Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The world is not my trash can.

Since tomorrow is Earth Day, I thought I would post a couple things I do to help make the world a cleaner place...

I haven't always made a focused effort to take care of the environment like I probably should, but in the past 6 months or so I have tried to get a little better at the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

I have trouble with the last R - Recycle (see below), so I try to make it up by focusing more on the other two.

I bought these great reusable bags that I LOVE. I use them instead of getting plastic grocery or shopping bags everywhere I go. In the past two days I have saved 6 shopping bags by using my cute reusable bag instead. I do have one exception to this rule so far - I still get bags from Target, but my reason for that is because I REUSE them to put stinky diapers in...instead of using a Diaper Genie and in my opinion Target has the best plastic bags.

I have also worked on reducing the amount of paper towels I use. I admit, it is sooo much easier to grab one, use it once for just a little drip and toss it out only to grab another one to use for something else. In order to realize that there are other ways to clean up spills, wipe messy faces, clean the mirrors, dry your hands, etc I decided this would be a good thing for a PTA (paper towel abuser) to give up for lent. Yes, I am proud to say I made (6.5 weeks?) paper towel free! It wasn't easy...especially on day 1 when Bowman decided to heave-ho in the kitchen - it would have been MUCH easier to clean it up with a huge wad of paper towels as I usually do, and it was very tempting, but I did not.

For some reason I have a recent sense of guilt when I throw plastic containers out with the trash. I have been trying to come up with ways of reusing them instead. These are just a few of many plastic items I reuse.

I love the plastic coffee creamer containers (the liquid kind). I use it as a plastic bag holder for the car. It fits perfectly in the cup holder in the backseat and makes it easier to grab a bag to collect any garbage that might get left in the car (I guess this is another reason I keep the bags from Target). I also figured out a way to inter-connect the handles when putting the bags in the container so the next bag comes out just a little to make it easy to pull out). You could also use it to make salad dressing in...it has a nice pour spout and you can stick any unused dressing back in the fridge.

Another favorite that you will find all over my house are plastic takeout containers. They are great for storing small things like crayons, office supplies, items collected on nature hikes...the options are really limitless here!
Here is why Recycling is a little tough for us.
Our dumpster is fenced in and unfortunately there isn't room for another container. The only option would be to separate and collect it myself and drop it off at our closest recycling center. Maybe I will make this a goal for the future, but right now, I have a hard enough time getting to the grocery store, post office (future post to come on this one!), Target, etc. I can just see myself collecting items to recycle and having good intentions of dropping it off, but running out of time because someone had a meltdown and then leaving a container of stinky trash in the back of the car. I can hear Jon now lecturing me now...ooops! :o )

So there you have it. The few things I do to try to make the earth a little cleaner for us all to live. What are the little things you do on a day to day basis to help out?

1 comment:

Jenna said...

We bought awesome reusable bags at Costco. They are huge and can hold TONS of groceries! We also reuse our grocery bags in our little trash cans in the bathrooms and Jentry's room, and we reuse the paper bags we get when we take stuff to Goodwill, the handle bags are nice for that. We also recycle our bottles and cans. In fact our cans go to help Habitat for Humanity build houses!