We all start off the New Year with the best of intentions… to eat right, to lose a few of those extra pounds, to become more organized, to spend more time with our kids. But how about a resolution that focuses on our own well-being? How do we treat ourselves right- make good and healthy choices for ourselves and for our families while also making sure that we take care of the planet’s well-being at the same time? This is something that I have been thinking about lately, especially as I am going through that annual process of cleaning up my home after the holidays and readying it for what’s ahead. And here are a few things that our family has already done…
We Made Some “Little Changes” That Add Up
I very strongly believe in making a conscious effort to reduce my family’s impact on the environment- and that’s a pretty tall order for a family of 8 people. But there are things that we try to do regularly that greatly reduces the amount of garbage that we create, especially in the kitchen.
Reduce Paper Waste
For starters, we only use cloth napkins at meals and the kids even take them in their lunch boxes to school. We keep a small bin in our pantry where we stash the used napkins, and once a week I wash them in hot water. We also use towels to clean up wet messes in the kitchen, wipe down our counters, and microfiber cloths for general clean up and dusting. We try to limit the use of disposable paper products wherever possible.
Stick With Re-Usable Containers and Water Bottles
When the kids carry lunch to school, it is all packed in plastic containers that I can wash and re-use again. And we love, love, love, our Contigo plastic water bottles. They do not leak in this kids backpacks and because they are made with plastic, they are super easy to clean (we found the aluminium bottles became pitted and started to make our water “taste funny” after multiple washings).
And there are some areas where I want our family to do even better….
Compost Where Possible
One of our family goals in 2013 is to try (once again) to compost some of our kitchen waste. We’ve not been successful with this idea in the past- we’ve had issues with wild animals getting trapped in our compost bin, and we’ve had problems with not properly balancing the brown to green ratio which resulted in nothing actually composting. But we want to figure this whole composting thing out!
Spend my Dollars with Companies Who Believe As I Do
Last month I wrote a post called “If You Are Going to Spend $ Anyway- Why Not Do It With a Company Who Is Promoting Social Good?” where I talked about how we vote with our dollars every time we shop… and if we are purchasing products made by companies who are not promoting social good, then we are in essence saying that this isn’t important to us. One such company who has a real plan in place for sustainable living and growth is Unilever. And they make all kinds of stuff that you are probably already using- like Country Crock, Ragu, Skippy, Wishbone, Lipton, and Breyers just to name a few. But what I really love about Unilever is their commitment to reduce their environmental impact- just like my family is trying to do. (You can see the details of their Sustainable Living Plan here).
I went to the grocery store this week and made a point of stocking up on some of my favorite Unilever products, and I also checked out the Unilever website MakingLifeBetter.com to learn more what they are doing for the Feeding America Campaign. Here you can learn more about the hunger crisis overall and the role that food banks play in combating the hunger problem in the United States.
Unilever is committed to donating more than two million meals to families in need with Feeding America and every item on your shopping list counts. Show your support by adding Unilever brands to your cart next time you shop. Together we can help to Cross Off Hunger.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Unilever #CBias #SocialFabric. As always, all opinions are my own.
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