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Ideal Bite's 21 Easy Green Tips

From our partner:

  1. Use non-toxic art supplies. Many paints and art products use asthma-inducing chemicals. Let your budding artiste make masterpieces with non-toxic supplies like veggie-based paint for art that screams like Munch, but smells like Monet's garden.

  2. Head to the dump. Each of us creates 4.6 pounds of trash per day, and 55% goes to landfills (the other 45% is recycled or incinerated).Take kids to see where their trash goes post-can.

  3. Swap maternity and kids products. The average cost of raising a kid 'til age 2 can top $13,430. Trade with friends instead of buying all new stuff.

  4. Use safe bottles. Many baby and adult water bottles are made from plastic that contains the toxin bisphenol A (BPA). Opt for BPA-free bottles to avoid toxins in the body and in the environment.

  5. Throw eco-friendly parties. Mylar balloons take hundreds of years to biodegrade; latex, about six months. Pesticide-free treats like organic cake is important, since kids' bodies are still developing and they consume more than adults relative to their body weight.

  6. Ditch disposable diapers. Babies go through about 2,500 diapers; cloth diapers washed at home cost $0.03 per use, while disposables cost about $0.22 each. Disposable diapers produce at least 70 times more waste than cloth diapers, and Americans trash 18 billion diapers each year. Conventional diapers are also more irritating to baby skin. Not into cloth? Some new diapers offer convenient inserts that break down in 150 days or fewer (versus 500 years for standard disposable ones).

  7. De-lead lunch boxes. Many seemingly practical, reusable lunchboxes are often laden with PVC and toxic levels of lead, which can contaminate the food. Opt for reusable, lead-free alternatives.

  8. Turn off water while brushing. Turning off the water between rinses can save at least two gallons in one brushing session.

  9. Pay bills online. It's usually free, and you'll never miss another payment. If all U.S. households viewed and paid bills electronically, we'd save 18.5 million trees and 15.8 billion gallons of water per year. Plus, save up to $148 per year on stamps.

  10. Sniff organic flowers. When you inhale the scent of nonorganic flowers, you're probably inhaling some poisonous chems as well.

  11. Don't trash your meds. When we flush meds down drains or send them to landfills, they make their way into rivers and even drinking water. Take unused meds to your next pharmacy visit.

  12. Zap phantom loads. 40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they're turned off. Plug devices into power strips and switch off each night.

  13. Buy local. It's fresher: Produce shipped from outside the country travels up to two weeks before it arrives in grocery stores. Plus it takes 4-17 times less oil to produce local food compared to nonlocal.

  14. Exercise outside. Gyms overload on A/C, and most of those training machines use electricity too.

  15. Stop junk mail. It consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars every year and uses100 million trees annually. Americans waste about 8 hours per year dealing with junk mail.

  16. Check your tire pressure. Increase your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated -- which also keeps 383 lbs of CO2 out of the air each year.

  17. Light soy candles. Make sure the wax in your candles is veggie-based and petroleum-free. The oil byproducts in most candles can't hold a flame to options like soy, since they burn longer and take less of a toll on the planet.

  18. Compost your garbage. Keep biodegradable food waste out of landfills with easy in-home gadgets.

  19. Use cloth napkins. Americans use an average of 2,200 paper napkins per person per year. It's actually cheaper to throw cloth napkins in the wash than to buy paper ones.

  20. Drive efficiently. At 45mph and above, save gas by rolling your windows up and cranking the AC.

  21. Clean your lint filter. Reduce fire hazard, increase dryer efficiency, and save money.

Visit Ideal Bite for more information on these tips, plus product recommendations and hundreds more ideas.
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