|Reuse, reduce, recycle|
This symbol for waste reduction has been around for a long time, but have you really thought about what it is trying to communicate? Reuse, reduce, recycle is a very simple and effective way for you and your family to tread lighter on this precise Earth. Here are some practical ways to put these ideas into action at home that will both save you money and reduce pollution.
REUSE: Before you go out and buy a new chair or new clothes... check out your local tag sales and consignment shops. There are serious bargains to be found in these place, high quality, designer clothing and home furnishings, that even gently used, will last longer than the new cheap stuff you buy at Target.
Start or go to sports equipment swaps... most kids only use these items for a year or two before they grow out of them... and they can be very costly new.
My older sister laughs at how expensive tie dye clothing can be. She told me the real reason hippies started tie dying: it was a way to hide stained or damaged clothing. You can do this also. Have a tie dye party with friends. My daughter always loves doing this in the summer.
Cut up old clothes to make quilts or pillows. Teenagers especially love this look. With the wealth of great crafting blogs on the web today you can find many wonderful ideas for reusing all types of home items.
REDUCE: How many pairs of jeans do you truly need? Do you really need more socks than can fit in your dresser? How about all of the towels and sheets bursting out of your closets? Give these items away. You don't need them. You house will be easier to keep clean the less items you have in it.
The next time someone suggest, "Let's go shopping." as a recreational option. Reply, "Lets go for a hike instead." It's cheaper, healthier and more stress reducing to get outdoors than it is to navigate a crowded mall.
RECYCLE: It is easy to get lazy about separating your trash, but landfills are bursting. Recycle not just newspapers, but magazines, cardboard etc. Remove the plastic from your food boxes and recycle your pasta and cereal boxes too. Check plastic codes and recycle all #1 and #2 containers. Plastic bags are recyclable too. Most grocery stores have drop off boxes at their entrances. Keep your cloth shopping bags in your car so you won't have to get the plastic bags to begin with...
The more intention you have to reduce your footprint on the earth the more ways you will find to reuse, reduce and recycle.
Happy Earth Day,