Four Fun Ways to Waste Less and Be Kinder to the Earth this Summer

I could rattle off a dozen ways to be more "eco-friendly" that you already know: turn off the water when you're brushing your teeth(does anybody actually leave the water on?  I've never heard of anyone doing that), take lunch in reusable containers rather than plastic bags, bring cloth shopping bags to Publix instead of asking for plastic or even paper bags, etc etc.  These are all great ways to add a little less to the landfill and give a little more longevity to our resources!  But here are four fun, simple environment-friendly acts you may not have considered.

When going out for ice cream, get a cone instead of a bowl.
- Less trash.  Do this especially if you know the bowl will be Styrofoam.  Styrofoam is evil.
Plus, this is an honorable reason to treat yourself to an ice cream cone!

Reuse plastic water bottles.
- Obviously, the best thing to do is to simply invest in a good stainless steel bottle.  For whatever reason, my family doesn't do that and since I don't pay the bills around here (support my blog so I can please), I don't buy the water bottles, either.  But pretty much all plastic water bottles are BPA-free now, so you can stick them in the dishwasher and reuse them just like you would metal bottles.  Hard plastic ones like Smart Water and Gatorade are best, as thin plastic wears down quickly (but at least you can still recycle them). During the school year, I bring a Gatorade bottle filled with water in my lunchbox.  The last time I had Gatorade was at least five years ago.

Make smoothies!
- Don't throw away overripe fruit!  Overripe fruit with a little cold liquid makes the best smoothies.  Banana plus berries plus almond milk is my go to; mango plus pineapple plus a handful of greens and a cold splash of water is also delicious. 
Some of of my other favorites, which work especially well with old fruit:
Bananas turning brown?  Nice cream.
Berries looking bilious?  Berry smoothie bowl.
I know this smoothie looks kinda nasty, but it was delicious.  Honest.

Make a "coloring book" for yourself or someone you love.
- When I was in first or second grade, my family was going on a road trip and my sister gave me a super cool gift for the trip: a handmade "coloring book."  She took all her old school papers that weren't double-sided, hole-punched them, stuck them in a binder, and doodled a cute cover and spine for the binder.  For someone who loves drawing and writing, this was the  I filled every page and I still have it.  Now, I fill a binder with my old one-sided school papers and bring it with me when I'm traveling, so I have something to scribble on or doodle on if I'm inspired.  It's a great way to save paper and money that you would have spent on a notebook!
Do Not Turn the Page, graphite on paper, Heather, circa 2007.

Bonus points: Compost!
- I wasn't just talking to talk.

This is my compost bin!  I made it myself and am very very proud of it.  I got a storage bin at home depot- a medium sized one, because I wasn't sure if the whole composting thing was going to work so I didn't want to invest in a big huge one.  Then, I drilled some holes into the sides.  When I close it, I secure the top with a bungee cord so woodland fauna doesn't find its way in(there are some bugs, but not too bad).  It's full right now so I'm not putting anything else in for a week.  In about a week, I'll turn it, then take a peek and decide what to do next.  Currently, the inside looks like dirt and grungy watermelon rinds and old leaves, and it smells like ick, but only when you open it!  Otherwise, it's just a nice little box in the woods.
I used these resources when I started composting.  Honestly, I'm still starting, so I'll keep y'all updated on how it goes.

Also, look at this small potate!  I'm going to try and plant it and grow more small potates.  Maybe I will nourish it with compost dirt.  I sound so dumb saying and writing "potate" but I think it's funny haha.

World peace and love,

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