Two families say living more simply and greener can make an impact on the planet and your life at home.
"There was one day when the girls were laying in the middle of the floor screaming, 'I'm bored!' With all these toys around them, and it's like, I need to get back to my basics," said Tina Switzer.
The Switzers made a vow at that moment to live a simpler life. They decided there would be no new toys or video games; just lots of time spent as a family.
Jenn Savedge started her family's change outside. She turned household waste into fertilizer. The former national park service ranger said parents should teach their children simple steps early on.
"The average school-age child creates 67 pounds of waste, just in their lunches each year," said author Jenn Savedge.
One of Savedge's favorite tips for parents is to pack lunch in a tote. She says you should use Tupperware, a Thermos, real utensils and a cloth napkin.
Other top tips include:
- Use cloth tote bags for shopping.
- Buy compact fluorescent bulbs for home lighting; they last 10 times longer.
- Buy less and involve your kids in the process
"We've been slowly taking stuff out of the house. Our garage is full," said Switzer.
For the Switzers, green living means what they purge today may be someone's recycled treasure tomorrow.
A final eco-friendly tip from Savedge is greening your lawn care. She says you should set your mower blades one notch higher. If grass grows longer it takes less water and fewer chemicals to look green. It sounds like a small change, but it can make a big difference.