"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

17.4.13

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle: Simple Ways to Help the Planet #Simple Living in Practice

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Reuse, reduce, recycle
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,
Diane


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14 comments:

  1. Great ideas Diane! I need to look into where we can recycle here. I think it's sad recycling isn't as readily available as trash pick up is.

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    1. It is the law where I live. If you don't separate your garage from recyclables they tag your bags and won't pick them up. I think eventually you can get fined.

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  2. We try our best to recycle and repurpose as much as possible and when you do it long enough, it just becomes a part of life. Food scraps get composted, plastic, cans, paper and glass all get taken to the recycle bins once a month. In fact, a couple of months ago, we downloaded the app for the local newspaper and cancelled the home delivery. So no more newspapers to recycle. Love the idea of turning clothes into pillows. I have made a couple of quilts with old clothes, but never pillows.

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    1. Hi MJ,
      You sound just like us. We compost and get our paper on kindles... it is wonderful to have more recycling bags on the stoop than garbage. Great to hear from you.

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  3. I buy almost all of my clothing and home goods at thrift stores. If you read the book "Overdressed" about the fashion industry you won't want to buy new again--there's so much waste and overproduction. We recycle as much paper as possible and I use Catalog Choice (website) to remove us from unwanted mailings and catalogs.

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    1. I find really great clothing in thrift shops. It is the items from there that most often get noticed by other people, probably because they don't look like everything else. I havent had a ton of success with paper karma app. I will check out your suggestion. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. I am very good at recycling. I am not really good at saving money on clothing. I will normally shop online rather than hit the lastest thift shop. I do give away all my clothes to someone that needs them. If there is a pair of jeans that my child can still fit but are too short, I will normally cut them off at the end, add ribbon and make them into capris if it is close to summer.

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    1. I find shopping on line has the advantage of not getting you sucked into the sales etc that you see in a physical store. My mom used to add frilly things on to the bottom of my pants... it was way cool in the 70's and would probably go over really well with my daughter. Thanks for commenting Cynthia.

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  5. One of my favorite ways to avoid waste is to read cookbooks and other books via the Kindle app on my iPad. Since I still have some magazine subscriptions running, I pass those along to a friend who keeps passing it along. Eventually, I'll switch to all digital for the magazines.

    Thanks for linking up at Motivation Monday!

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    1. Your good Barb... I read books on my kindle but I still like paper magazines though I have only 3 subscriptions.

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  6. Cleaning out our house in preparation for a move years ago was very eye opening. Why did I need 15 casserole dishes? Why are there all these plastic containers crammed in the cabinet? Really, did I need THAT many clothes, our closet rod is bowed! After we sent away multiple truckloads of items to our local thrift shop we vowed not to cram pack our new home and we've stayed pretty true to that ever since. We frequently do a sweep through the cabinets and closets to make sure we're keeping to our goal and we take any extraneous stuff to the thrift store to be enjoyed by someone else. Love it! (Visiting from Frugal Days Sustainable Ways)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

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    1. I moved so much when I lived in NYC that I think I got in the habit of not accumulating much my only pit fall was books. When my husband and I moved into our house our friends that helped said, "That would have been easy if it wasn't for all the boxes of books." Now that I have a kindle I've donated a lot of my books and I feel pretty light now. Good for you stay light it is easy to accumulate.

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  7. I love the idea of going for a hike instead of going shopping. Glad I stopped by from Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

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    1. Thanks Nicole.. shopping as recreation for woman especially is a hard habit to break. I was brought up doing it.

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