The 4 Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose

Forest With Dirt RoadThe 44th celebration of Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22. The media report more and more dire warnings about climate change due to global warming and human behavior. Consider that what we do, or don’t do, now will determine the condition of our planet for our children, our children’s children and so on. Collectively we can make a difference!

It’s actually very easy to incorporate eco-friendly habits into daily life. If you’ve already started, great! If you’re a newbie, start now. Please.

Here are loads of simple tips. Read through them to find new ones you’ll want to try!

Recycle

If you don’t know about curbside recycling where you live, contact your city/town or trash hauler. Rules vary among haulers and cities, and recycling may be mandatory where you live.

A recycling station in your kitchen is a good idea if you have space.

Paper

Put a small bin where you open the mail and immediately toss junk and unwanted papers. Put another paper recycle bin where you process paper, such as a home office. When you finish reading magazines and newspapers, toss them into a paper recycling bin. You will see how easy it is to drop papers and cardboard into a recycle bin instead of the garbage can.

When printing or copying at home, reuse the other side of paper.

Buy recycled paper.

Print fewer copies. Ask yourself, do you really need a paper copy?

Plastic, Glass, Aluminum, etc.

Simple — when you’re done, put it in the recycle bin in the kitchen or garage.

Electronics

Best Buy takes up to three items per day for free recycling.

Staples will recycle or trade in your old electronics for a Staples e-cash card.

Hazardous Waste

Become familiar with what constitutes hazardous waste. For example, CFL bulbs contain mercury; they are hazardous waste (be careful not to break them) that can be recycled at Home Depot or Ikea. Contact your local municipality or county for hazardous waste collection dates.

Reuse

Buy reusable water bottles and forgo the one-time-use bottle.

Donate cellphones to soldiers deployed overseas at Cellphones For Soldiers to call home or to Secure The Call which provides free 911 emergency cellphones to seniors and domestic abuse victims to contact police in an emergency.

Drop off old eyeglasses in Lions Club collection boxes typically found at libraries, schools, grocery stores and optometrist’s offices.

Mail the front of greeting cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children where volunteers create new cards to sell and raise money.

Return wire hangers to your dry cleaners.

You bought containers hoping they would get you organized — but they sit empty (it’s not quite that simple!). With new insights after reading this blog post, see if you can find uses for them.

Reduce

Here’s a fun idea ? have swap parties with friends and family. You no longer want these things but someone else may like them.

Exchange old video games at Walmart or Sam’s Club for store credit.

Turn off and unplug your computer, printer and other electronics every night to reduce phantom power loss, power used by electronics even when turned off. According to the Environmental Resource Center, phantom energy loss accounts for about 5% of a home’s electricity costs or about 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year in U.S. households. Wow.

Combine errands to save time and fuel.

Donate. Tip: Put a bin in clothes and coat closets and donate when the bin is full. Here’s a list of some places to donate:

Goodwill
Salvation Army
Red Cross
Vietnam Veterans of America
The Stuff Shop (matches your unwanted stuff with people who need that stuff )
Impact Thrift Store (greater Philadelphia, PA area)
Freecycle (give/get free stuff)
To find thrift stores throughout the U.S.

 

Repurpose

An empty tissue box can store plastic shopping bags.

Empty paper ream boxes can hold hanging file folders.

In the kitchen, pour cooking grease into a coffee can and close the lid — and add years to the life of your garbage disposal.

A shoebox covered with wrapping paper becomes a new storage container.

Use Altoids tins for paper or small binder clips.

Shred colorful gift tissue paper to use as filler in gift bags.

Give old sneakers to a participating Nike store to be made into building materials.

Stitcht.com turns t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothes and anything else into quilts, duvet covers and pillows.

T-shirts, sweatshirts, varsity letters, uniforms, jeans, old costumes, baby clothes, or anything else you have stuffed in your closets can be incorporated into our quilts, duvet covers and pillows. don’t have enough stuff for all the squares? we can provide blanks in most colors for no extra charge. – See more at: http://stitcht.com/gallery/t-shirt-quilts/#sthash.HEUStd6Y.dpuf
T-shirts, sweatshirts, varsity letters, uniforms, jeans, old costumes, baby clothes, or anything else you have stuffed in your closets can be incorporated into our quilts, duvet covers and pillows. don’t have enough stuff for all the squares? we can provide blanks in most colors for no extra charge. – See more at: http://stitcht.com/gallery/t-shirt-quilts/#sthash.HEUStd6Y.dpuf
T-shirts, sweatshirts, varsity letters, uniforms, jeans, old costumes, baby clothes, or anything else you have stuffed in your closets can be incorporated into our quilts, duvet covers and pillows. don’t have enough stuff for all the squares? we can provide blanks in most colors for no extra charge. – See more at: http://stitcht.com/gallery/t-shirt-quilts/#sthash.HEUStd6Y.dpuf

I bought sweatpants made from recycled plastic bottles. Who knew? If it didn’t say so on the label, I’d have never known. The down side is that I’m thirsty whenever I wear them (kidding!).

Are you getting ideas about how to be more eco-friendly and use things in new, and maybe surprising, ways? Hopefully, I’ve given you some tools on which to build.

Learn about our environment and ways to reduce our carbon footprint. A helpful resource is www.earth911.com.

 

Call today to schedule your eco-organizing, Earth-friendly organizing session!

 

Products of the Month

 

Paper Karma appThis is really cool. Do you have unwanted junk mail and an iOS or Android smartphone? To have your address deleted, take a picture of your address and scan it using a free app called Paper Karma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Guide app for iOS and AndroidGood Guide app for iOS and Android devices makes it easy to find green, safe, healthy and ethical products. Just open the app, hold your device so the bar code shows in the window and you get a lot of helpful information about that product based on scientific ratings.

 

 

 

Notable Quote

Creating a habit is like walking through deep snow. At first it is really hard. But each time you walk that path, it gets easier. Eventually it is easier to walk that path than to break a new one.  ~Zen proverb

 

Call today to schedule your eco-organizing, Earth-friendly organizing session!