you want what?

you want what? photo by luke hodde

About to do a load of laundry and want to reduce static cling? Forget dryer sheets- they’re one-use, polyester (ie plastic) and can emit potentially harmful chemicals. Try a wool dryer ball instead. They’re biodegradable, nontoxic, can be re-used for up to 1000 loads (no kidding) and are surprisingly easy to find. A wool sock doesn’t do the trick, by the way- I checked. Other options: toss a washcloth with white vinegar or some crumpled aluminum foil into the dryer- or line dry your laundry.

when you wish…

Do you ever throw a questionable item in the recycling and hope for the best? Yeah…me too. This behavior is called “wish-cycling.” As much as I love a little magic in the world, there is no recycling fairy godmother. The wrong materials can clog up machines and contaminate whole batches of materials. Take a quick minute to check your local rules. When in doubt, throw it out!

greener pizza

photo by kristina bratko

Sometimes there’s nothing better on a lazy evening than a hot pizza. #DYK that cardboard pizza boxes can be recycled in some communities, but not all? Even if they are accepted, greasy goo is not. Cut out the oily parts and recycle the rest. Also toss the plastic center thingy and rip any stickers off the box. Option 2: the boxes are easy to compost!

save your ash

photo by maarten van den heuvel

Have you been getting cozy in front of a wood burning fireplace or woodstove this winter? Don’t toss those ashes. You can mix them into your compost heap or directly into the soil. Wood ash is a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium– free vitamins for your plants. Make sure it has cooled off first!

looking back

Last year was a doozy. But before you step into the bright future, think about 2020 another time. How many greener steps did you take? For example:

 You replaced incandescent light bulbs with LEDs as they burn out.

You recycled as much as possible.

You turned the thermostat down at night and when you’re away.

 You used fewer plastic bags (if any).

You planned your outings to do multiple chores at once.

You only purchased things you need and know you’ll use.

Add any other green steps you’ve done and pat yourself on the back. Well done! Cheers to 2021!