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From DIY natural cleaners to green plants and earth friendly candles, your home can be a Earth Day Haven! (Image: Rebecca Mongrain/Seattle Refined)

Help the Earth on Earth Day!

This Friday, April 22rd, is Earth Day and it's the annual time of the year to check-in to see how you can help this big beautiful planet of ours. Seattle is already one the most eco-friendly cities in the country with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Many Seattle residents are already doing great things for the environment like composting and recycling but Earth Day is a nice reminder to take a few more steps toward becoming even more environmentally aware.

Here are 5 easy ways you can be a bit more Earth-friendly every day of the year.

  1. Ditch the Paper - Cut down on paper use by getting your bills electronically, reading the paper online and switching to an e-reader. You'll also save a bit of gas by having your paper and mail delivered digitally. Another bonus is that you can get books from the library at 3 a.m. with a digital reader rather than having to wait until they are open.
  2. Take the Stairs - Save electricity by taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Save gas by walking or biking to work or on your errands. As an added bonus, you'll be tallying up those Fitbit steps in no time with all the walking you'll accomplish in search of a green way to get your errands done.
  3. Bring in the Plants - Planting a garden or even just adding a few more plants to your living space is a great way to honor the earth. Plants help clean our air and a garden can provide you with fresh vegetables, herbs and beautiful flowers.
  4. Visit a Park - Celebrate the Earth by exploring its natural splendor at a park. Seattle has over 400 parks, all with lush vegetation, space to relax and stress relieving nature time. Turn off the screen, get out and get dirty! Visiting a park is not only healthy, but it helps everyone appreciate the Earth just a little bit more.
  5. Make Earth Day Everyday - Since having kids, I've become aware of how many chemicals are in normal cleaners and have switched to more eco-friendly cleaners. Some can really cost a pretty penny though and then others don't do a great job of cutting through the grime. I recently I started making my own cleaners and I'm finding out that Grandma had the right idea back in the day when she mixed a bit of vinegar, lemon juice and water to throughly clean her house. Here are a few of my favorite cleaning recipes:

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 10 drops Orange essential oil (optional)
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients in a clean spray bottle and shake before use.

Tub Cleaner

  • 1 teaspoon natural dish soap
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • Water (enough to form a paste)

Mix the first three ingredients in a jar before slowly adding water until a paste forms. Use within 3-4 weeks.

Wood Cleaner

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Mix together in a clean spray bottle and shake before use.