I am the former Miss Minnesota Earth 2018, Tegan Gruhot. Throughout my reign last year as Miss Minnesota Earth I was given many opportunities to share with young children around my area about the important of taking care of our earth. One of the first events I did was my Think Global Act Local project in which I partnered with my local Cans for Kids organization, and did a book reading with a bird feeder craft. At this event we read “The Adventures of an Aluminum Can” and “I can save the Earth” both by Little Green Books. These books were both interesting and important in showing kids about recycling and what they can do to become more eco-friendly. In the first book an aluminum can first starts as a bauxite rock, goes through a processing line turns into a can, and then is recycling and turned into a baseball bat. This book was important in showing kids the benefits of recycling and what happens in the process. The second book was about a little monster who is an environmental nightmare, and he soon learns what he can do to be more eco-friendly and help our earth!
I grew up playing outdoors constantly, and quickly learned the importance of cleaning up our earth while being outside, along with recycling. According to the Recycle Across America website “Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two-person household for one year”. I find that absolutely crazy and just another reason that we as humans should push towards using reusable water bottles along with finding other things in our home and personal lives that can be more eco-friendly.
What are ways that you and your family can become more eco-friendly? Take a look below at some small but huge ways that you can impact our earth.
1. Using reusable straws. Plastic straws are showing up all over the shores of our oceans, they are affecting our sea creatures and animals that find them. Plastic straws are also not biodegradable. Using glass, bamboo or stainless-steel straws can greatly impact our earth. These straws are reusable, eco-friendly, easy to clean, portable and last but not least they reduce the amount of plastic straws showing up in our oceans and landfills.
2. Use wool dryer balls. Using wool dryer balls helps cut drying time down because the balls help air circulate better. Cutting down on dryer time helps reduce energy usage.
3. Simply turning off lights when you are done in a room, which helps conserve electricity or turning off the water while brushing your teeth which helps conserve water.
4. My final eco-friendly suggestion is to use reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags are ending up in our landfills or other locations on our earth. Reusable shopping bags are eco-friendly, durable, resourceful and some store are even offering incentives for checking out with a reusable bag or tote! Check your local stores!
Throughout my reign as Miss MN Earth USA 2018, I learned so many valuable lessons that I will carry with me forever. The organization truly changed my outlook on our planet. I really thought I was doing a lot with recycling, using my water bottles, walking to work when I could, but I had no clue how many more things that I could incorporate in my life to be MORE eco-friendly. The more I learned, the more I shared. I didn’t just share to the public as a titleholder, but also in my personal life. Suggesting to family and friends what they could change to help our planet, but also my daycare kids. They are all so young & beautiful and still learning about our planet. They are at the age where if we teach them now how to take care of our planet that is something they can pass on for generations.