Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend!
Did you do anything special for Earth Day on Sunday? San Diego celebrates Earth Day in a big way. The city hosts a big outdoor food and music expo in Balboa Park, one of our prettiest attractions, and it’s so popular that people usually have to be bussed in from different areas around town.
We decided to avoid the crowds though to get one with nature on a family hike along Torrey Pines State Beach and up the trails of the crawling shoreline canyons. It was a chilly afternoon but usually that equates to perfect hiking weather.
Rocks were by far the coolest part of the hike for Liv. Searching through the river rock (where the river arms meet the ocean) was like a giant treasure hunt and the treasures just kept on coming.
It’s not always this rocky at the beach, but around this time of the year we get big wind storms that move debris on and off the sand for a couple of months.
Living so close to the ocean means we don’t visit it often enough. It’s a horrible self-fulfilling prophesy. But this day more than made up for a few months of staying away.
In other news, Liv recently mastered the fist bump. Boo-ya.
Speaking of Earth Day, we try our best to be aware of our impact on this big old planet at home. There is so much more that our family can do to improve our green-ness, but hopefully making little changes on a regular basis will eventually get us there.
Here are a few of my favorites in the Green department:
Reusable bags: These bags come in a pack of six and are invaluable around the house and in the car on the go. I use Waste-Less bags at home to collect dry cleaning, toys and clothing we have to return to friends, dirty rags getting ready for the washing machine, and when out and about for groceries and the like.
They’re so awesome! and so durable. This particular set of bags is slowly helping me to phase out the plastic and paper versions, even thought it can be so hard to remember to tote them along when running errands. It’s helpful that they’re very easy to travel with since they wrap up to about the size of a large chapstick and have a built in velcro band to keep them compact and small.
Compostable Trash Bags: When it comes to phasing out plastic bags around the house, I’m trying to get rid of them completely. But that’s not always possible with pets and a diaper changing station, never mind the bags that line the kitchen trash bin.
For those areas I use compostable bags and I’ve had the best luck with EcoSafe. These bags are great for lining our little trash cans in the house (like the one that collects dirty wipes in the nursery) and at picking up after Bodie.
For our 13 gallon kitchen trash, my favorite is PrideGreen. The 2 year shelf life before any sign of breaking down means that these guys are strong, no degrading on you as you’re hauling from the kitchen to the outside garbage bins, but they will eventually break down in a landfill environment.
I bought a box of these sometime last year and we’re still working our way through it.
Compost Pail: We keep one of these guys under our kitchen sink. All food scraps for our worm bin (other than citrus, the worms can’t process citris) go into the Norpro 1 gallon compost pail, and the contents of the pail are added to the bin a couple of times a week. 1 gallon is a great size for a small family.
The filter that’s built into the lid of this indoor compost pail means that we don’t ever smell it, ever, and it’s so nice to know that our food waste won’t be trapped in a plastic bag in a landfill somewhere, but will instead be added back to our garden to nourish more vegetables and continue on in the circle of life. The usual style of outdoor composting is pretty easy if you’re not the worm bin type, too.
Cooking: Our new favorite cookbook around here is the amazing vegetarian Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. We’re meat lovers, but more often than not our meals these days have been primarily veggie based. We participate in a CSA group (more about that here) and have a box of local fruits and vegetables delivered every other week, and on our off weeks we hit up the Farmer’s Market. This cookbook is full of amazing deliciousness if you’re a vegetable loving foodie ready to experiment – I highly recommend.
My favorite so far is probably the roasted sage pumpkin wedges.
Cleaning Products: Mrs. Meyer’s is my favorite when it comes to cleaning supplies. I’m also a huge fan of plain old diluted vinegar as an all purpose cleaner, but not a huge fan of the smell (a vinegar covered countertop is not always the most appetizing) so I usually find myself buying the below in packs of six on Amazon, storing the excess in the garage, and refilling my indoor spray bottles with half diluted vinegar (4:1 ratio with water) and half Mrs. Meyers All Purpose in Basil (love that smell!).
The dish washing soap smells just as good, too. Above Mrs. Meyer’s Countertop Spray, Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner in Basil (to refill the counter top spray and for mopping) and Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap all in basil.
Cloth Diapers: I owe an update on our cloth diapering adventure, but suffice to say that we still love it and are still going strong with nearly 100% cloth (I use disposables just when traveling). I have several favorite brands but two that I’m most recently reaching for first are bumGenius (the FreeTime, 3.0s and Elemental) and Swaddlebees (2.0) with a Bummis biodegradable liner. When it comes to wipes, I prefer cloth with warm water or these flushable versions that we subscribe to with Amazon to have delivered every 3 months.
There we are, that’s the line up! These are my favorite products that come to mind first with helping our fam to leave a less obvious footprint for Liv’s generation and grandchildren after that.
Do you have any favorite green products you’d like to share? How did you spend your Earth Day?
Just a quick note that there are a few Amazon affiliate links in this post, but these are all favorite, well-loved products in our casa.