Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reduce and Reuse

Today I am thinking about a campaign that I remember from fifth or sixth grade. We we're learning about reducing, reusing, and recycling to keep the planet green (and blue I think). It seems to me that we are all doing a lot better about the recycling than ever before, but we forget that recycling takes a lot of energy. Energy that for the most part is still using our precious natural resources. So Today I am compiling lists about Reducing and Reusing, this will save energy and money. 

  • Plan a shopping list to prevent purchasing on impulse. I think this is a great idea. All the things I buy on impulse (like cookies) end up in the trash and I usually wish I hadn't bought them.
  • Purchase products that will not go out of fashion quickly. This means no 
  • Purchase things with less packaging. Supporting companies that are making the green effort has made a difference and will continue to make a difference
  • Purchase things in bulk quantities eg. one large box of breakfast cereal instead of two small boxes. Don't forget to make it items you can eat before they go bad. A jumbo jar of pickles that get thrown out isn't reducing anything.
  • Purchase durable items that will last you a long time eg. rechargeable battery.
  • Purchase refillable items eg. dish washing liquid.
  • Borrow, share and/or hire things that you only need occasionally. maybe start a neighborhood co-op of occassional use items that some of us already have. 
  • Bring a shopping bag while shopping instead of requesting for plastic or paper bags.
  • Use cloth instead of paper tissue for cleaning.
  • Store perishable food eg. bread, fruits in refrigerator. This way they last longer and don't end up in the trash. amazing!
  • Pack breakfast or lunch in washable container instead of a one-time container.
  • Call the respective organisation/s to remove your address from their mailing list to prevent junk mail. wouldn't it just make your day to get the mail and have no junk?
  • Use one strong bulb instead of a few low-wattage ones.
  • Check for dripping taps and inspect taps and pipes to prevent water leakage. often these are so easy to fix that you can do it yourself with online instructions and a dollar worth of gaskets from the hardware store.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath.
  • Wash only with full loads of laundry. do laundry less, better for everyone including the environment.
  • Reuse used glass and plastic containers as receptacles. This is a great idea especially for some of the prettier bottles.
  • Use unwanted plastic bags to bag garbage. Remember because we reduced these we don't have many unwanted plastic bags or as much garbage.
  • Use old clothing as rags for cleaning. my mom has been doing this for years
  • Convert scrap paper into memo pads.
  • Pass old textbooks, story books, and toys to others. Some of my favorite Sophia toys were given to us or bought second hand 
  • Pass smaller size but good quality clothing to others. 
  • Donate good quality but unwanted items to old folks' homes, charitable organisations etc. Goodwill will pick up bigger items if they are being donated for free, or if you collect a lot of items from your neighborhood you can have them picked up and save you time.
  • Repair and recondition faulty electronic appliances to extend their useful lives. Make sure you let a professional do this, and don't forget that sometimes newer more effecient appliances are neccesary 
  • Clean and reuse washable cutlery and crockery for the next party. No one really enjoys the paper and plastic at a party anyway, If the party is too big for your dishes and cutlery you can rent it. 
More Ideas are always welcome, What do you do to keep your world green? How can the kids help?


Kathy said...

I make new cards from recycled cereal (any boxes actually) boxes and cover with envelope scraps/ads/junk mail to trade with others. They are called ATC, short for artist trading cards.
We even made some brown bags...with some markers/crayolas/pencils, you can make some very pretty cards, and use as tags, etc . Of course, I have plenty of time to do all this, but children always like to draw, color, etc. so they can also use old envelopes, etc.
I try to have all my bills paid online, so I don't have all those coming in the mail. No checks to mail either!!

The Queen said...

I SO need to make a grocery list. I am so bad about buying anything and everything at the store.