Wednesday is St. Patrick's day, how are you going to celebrate? Wearing green? Drinking green beer? How about we add a little Earth's love to this Green holiday? This St. Patrick's day let's Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Here are a few ideas:
· Buy and use less! If all the other people on the Earth used as much "stuff" as we do in the United States, there would need to be three to five times more space just to hold and sustain everybody. This twice, three times, heck 10 times before you buy another....do you really need it?
· Flashy and fun packaging costs more, usually adds little or no value to the product, and (worst of all!) can do considerable harm to our environment by creating more waste or waste disposal difficulties. So whenever you have a choice, put plain and recyclable packages high on your list to reduce packaging waste in our environment.
· Avoid single-serve containers whenever possible.
· Think BIG! Buying in "bulk," but only if you know you are going to use it. Don’t just buy a lot and then waist it.
· Refuse store bags! When you buy one or two items at a store, carry them out in your hands.
· You can save money and reduce waste by keeping appliances, cars, clothes longer and repairing them when they break, rather than buying new ones.
· Say NO to junk mail! Call toll-free numbers in unwanted catalogs and ask to be removed from mailing lists.
· Start a garden this will not only feed your family with cheap organic foods, but you can donate to a charity in your town all the extras.
You can "reuse" materials in their original form instead of throwing them away, or pass those materials on to others who could use them too! Remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure! Here are some examples of reuse ...
- Take along washable cups or travel mugs instead of disposables; a lot of restaurants and convenient stores will be glad to fill or refill your own mug.
- When you do use disposables like plastic cups, plates, utensils, and plastic food storage bags, don't throw them away! Wash and reuse them -- most of them will last for a long time with many uses. They may not cost much to replace, but it doesn't make any more sense to throw away those things than it does to throw away your bicycle after one use.
- When you do decide to replace something large and "reusable", be sure to donate the old one to charitable outlets like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Vietnam Veterans, and the many others that are probably in your area. Most of the time the item can be repaired by those groups, and then redistributed into other homes rather than landfills.
- Hold a yard sale or give-away. And ask your neighbors to join in too -- this shares the work and increases the number of unused things that can find new homes and new uses. And your local recycling/solid waste office may run a "swap shop" at a recycling centers
- When you do need to purchase something, check those yard sales and charitable outlets first to see if they have what you need before selecting something new.
- Use cloth gift bags and stop ripping the paper off gifts! If you remove the wrapping paper carefully, you can use it again, and there's nothing wrong with doing just that! And don't forget to use canvas or cloth bags when shopping so you don't need to make the choice between "paper or plastic."
- Use washable table napkins instead of paper napkins -- cloth napkins are usually much larger and more absorbent than paper products, and they can dress up your dinner table too!
- New baby? Buy washable cotton diapers (look for them at yard sales or charitable outlets). Check the yellow pages to see if there is a diaper service in your area. If you select those with velcro wraps, reusable diapers are just as convenient and may even be cheaper than disposable diapers.
Teach your kids about recycling visit http://www.epa.gov/kids/garbage.htm
Here is a list of things you should always recycle (or reuse)
- Acid Batteries
- Aluminum Cans
- Building Materials
- Electronic equipment
- Glass (particularly bottles and jars)
- Plastic Bags
- Plastic Bottles
- Steel Cans
- White Goods (Appliances)
- Writing/Copy Paper
- Yard Waste