“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” I recently read this Native American proverb, and it really convicted me as a mom. I desperately want to leave the earth a better place for my children, not make it worse. In light of this desire, I’ve come up with six simple things we can all change about our daily routine to leave the earth a better place for our children.
Put Those Reusable Bags to Use
I KNOW you have reusable grocery bags hiding around your house. If you don’t, come to my house — I have tons. Stop what you are doing (I’ll wait…), and put those reusable bags in your car right now! That way, they will be ready to use next time you pull in the grocery store parking lot.
Tip: If you store them near your child’s carseat, you’ll see them when you are getting your kid(s) out of the car and remember to take them in the store with you!
Switch to Paperless Billing
No one likes to open bills. And no one likes their mail to pile up on the kitchen counter. Sign up for paperless billing! Get those bills sent to you electronically, and better yet, set up automatic payments. Because life is busy enough as a mom, let’s save some time and some trees.
Donate or Sell
We all have furniture, clothes, toys and household items that we are no longer using. Instead of throwing our belongings away, let’s donate them to charity! King’s Home is always accepting gently used items, and you can schedule a pickup by calling (205) 856-1234. Donating is an excellent way to recycle your things!
If you are looking to make a little extra money, Birmingham has tons of local online trading sites, where your “trash” can become someone else’s treasure. I have found a new home for many of my belongings through MB Trading, and I’ve met some new people around Birmingham too!
I’m such an indoor person. In fact, I’m famously known in my family for telling people they “smell like outside.” But I know that sunshine and dirt (ugh) are good for me and for my toddler! We are blessed in Birmingham with great weather, so while it’s not too hot, turn off the t.v. and lights, save electricity, and head outside!
Real talk: I can be really lazy. When I’m at the Summit, I usually get in my car and drive from store to store. My laziness is wasting gas and polluting the environment. Two strikes. So, I’m committing to get out and walk, whether I’m shopping at the Summit, strolling through the villages in Mountain Brook, or hanging out downtown. Walking is the new driving for me and my fam. Make it the new thing for yours too!
If you live in the city of Alabaster, Chelsea, Homewood, Hoover, Irondale, Mountain Brook, Trussville, or Vestavia Hills, you have curbside recycling pick up — what could be easier?! Accepted items include aluminum cans, cardboard, Newspaper, mixed paper or office paper, plastic #1 and #2, paper bags, and steel cans. For a full list of what your city will pick up at curbside, visit the Alabama Environmental Council website. You can also find out which day recycling runs in your city and request a recycling bin.
If you don’t live in these cities, don’t fret! You can still recycle. There are tons of recycling drop off locations around Birmingham (click here to enter your zip code and find a list of places near you). You can also bring recycling to the AEC Recycling Center located at 4330 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222. They accept all kinds of items including glass, cork, electronics, empty propane tanks, wood, ink cartridges, brass, and plastic #6 (solo cups!) For a full list of what can be recycled, click here.
“Sometimes, people say climate change threatens the planet. Well, actually, the planet itself will survive. What is at stake here is humanity’s ability to live on this planet.” – Kumi Naidoo, former International Executive Director for Greenpeace.
Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22nd. Let’s celebrate well this year by making the earth a better place for our kids!