4 Easy Ways To Live Greener

Spring and California’s ‘superbloom‘ are sweeping away gloomy winter and making me take layer after layer of winter clothing and this last winter’s heavy burdens.

Spring is a time for renewal and a chance to start new. It’s also been an easier time for me to do a sort of ‘New Year’s resolution” type of thing, as sunshine and fresh fruits and vegetables make life changes like exercising more and eating better more feasible. Am I right?

So while we all slough off winter with spring rains, flowers and the annual spring cleaning marathon (don’t worry, I haven’t started yet either) and try one of these simple four ways to live greener.

strawberries

Avoid The Dirty Dozen

The “Dirty Dozen” Sounds ominous, right? It is. Every year the Environmental Working Group ranks the 48 most popular produce by amount of pesticides used on them. This year the highest amount AGAIN went to strawberries, which makes me thankful I try to get my locally grown ones, even though they aren’t as cheap as some other places. I’ve asked and know what kinds of treatment they use, compared to some farms which are using chemicals previously approved for WARFARE to kill weeds and pests before planting. Ew. Even in California, an average of 300 pounds of pesticides are used on every acre. Grow your own or shop organic/know your farmer.

The EWG also puts out a “Clean Fifteen” which are the fifteen produce with the least amount of pesticides. So if you’re like me and organics can be costly sometimes, look for these conventional or in farmers markets.

 

Clean With Vinegar

My first experience with vinegar was using it to wash window, paired with crumpled newspaper. Vinegar is great for streak-free glass, as I learned in those early years.

Vinegar is also tough on bacteria and mold, so mix with some water and spray away!

It’s also a cheap cleaning product that does double duty as that tangy zip in your favorite barbecue sauce recipe.

Don’t worry, the smell will go away. However, if you really can’t stand the smell, add some essential oil for fragrance. There’s plenty of recipes online for cleaning (try Pinterest ) but Clean Mama’s recipe uses leftover citrus peels. Divine!

 

Avoid BPA AND BPA-Free Products

I know, this is confusing, right? Let me explain.

The replacement for BPA in many products, BPS, is turning out to be just as bad at disrupting the endocrine system, acting as an estrogen in the body and wreaking havoc on our health.

We have enough to worry about, so aim for plastic free as much as possible to avoid BPS and don’t trust a BPA-free label, which still means it could have tiny, but allowable amounts. These chemicals add up, so every time you can avoid it makes a difference. Personally, we bought some Corelle dishes in plain white to make the switch – they’re light, don’t break easy and are lead-free.

Drink Water

Stop reaching for a fountain drink – summer is almost upon us, and here is Southern California hydration is important where just waiting for the AC to get going in the car makes you sweat. Bring your own and drink filtered water as much as possible  But water, no matter what, is still infinitely better than sugary fake lemonade or soda.