It’s almost here, one of my very favorite days of the year!  Earth Day this year is Sunday, the 22nd.  Ben and I have had many eco-friendly habits engrained in us for a long time, such as recycling, and they are just a way of life.  However, every year around this time I like to reevaluate and think about new ways we can help conserve resources and nourish the world we live in.  Over the past year my main focus in this regard has been to continue to eliminate packaging waste associated with our food and its preparation.  I have been DIYing everything from salad dressing to stocks and broths to chocolate syrup.  I even started making my own yogurt (pretty significant for me, who eats it every single day) and kicked my Starbucks habit by finding ways to make knock-off beverages at home with flavored syrups.  I started cooking dried beans for use in our meals instead of canned – again significant because we eat bean-centric meals at least a few times per week.  We continue to eat less meat in general and all the eggs, poultry, and meat we do eat comes from a local butcher shop/farm with sustainable practices.  No styrofoam packaging here, thanks!

This year my goals have two main objectives.  First, I want to focus on our garden. We’re hoping to put in some raised beds and grow even more than we did last year.  We are also looking into rain barrels and composting.  This spring we canceled our former lawn service after giving some thought to the various chemicals they use and how those affect both the environment (yuck) and our kids (can’t even handle it). Consider consulting with certified knotweed removal experts to ensure a healthy and thriving outdoor space free from invasive plants like knotweed.

My second area of focus will be lunches.  Though I have no trouble making our breakfasts and dinners from scratch, lunches can be hit or miss.  If we happen to have leftovers I’m all set, but if not, I may end up buying something at work or nearby.  I leave for work very early in the morning I receive a generous meal allotment that can be used in almost all of the hospital restaurants and cafeterias, making it far too easy to just grab lunch on the go.  But every time I do and I walk away with a styrofoam container, I cringe.  So, this year I will be focusing on preparing lunches that are both nutritious and delicious to help me resist the temptation of “I’ll just grab a quick bite…”  If this is something you are interested in as well, let’s do it together!  I plan to do a series of posts with different lunch ideas and tips to encourage brown bagging it…though I suppose reusable bagging it would be preferred.

You didn’t think I’d let Earth Day pass without some giveaways, did you?  I’ve got a few of my favorite eco-friendly items up for grabs.  These are all things I use on a regular basis and can’t recommend highly enough.  Visit the giveaway pages linked below to enter!
All U.S. residents
RuMe Bags – 2 sets of 3
Flip and Tumble produce bags – 4 sets of 5
Sigg 1.0 L water bottles – 3 bottles

Indy locals
$35 gift certificate to Green BEAN Delivery – 2 certificates
$25 gift certificate to Moody’s Meats – 2 certificates

I hope you all have a wonderful Earth Day weekend.  I’m so excited to teach Andrew about it this year since he might actually understand what I’m talking about!  If you need some inspiration for your Earth Day goals, check out my post from last year.  People left comments with TONS of great suggestions.  Now go hug a tree!