We can all do something to help keep our beautiful town, and planet a little greener with a few small choices. Because little changes add up! I’m sharing a few of the ways my family chooses to be a little more sustainable.
1. Ditch paper products
- We stopped using paper towels/napkins over two years ago and asked for cloth napkins for Christmas. And try to keep a roll of paper towels on hand for puppy accidents. We clean with wash cloths, sponges and brillo pads.
- Pay your bills online. I enjoy sending and mailing letters, but at one point I realized how backlogged I was on bills! We kept getting late fees because I would put the bill down and then forget to pay it. Finally, I switched over our last few bills to online payments and things have been a lot easier!
- In our house we cloth diaper and use cloth baby wipes for our 11-month old. She has never been in a disposable diaper.
- We recycle whatever needs to be recycled and bring reusable bags to grocery stores.
- Are there times we aren’t so sustainable? Sure. My daughter’s care center only uses disposable wipes, but in the time she’s been there we’ve only needed to buy 3 bulk pack of wipes. We definitely still use toilet paper! For parties, paper plates are an easier way to go but I keep whatever is leftover for next time.
You can be simple or extreme. But these super simple changes to your habits will eventually add up into a bigger impact.
Takeaway: Disposable paper products account for 16% of products in landfills!
2. Source one food
I am not a great gardener. It’s not really a secret. Every year I try to grow things. I plant seeds or buy mature plants and it never really goes well. I just bought a basil plant, I’m hoping to just keep it alive.
Last year my husband and I started keeping laying hens. Just hens. We live on about an acre of land, my husband used scrap wood to build their coop, and all our hens were collected from families who couldn’t keep them. Now, we get about a dozen eggs every other day.When we aren’t busy eating them and we have too many, we sell them. We usually sell enough to pay for their food. We currently have 8 chickens from 3 different homes. They are all named after the X-Men.
Whatever you are able to produce, do it! Chickens are fun. I’m sure some more talented people than myself think gardening is fun. You can’t get much more local than your own backyard.
Takeaway: Your food travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to you!
3. Buy Local
How great is it that living in Flagstaff, we have so many great options for local! From our 4th Street Farmers Market to our restaurants that serve local and sustainable foods, like SLO Concepts- which you might know better as Brix, Criollo and Proper. Shops like Salt + Peak that make and sell their own products. Even at favorites like Diablo Burger and Flagstaff Sports Exchange the theme is all about local!
When you buy local your money stays in your community. Places, items and people have shorter distances to go. The money spent stimulates the local economy.
Takeaway: 68% of money spent locally stays in the city’s economy.