Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce
Three R’s for Sustainability
These three little words are awesome and pack a powerful punch in the world today. These three words connote an existence of living green and sustainability, to prepare for the future of our planet and progeny. These three verbs are at the foundation of saving the planet through building into your daily habits a sustainable lifestyle essential to saving energy and conserving the environment. Read on to learn how to incorporate each habit into your lifestyle:
Incorporating the Habit of Reusing Items
Think about how you can reuse an item say a jar, plastic bottle, plastic bag, rubber boot giving it a new purpose before throwing it away. Use plastic carrier bags to shop or as garbage bags in your home. Paper bags can be used as naturalistic wrapping paper, as well as envelopes and scrap paper. Old clothes can be passed on to others or used to create new items, like pillows or cushion covers, store grocery bags or patchwork items like blankets or mats. I have seen in pictures where in third world countries, old tires are being turned into furniture, swing sets for kids, creatively covered and used as pet beds, and many other uses. In addition to reusing, you can always donate old clothes, books, furniture, jars, bags, and any item to charity and schools or even hold garage sales. Remember, that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.
Thoughts on Recycling
Another way to reduce waste is to recycle. To some it may be an ardent chore and to other great fun, whatever the case for you, purchase large bins to label and designated for different types of
recyclable products and place them in one designated location or conveniently around the house for ease of collection of items. To clarify, have a bin in the kitchen to collect kitchen type items for recycling. In the personal sleeping areas, have a bin to collect personal care items that can be recycled. In the home office have a bin to collect paper, pens, paper clips and other items that are ready for disposal. Make sure to research where you can take your recyclables – there are different companies that take glass, metal, aluminum, paper and so on. There are recycling pick-up options in some neighborhoods where you can physically take your recyclables. One of my favorite things to do to save the planet is to purchase eco-friendly products or purchase products with eco-friendly packaging, which is made from recycled material.
The Art and Seduction of Reduction
In the past few months, I have had friends exclaim that they are now minimalists and have proceeded to reduce the clutter, clothing, furniture, and other items they have in their homes. That almost seems like a foreign animal to me, because I always retort with “I believe in abundance in all things.” Thus, for the sake of this article and to bring awareness, do as I say not as I do. However, if it is in your heart to reduce your possessions and become a minimalist, here are some tips. The first move towards reducing resources that you use is to reduce the amount of garbage your household produces, which simply means reducing the number of products you buy, and when you do make purchases be mindful of the possible wastes produced by it and contemplate on if you really need the product, you are about to purchase. Another way of reducing garbage is to buy products with little packaging or packaging that can be reused, like glass bottles.
Another method of reduction pertains to using less water and electricity in your home, which can be accomplished by turning off the water while brushing your teeth, washing hands, or cleaning the dishes, or by collecting the unused cold water running in the shower as a source to water house plants. Also, improving your home’s energy efficiency by keeping the HVAC in good repair, windows draft free and using more natural light and less indoor lighting during daylight hours.
Currently, there is a trend towards having your own personal garden to grow you own food. This will also cut down on wastes and may increase art of sharing gardening tips, produce from the garden and personal stories that will arise from gardening woes and joys. To help your garden grow, recycling and reusing will work in composting food wastes to use as fertilizer. So, wherever your heart is on this matter, do what works for you and always remember to dispose of hazardous materials and toxic waste matter properly and please whatever you decide to do, get informed!