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Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly tips’

What is compost & recycling procrastination?  Well, it’s what I call it when you’re rushing around chasing kids, doing laundry and trying to prepare a meal (all at once, of course) and you recognize items that could go into your compost or recycle bin but you just don’t feel like running outside 20 times a day or just plain can’t, so you tell yourself you’ll do it next time and these valuable compostables and recyclables end up in your trash.

Things like coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and eggshells are some examples of things you might toss into the trash on a daily basis.  I have found that if I have a single container (a plastic tupperware container, a glass bowl, etc) on the counter and toss things into it all day long to be taken out to the compost bin at the end of the day, I am much more likely to do it.  It also makes you feel good as the day progresses and you see your container filling up!  Well, either that or it will gross you out.   In that case, put a lid on it.  🙂

Started out with a few shavings of lettuce and carrot...

Later added coffee grounds and chopped banana peel. It adds up!

The same principle works for recycling.  I am not one of those lucky folks who has built-in recycling bins in their kitchen that slide out of the wall or counter, so I have a small plastic bin in my kitchen for recyclables and as the day progresses, things get tossed in there constantly.  I am much more likely to get others in the house to toss items into the readily-accessible bin than asking them each and every time they have something recyclable, to run outside and place it in the appropriate bin.  Good night, the way kids leave doors open every critter in the house would be running the neighborhood if I asked them to do that!

The same thing can be done in the bathroom.  Ever notice empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, contact lens cleaner bottles, hairspray bottles and those little plastic packages your contact lenses come in piling up in the trash in the corner of your bathroom?  Put a recycling bin of some sort in the bathroom, too.  You’d be surprised how much gets tossed into the trash from bathrooms simply because someone doesn’t feel like taking that walk to the outside recycling bins.

Make it a teaching point.  Show your family members how much collects in the bins after just one day.  Tell them how much composting enriches the soil and helps the things in your garden grow and how much they are helping the environment by not throwing these things into the trash where they accumulate in landfills.   You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good, the earth will be a better place.  Yay you!  🙂

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Just in case you didn’t know, Target stores will take $.05 off of your bill for each reusable shopping bag you use there.  It doesn’t matter whether or not the bag is from Target.  It may not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year, it adds up.  Especially if you are a Target fiend like me.  😉

If you don’t have many reusable shopping bags (or any at all) and want to build up your stash, just get in the habit of buying a bag at a time.  Most of them are only $.99 and pretty much every grocery store has them.  Many large chain stores now carry them near the registers, and I have also seen them at book stores as well.  If you have trouble remembering to grab those bags before you leave for your shopping trip, try keeping them in the car.  That way you have to look at them and will be more inclined to bring them into the store with you.

I also noticed that this past week my local Target store just added large recycling bins by the Exit, encouraging people to recycle.  Yay!

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So maybe you don’t think of yourself as being particularly entrenched in “going green.”  That’s ok, you can start small.  There are many things you can do every day to help, that over time will make a huge impact.

*Use re-usable kitchen towels instead of paper towels or napkins. You’ll save a crapload of trees.

*Recycle. We have a small plastic trash bin in the kitchen and it is filled nearly every day with recyclables.  It adds up quick, folks.  Most cities and towns have a regular recycling day and will provide you with bins for each type of recyclable, along with a list of what they accept and don’t accept.

*Carpool. It saves gas, money and cuts down on those nasty emissions.

*Use cloth shopping bags. Saves trees, is a better choice for the environment than the plastic alternative and some stores even give you money to use them!  Target gives you $.05 off of your total for each one that you use, regardless if it is one of theirs.

*Use non-chlorine bleach. Still cleans and disinfects, without the harm to the environment or your family.

*Use unbleached coffee filters. These are the brown ones, folks.  They are made without the use of the chemical dioxin .  They’re going to turn brown anyway, right?

*Use rechargeable batteries. Not only saves you money but helps keep heavy metals from building up in landfills.

For more ways you can help, there is a great website here.

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