Going Green (At Home)
One of WAYB’s four core values is “Care for the Planet.” Our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint is a driving force behind the creation of each and every one of our products. While spending more time at home lately, we’ve been thinking about how we can translate our commitment to the environment from our work to our home. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate environmental stewardship around the house! We’re sure many of you have implemented a lot of these ideas already, but we wanted to share our inspiration while we’re on our own path toward sustainability.
Something green we’ve been surrounding ourselves with is plants - more specifically, houseplants! Nurturing and caring for a houseplant is a great way to teach your little ones about the importance of plants and to involve them in an everyday at-home activity. It can also be a great first step before something larger… like a pet! (Our WAYB team has adopted and fostered at least two puppies and two kittens so far this year, which has brought more sunshine into ALL our lives via the cute pictures shared in our company Slack!) And like a loving pet, houseplants are a great way to better the mood of a place and the people who live in it.
Here are the easiest houseplants to grow and take care of. Consider them starter plants (or starter pets - hey, we’ve had friends and family who’ve gone so far as to name their plants, so permission to go wild!): Monstera, Sansevieria, ZZ Plant, Spider Plant, Hedgehog Aloe, Dracaena Giganta, Ponytail Palm, Algaonemas.
And if you’re feeling that urge to start a home garden, here are the easiest outdoor herbs and vegetables to grow and maintain: Tomatoes, Basil, Mint, Zucchini, Carrots, Spinach, Potatoes, Radishes.
And we definitely didn’t want to leave off flowers. Here are some of the easiest to grow: Pansies, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnias, Impatiens.
💡 Light bulbs
Swap out your old light bulbs for a more energy efficient option! LED bulbs are by far the most energy efficient. According to Energy.gov, LED bulbs save 75% more energy and last 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb! With advances in technology, LED bulbs don’t cost much more than other types of lightbulbs, and after factoring in how long they last, it means more money in your pocket, less time spent changing light bulbs over the course of your lifetime, and more environmental benefits (less energy and less waste) - win-win-win!
Pro tip: Make a fun easter egg hunt-type game of it with your kiddos by scouring for every light bulb in the house to make sure you get every one, from the floor to the ceiling. It’s also a great opportunity for a mini science lesson about electricity. When we were kids, we definitely remember how cool it was to twist in a bulb for the first time (with our parents’ supervision, of course) and to feel like we had created light!
Composting is the practice of adding organic material (like food scraps and yard waste) to soil, in order to help plants grow (see tip #1!). Using these organic materials in your garden instead of throwing them away where they often end up in landfills, is a great way to go green at home. Plus, once they end up in landfills, they release methane. According to the EPA, although methane only makes up 10% of the emissions in the earth’s atmosphere, it is 25 times more powerful than CO2 at warming the earth. By composting, you’re helping reduce methane in the air and you’ll have fresh fertilizer to use, thereby reducing the need for chemical fertilizers!
Unsure of where to start? Well, compost is typically made up of browns (dead leaves, branches, twigs), greens (grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, coffee grounds), and water. You’ll want to have an equal amount of browns and greens, and the addition of water is what helps break down the organic material. You can compost outdoors, or if that’s not possible, indoor composting is doable with the use of special bins, which you can find at most gardening and home improvement stores. So buy a bin, throw in your browns and greens with some water and watch the magic happen!
👜 Canvas Bags
We’ve been evangelists of reusable bags for some time now, and we’re proud to say our home base of California was the first state to ban single-use plastic bags back in August 2014. Even if you’ve already fully switched over to using reusable bags, there’s still another fun way to step up your bag game. Feeling uninspired by the reusable bag selection at the grocery store? Well, we’ve found the perfect trick for this: get some reusable canvas bags and decorate them with your kids! You can go as simple as mocking up the recycling symbol with green fabric paint, or as wild as creating the glittering unicorn of your little one’s dreams!
Better yet, you can even use the black non-woven bag that your Pico came in! Instead of wrapping the Pico in a plastic bag that would be thrown away immediately, WAYB intentionally sourced a 100% recyclable, non-woven bag that could be reused -- whether it’s for laundry, groceries, toys, or just schlepping things to and fro. Why not decorate it with the kiddos before eventually recycling it? We love when things get a second (or third) life!
We hope some of these ideas have inspired you to go greener at home (or even just a little chartreuse)! Share your green home adventures online and tag us @hellowayb. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!