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Every Day is Earth Day: 7 SImple Steps to Go Green

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Michelle Obama Garden
Celebrities are doing it droves. Michelle Obama is a champion of it. Even your local grocer is going green. So why does it still seem like such a daunting task? The reality is that, like any lifestyle change, the small steps can make a world of difference. Going green doesn't mean you suddenly have to start a compost box. It can be as simple turning off the lights when you're not in a room.

Today, as we show our appreciation for the planet and encourage its protection, I pulled together a list of seven green acts that can be done every day. They are small acts that make a big impact, and guess what, they're really easy!

1. Turn off the water
Turn off the water and fill up a cup while you brush your teeth. Turn off the water while you lather in the shower or wash your hands. These simple actions can save thousands of gallons of water each year.

2. Turn off the lights
As you exit a room, turn off the lights. This can reduce your energy consumption tremendously. Don’t just stop at your home, but take it to your office or child’s school. Many times companies keep lights on during the day, although an office may not be in use. Using energy-saving bulbs also conserves energy when you do need to use light.

3. Reuse your water bottles
This not only helps to save the earth, but also money. Make it a habit to not buy water, rather to have your own bottle that you refill because it helps eliminate waste. However, if you have to buy water, please make sure to recycle those plastic bottles!

4. Donate old clothing and appliances
This is the season for spring cleaning. I usually have bags of clothes that my children have outgrown, toys they no longer play with and clothes that I no longer wear. Instead of tossing the items, donate them to a local church or organization for those less fortunate. Toy swaps are also a great way to avoid discarding older toys.  

5. Give green gifts
There are always reasons to give gifts and a great way to spread green love is through an eco-friendly gift. Give the gift of a great experience that complements the recipient’s interest or hobby. Memberships to a museum, aquarium or zoo, a donation to a favorite charity or enrollment in a healthy living/green cooking class are examples of great green gift ideas. Who doesn’t love receiving a gift!

6. Use reusable bags
When going to the supermarket try to always bring your own bags for your items. If you can carry your items in your hand, even better! Reusable bags can be used for just about anything. The summer is coming up and they are great to toss wet swim clothes into, library books and toys when going to the park or a play date with the kids. Allowing your kids to decorate and personalize the bag, will help to reinforce the green habit and create ownership.

7. Think before you print
With increased access to smart phones, iPads and laptops, oftentimes a hard copy is not necessary. Switching subscriptions and bill receipts to be sent via email only is another great way to lessen paper waste.  

These seven green tips can be done daily. Let’s show our planet appreciation everyday, not just today and leave this planet in better condition for the next generation.

Tulani Thomas is the founder of TuTu’s Green World LLC, a company that encourages green habits in children through the voice of TuTu, a delightful little girl who loves the earth.  Their first children’s book, TuTu Goes Green, is available through all Barnes & Noble stores.
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