Monday, 22 June 2015

Four Easy Practices Families Can Do to Help the Planet

Written by Tracy Crawford
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Pope Francis recently released his encyclical, urging human beings to acknowledge climate change and what that means for the future of our planet. He calls for each and every person on Earth to do their part to improve our environment. Here are four easy practices that families can do.

1. Reduce Landfill Waste

Families can reduce their waste by making simple changes with everyday garbage. Water bottles and plastic grocery bags can be replaced with refillable glass bottles and reusable cloth bags. Avoid using anything that is good for only one use, such as disposable plastic utensils or plastic sandwich bags. Disposable products work as long as they are recyclable, and you have access to a recycling bin.

2. Compost Food and Yard Waste

Organic, all-natural materials, like yard waste and food waste, can be used to make a compost pile. Composting is easy, and it is a wonderful fertilizer for outdoor plants. Growing a vegetable garden with your compost can be a fun family project. You can save money by growing your own food, and help save the planet at the same time.

3. Swapping and Reusing Children’s Items

Babies and children outgrow their clothes and shoes very quickly. Buying new products each time your child grows can be expensive. Make a network of other friends and family who have babies and children, and arrange a swap party. Furniture, strollers, child safety seats, toys and other accessories can be swapped, too.

4. Use Technology

The newest energy-efficient lightbulbs save families a lot of money on energy bills. They also reduce landfill waste because they last longer than standard bulbs and won’t need to be replaced as often. Paying your bills online will reduce paper waste significantly. Opt-out of standard mail billing and request online billing from banks, credit cards, car payments, phone bills, electric bills, etc.

Pope Francis, while having some sobering and serious things to say about the future of our planet, also has hope. “All is not lost,” he says, “Human beings…are capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

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