank account.
Think you can't afford to buy green products? Find coupons and comparison shop for everything from bamboo bath towels to biodegradable trash bags at pristineplanet.com.
Thursday, April 29: Spend less time in the kitchen by making dinner in a slow cooker.
It uses less energy than a conventional oven. Try out one of the simple, delicious recipes at lhj.com/slowcooker tonight.
Friday, April 30: Plant a family herb garden.
It's a great win-win activity: Your kids will connect with nature and feel a sense of pride watching their garden grow, and you'll always have fresh seasonings on hand.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, April 2010.
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