As much as life seems to stay the same from year to year, it also changes in minor ways that we may not even realize until we reflect on the past year. Since Earth Day 2016, there have been a couple of changes in my life (perhaps yours too, if you live in Southern California) that were not my choice but ultimately were for the good of the earth.
- Due to the lack of rain in recent years, California has been in a drought. There have been water restrictions, and fees to pay if the home water use was over the limited allowed. Lawn watering was limited to certain days and times. Many neighbors opted to put in desert landscaping. Since Governor Brown recently declared the drought over, restrictions have been reduced. Our local city still has some restrictions in place. Overall water use for our area has gone down and we’ve learned to live using less. It was a good change for all of us.
- In August 2014, California became the first state to enact legislation imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores.
In 2016, voters passed Proposition 67 which means the bill was put into law. Any retail store that sells groceries now charges 10 cents per bag, plastic or paper. This has forced us to remember our own reusable grocery bags with each trip to the store. While I’ve become accustomed to bringing bags into grocery stores, I still forget them when going into Target or Walgreens. I recycled my plastic bags prior to the new law. I miss using the single-use bags as trash can liners and dog poop bags. I now have to purchase small trash bags and dog poop bags. It didn’t really cut down on my use of plastic bags, I just have to pay more for plastic. Overall, I think it has probably cut down on plastic bag use in the State of California., which is good for the environment.
Here are a few more ways my life is more natural and environmentally friendly:
In addition to these mandatory changes, I have started using essential oils a bit. I discovered that peppermint oil, massaged into the tummy, helps my daughter feel better if she has been contaminated with gluten (she has Celiac). Lavender helps the dog be less anxious and it helps us all sleep better. I am still experimenting with Thieves to help my son, who gets frequent colds. Using oils is an ancient way to help heal the body. It is natural and reduces the amount of synthetic medication I will purchase.
I continue to shop and sell on thredUP, an online resale site. I appreciate making a bit of money from the clothes I no longer wear and I don’t mind buying used clothes from them because they are super picky about that they resell so I know the clothes will arrive in good condition. I save money and together, we recycle clothes.
I use Neutrogena Naturals products. They are naturally derived skincare products with ingredients like Willow Bark, Yerba Mate Tea Leaf and Peruvian Tara Seed. The products do not contain harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens or dyes. The cartons are 100% recycled paper with 60% post?consumer recycled content and the plastic containers are 50% post consumer recycled content. In addition to the good ingredients and recycled packaging, Neutrogena Naturals partnered with The Nature Conservancy, a global organization dedicated to protecting natural sources of clean water for people, plants and animals. They also use solar energy on their California headquarters. Plus, the skincare line is super affordable and available at most major retailers or you can shop online at Neutrogena.com.
Making small changes in your routines and changing how and what you purchase, you can do a lot to help the earth stay healthy. Happy Earth Day 2017! What are you willing to change keep Mother Earth beautiful?
I received Neutrogena Naturals sample products. All opinions are my own.