In some ways, you might consider me fairly "green." I'm conscious of avoiding dangerous chemicals in my food and home, and I always turn to natural remedies first when my family is ill. But when it comes to protecting our planet, I'm a dismal failure. I buy plastic water bottles. I waste paper. I throw away products I should probably recycle. When it comes right down to it, I am far from being a green mom.

Going Green for Earth Day

As much as I believe in and advocate for healthier, non-toxic lifestyles for our kids, I'll readily admit to knowing less than I should about the earth-friendly practices that are good for our planet. I've been so focused on raising and protecting my own children on a day-to-day basis that an earth-friendly lifestyle has always seemed like a bigger commitment than I was ever willing to make.

But with each passing year, I've become more aware that there are small changes in our everyday lives that can have a significant impact on our world at large. Even if you (like me) are far from being green, you can still celebrate Earth Day 2013 by embracing some truly simple ways to be more earth-friendly.

Easy Ways to Be Earth-Friendly

  • Keep reusable grocery bags in your car. If they're not in the car, they're too easy to forget. I've learned this the hard way.
     
  • Turn off the lights. Much to my husband's dismay, I leave lights on after leaving a room. It's a habit that's bad for the planet — and bad for the budget.
     
  • Turn off your computer at night. Yes, it's a pain to wait for it to start up on the morning, but a simple flick of the switch will save valuable energy.
     
  • Take your own travel mug to the coffee shop. Apparently, my Starbucks addiction is bad for both my waistline AND the planet. Skipping the disposable cups is at least one step in the right direction.
     
  • Invest in a stainless steel water bottle. Klean Kanteen is a popular brand that is BPA-free, and will allow you to quit buying (and throwing away) plastic bottles of water.
     
  • Consolidate your errands. Save gas, the environment, and your valuable time by being more strategic when you drive. What busy mom wouldn't benefit from this one?
     
  • Fill your freezer. A full freezer is actually more efficient than an empty one. Who knew freezer meals were good for the environment?
     
  • End the junk mail. You don't want it anyway, so go online and opt out of receiving it.
     
  • Buy used. Not everything needs to be new. Used items are often cheaper, and many have more character than mass-produced items in big box stores.

Are you good at being earth-friendly? Any easy tips to share with those of us who aren't?