Happy Monday to all of you, and it is a happy day indeed because it is one of my favorite days of the year – Earth Day!  If you’ve been reading the blog a while you may have gathered that at times I can be a bit of an eco-nut.  This mentality was engrained in me from an early age, and every year around this time I try to evaluate our lifestyle and habits, recognizing what good things we are already doing and what areas could use some improvement.  There are some things we’ve been doing for a long time, such as recycling everything we can, drinking from reusable bottles and cups, buying meat, poultry and eggs from a local butcher shop with sustainable farming practices, and using reusable grocery and produce bags.  Things we have been focusing on over the past few years include making as much food as we can from scratch, including many kitchen staples, to cut down on waste and processing.  Over the past year I’ve also been slowly working on my Let’s Do Lunch series to encourage people (myself included) to bring a delicious, non-boring lunches from home to ward off the temptation of eating out frequently.

We’ve gardened many years before but last year we got a little more serious about it by building some raised beds (they make such a difference!) and starting to compost.  Late last summer was my first foray into canning and I loved it.  This summer I plan to make that into more of a routine so we can really stock up and rely more on home preserved foods when needed.  In addition to canning more, my other goal for this year is to really cut down on our paper product use.  We do okay but we could definitely be better, especially with two messy kids running around.  Last week I took advantage of some sales and stocked up on a whole bunch of  fabric napkins so we can stop grabbing paper towels (purposely not choosing enticing patterns so I will not be tempted to “save” them for photo shoots – ha!)  We have also been using biodegradable Skoy Cloths for some time, thanks to a great reader suggestion a few years ago, and they have also helped cut down on paper towel use.

I’d love to hear more about your eco-minded goals this Earth Day!  If you are looking for some suggestions, be sure to check out a few of my past Earth Day posts where lots and lots of readers offered fantastic ideas.

And of course, no Earth Day would be complete without some giveaways of eco-friendly items, right?  See the links below for some awesome prizes:
RuMe Reusable Grocery Bags – 4 winners
Sigg Water Bottles – 5 winners
Flip and Tumble Produce Bags – 5 winners

Green Bean Delivery Gift Certificates (Indy residents only) - 2 winners
Moody Meats Gift Certificates (Indy residents only) – 2 winners