If there’s any information I feel is most important to share with my clients, it is ways to get organized at home that help care for the planet and humankind. A lot changes and evolves as time passes, and as technologies improve, it’s important to stay abreast of what’s current so that I can share it with you while working in your home.
So lets get started:
1. Update your recycling and composting skills annually. Read the materials provided by your local waste and recycling management company. Many facilities provide tours where you can see it in action. The City of Oakland’s Davis Street Transfer Center provides free one-hour tours to individuals, families, and groups by appointment. Call your local city waste and recycling center to see what they have to offer.
2. Start a counter top compost bin. All you need is a small trash bin or large glass food container with lid. You can optionally use compostable BioBags. When the container is full, place food scraps in the green curbside bin for trash day, or create your own garden compost bin in which to toss the goodies. The result: fresh nutrients for the garden in just a few weeks and less clutter in the landfill.
3. Grow your own food. Start small, as with kitchen countertop herbs in pots, on a window sill, or on a front or back porch. Work your way up to a garden box. Growing your own food is an amazing experience, can yield delicious, nutritious food that is fresher, tastes better, and more nutritious than what you find in the store. It is also recommended during draughts.
4. Collect rain water. Investing in a rain barrel is an easy way to save water to use for indoor and outdoor plants, and for you and your family in the case of an emergency.
5. Start going paperless. You do not have to do it all at once; try it with a bill or two to get the hang of it. Get too much junk mail? Contact Catalog Choice and get help cutting down on the amount you receive. The Story of Stuff in Berkeley acquired Catalog Choice in March 2015.
6. Change your soaps and cleaners. Use earth-friendly, bio-degradable soaps and cleaners. Remember, things that go down the sink, tub drain, and toilet go into the ocean.
7. Eat organic food. Organic farmers grow food more responsibility, with high consideration to the health of the earth and the health of humans. Buy from your local organic farmer’s market. Costco has recently collaborated with local organic farmers and organic food companies to offer tons of bulk options at an affordable price. If organic food is too expensive for you, start with a few items such as strawberries, grapes, and other fruit with fragile membranes that are easily contaminated and penetrated by pesticides used in non-organic farming.
8. Go for a hike once a week. Whether in your city park, state park, national park, or a walk around a tree-lined block, spending time in nature is good for health and grows our appreciation of it. The more we learn to appreciate nature, the harder we work to keep it protected.
9. Support local earth activists. Stop and listen to what they have to say. Consider signing their petitions. If you cannot donate time to a cause, donate money or a signature. Most organizations are non-profit’s with activists working hard because they have passion, time, and choose to make it their life’s work.
10. Volunteer at a local community garden. It’s a great way to learn to grow food and help a local community group or organization with much-needed people power. Get started this weekend and do an online search for Earth Day garden and environmental events in your community.
Isabella Guajardo is an Oakland-based professional organizer that serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area. She specializes in home organizing, interior redesign, and moving services for people in small apartments to large estates. Isabella enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, reusing & repurposing, and sharing information for a healthier lifestyle.