Friday, April 10, 2009

Living Green 101

There are some very simple things you can do to reduce the amount of trash you throw away each day/week/month/year.

  • Using cloth kitchen towels and napkins instead of paper towels and napkins will help reduce the amount of trash more than you might think. Do a little experiment. Every time you use a paper napkin and/or towel, put it in a separate trash bag and at the end of the week look to see how many you have used. You might be surprised at the number of paper towels in your bag. Cloth can be washed and reused over and over again.
  • Store leftovers in plastic containers like Tupperware® that have lids so you don’t have to use aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover the leftovers.
  • Get your family off the junk mail merry-go-round (find your post about this on Brenda’s Page)
  • Pay your bills online. Most companies offer email billing so you won’t get a paper copy in the mail. Sign up for online newspapers and magazine subscriptions…I mean, honestly, we both know those magazines are just going to sit in a pile never to be looked at again…and all those recipes, etc that you want will never be made. So why not get your subscriptions online…this way if there is a recipe you want to try, you can copy and paste it into your recipe word file on your computer…and pull it up when you are ready to use it and this way you don’t have to sort through all those piles of torn out recipes.
  • Make your own coffee at home and get a travel mug to take with you in the mornings. Not only will you be saving the environment by not getting those Styrofoam coffee cups, but you will be saving gas by not traveling to the coffee shop and time. Coffee makers these days are equipped with timers so you can get it ready the night before and then you can wake up to a fresh brewing cup of coffee.
  • If you just have to have a Starbucks or Duncan Donuts coffee and you don’t want to make it at home, still purchase the travel mug…some stores will give you a discount for using your own mug and not their cups. Ask your local coffee shop if they do this.
  • Canvas bags! I know you’ve heard this one over and over again. And if you are like me, you tend to forget them in the car when you do go inside the store…so try this little trick…When you are going grocery shopping try putting your shopping list inside the canvas bags, this way you have to remember the bag because you need your list.
  • Or keep one bag up front with you…put your pocket book inside it, so when you go to get out of the car you will remember it and you will remember to grab your other ones.
  • Buying rechargeable batteries can be a little costly upfront, but think about the money you will save in the long run. If you have a child who plays video games all the time, they can go through a lot of batteries. So with a battery charger, you can charge 2 batteries while they are using the other two and switch off. No more having to make a stop for batteries to keep the kids happy.
  • Just like the coffee, stop buying bottled water. They make some great filtering systems now and they make some very cute and reasonable looking reusable water bottles…you can refill your reusable bottle over and over again…and by using the water filtering system, you will save a lot of money.
  • Does your company waste a lot of paper because they can only use one side? Why not bring it home for your kids to draw on. And if you don’t have any young children at home, why not donate it to a daycare (as long as the information on the other side isn’t anything that would violate someone’s privacy, etc.)…Or cut the paper in half and use it for messages or scrap paper, etc in the office.

Do you know what the biggest litter problem in the world is? Plastic grocery bags…so don’t use them!

1 comment:

Rena said...

Thanks Brenda! We're big users of Tupperware products. Then again, there are other people who don't like those because they don't like the plastic they use. It's getting a little crazy!