A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Simple Ways to Green Your Life

The state of the world around me causes me quite a deal of concern. The reckless abandon with which we toss aside anything and everything makes me fear that there won't be anything left by the time my daughter & her generation inherit this world from us. We consume en masse and discard just as freely. Water bottles and soda cans because we must have a brand new container for each serving of beverage. That makes no sense logically, but still we must have it. I mean, who needs a new container for every beverage when you can wash the container, realistically. Not that I would wash a soda can, but you wash and reuse a tea pitcher, you know. 

My point is that we wast a LOT. A lot, a lot. 

And we're busy, so we do this for convenience. And it's understandable; it's easier, it's faster, it's cleaner in the short term. And it's not just beverages, but everything. Toy packages and shipping packages (have you ever ordered from office depot, like some pens, and received them in a box large enough to hold five boxes of files? I have. I mean what the what?) and all the random stuff we toss out daily at our house. We buy a box of crackers or cookies that have ten individual little packets in them. We aren't eating everything, but we like it packaged. And we're not even going to talk about the waste that goes into making that food we eat and the packaging and on and on. We usually have at least a bag of garbage a day. You get the idea...we waste a lot. We as in my family; we as in society as a whole. 

I can't do everything I would like to to green up my life. I don't have time for cloth diapers. I don't always recycle everything I could. Newspapers and card board often get neglected. I'm pretty good about soda cans and plastic bottles, but really I hate the process. Cleaning, saving, taking. We recycle all of the laundry detergent containers and kitty litter containers. 

Here's my quick and easy list:

Recycle what you can. Set up a system and make it easy on yourself. Forgive yourself if you don't recycle every single recyclable. Some is better than none, and maybe you can move towards it at some point down the road. Start small.

Make a compost heap. Instead of trashing all those left over peels and veggie scraps, put them out in a pile. They'll make great garden soil some day. 

Don't eat a lot of fast food. This is good for your waist, too. But you'll have less disposable meal containers to throw away. It's sort of a win-win.

Use rags for cleaning instead of paper towels//and cloth napkins for eating. I find this to actually be easier than using paper towels. I just have dark colored rags that I use only for cleaning, and the lighter ones are wash clothes. They last longer, and clean more. And cloth napkins are just so pretty and fun. And easy...i can wash them with anything. 

Get a water filter and use a water bottle. Or get a water bottle with a filter like the Bobble. You get a lot more use out of a bottle designed to last, obviously, than one designed to be thrown out. I find that bottled water doesn't really taste any better or different than filtered water. 

Get reusable grocery bags. Are you seeing a theme here? {Reuse} I keep one in my purse. I use it at the fruit stand and the grocery store. And I keep a larger one in my car for the bigger trips. If you do get plastic bags, save them and use them as liners for the bathroom trash cans. 

Make your clothes last. There seems to be a trend of buying clothes meant to last for only one season. Trendy items that aren't meant to last more than five or six wash cycles. Avoid those clothes. It's better on your budget to make them last anyways. Repair small holes and don't throw out pants because they popped a button. If you're tired of it, donate it. But don't buy them for single use...buy them to last. I find this really helps my budget and my sanity. It's so much easier to not have to shop for new clothes on the weekly. It may be more expensive up front but it pays off in the end. Also, dry on low heat and air dry when possible. It saves energy and helps the clothes wear longer.

These are just a few simple things that you can do, easily, without a lot of hassle. You don't have to make huge changes in your life style and you can really see your wallet get thicker too. Less material waste equates to less monetary waste as well!

1 comment:

  1. Great article! Not only will you help protect the environment from ditching the plastic water bottles, but people can save money. A consumer research group found that the average person spends $500 a year on bottled water. Be green and save green is what I always say.


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