Thursday, March 13, 2014

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle - A Repost

*This is a post I wrote when I very first began my blog.  I think it is worth repeating.

About ten years ago I really got interested in recycling.  Three years ago I took it a step further and really started to think about our family’s consumption and the overall effect we were having on the earth – our footprint.

Americans are some serious consumers.  No doubt about that.  As our landfills grow larger and cities all over are contracting their mountains of trash out to rural landfills and outsourcing to other sanitation providers it really made an impact on me as a consumer. 

What can I do to reduce the mountain of trash my family produces?

A lot actually.  In a world where we often feel powerless to change things of any great importance we can seriously affect the devastation we, as consumers, place on our earth and its natural resources.  We can, very easily, have a dramatic impact on the current concerns and issues affecting our local landfills.  The best part is we can start today!

If you don’t recycle – START.  Even if you don’t have curbside pick-up service, consider locating your local recycling center and taking your items in.

Look for the large metal recycling bins in area parking lots supporting scouts, Kiwanis groups, shelters, etc.  Impact the environment and a civic group too!

You can recycle – PAPER, NEWSPAPER, CARDBOARD, ALUMINUM, METAL, GLASS, & MOST PLASTIC – look for the symbol.

Start COMPOSTING – fruit & vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds & tea bags, shredded newspaper, paper grocery bags, dryer lint, leaves & grass clippings.

Shop with RE-USABLE SHOPPING BAGS.  If you must use plastic bags bring your them back to the store to re-use or place in the recycle bin usually located near the front door.  Use PAPER BAGS.

PURCHASE LESS than you truly need to avoid waste.

THINK before you make your next purchase, no matter how small.  "How much trash will this create?"  “How am I going to use it?"  When I am done with it where will it go?”

Consider RENTING or BORROWING items you rarely need or use.

Collect your ALUMINUM CANS to take in for MONEY and add a little to your income.  My kids collect them and once a year in the spring we take them in. We usually get enough money to go out to lunch.

RETURN all cans and bottles that require a DEPOSIT.

If you have a garbage disposal use it.

CONSCIOUSLY LOOK at what you are placing into the TRASH.

RE-USE items you might normally throw away.  REPAIR something rather than REPLACE it.

GROW A GARDEN.  You will give back to the environment, have a place to use your compost and consume wonderful and nutritious food starting with just a few small seeds and a little water.

PLANT a TREE.  Give back to the earth to help replace what we take from it.


Once you get started you will immediately feel good about what you are doing and pretty soon it will become a habit.  You won’t even have to think about it.

You may also enjoy revisiting Use It Up.


  1. Great post. I have gotten much better at recycling over the years. I admit I used to think it wasn't worth the bother. I now realize that the efforts of one person can amount to big change.

    1. In this area I firmly believe we can truly make a huge difference one person at a time. I know I can only work harder to improve on this.

  2. We are lucky in that the council does re-cycling collections every two weeks for paper, metal, textiles, glass, cardboard and even batteries. If we have a large item like a refrigerator or a couch, we can make an appointment for them to pick it up. That said, anything metal that's left out over night usually disappears - scrap metal is hot stuff around here. We compost a lot of our food scraps and put it on the garden where we grow veggies. The trash that is left is about a quarter of what it once was - we could have monthly trash collection and never notice. I re-use paper for scribbling notes and I cut up old clothes for rags. I'm trying to learn to sew clothing and in learning how a new pattern works I cut up old clothes to use as practice fabric. I buy a lot of craft materials from thrift stores - men's cotton shirts are a great resource, as are lined curtains. I think every one should have to walk through a landfill site and see all the junk that ends up there...we'd stop buying so much stupid stuff and give more consideration to what we threw out.

    1. I couldn't agree with you more. If people actually saw what is out there and what needs to be dealt with maybe they'd think more about what they send there. You have some wonderful recycling ideas. I especially love the idea of your "practice" fabric. Great work!

  3. This is a wonderful post! We do a lot of these thing already but there are some things listed that we do not do. Thank you for the inspiration. I think it is especially important to teach our kids these things- their generation will be affected even more than ours. Thanks again for this!

    1. I'm glad you liked it. I couldn't agree more with you, our children will definitely feel the impact if we don't do something now.


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