Happy Spring Everyone! It is a season of new life and the perfect day to discuss Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!
It is day 8 of our challenge and we are beginning our second phase, Building the Foundations for a More Sustainable Life. Over the last week we have focused on exploring and organizing. We did this so to be better able to take advantage of pre-existing resources in our homes.
This week, our goal is to put foundational practices into place that will allow us to live more self-sufficiently. This will allow us to live an easier, simpler, and less dependent daily life.
Today we will be focusing on Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The basic principles are simple- take on as little post-consumer waste as possible to reduce overall waste production.
- Refuse– Refuse freebees. Free offers can be tempting, but often times they are not needed. Accepting these free gifts adds to the clutter and excess items in your house. Prevent these extra materials from getting into your home by simply saying no thank you.
- Reduce– Reduce the amount of waste you produce. The easiest way to do this is to consider the packaging of your purchases while shopping. For example, when in the grocery store, opt for items wrapped in recyclable cardboard rather than plastic. Reduce plastic waste at stores by bringing your own bags. Further reduce plastic waste by using reusable produce bags rather than the plastic provided.
- Reuse– Reuse what you can. Many items in our homes can have a second life. Rather than sending them to the dump and buying more, give them that life. Olive bar containers can be washed, old shirts can become rags, and old dressers can turn bookshelf. It takes a little imagination (or some Pinterest browsing) but it is possible.
- Recycle– Recycle what you can. Recycling is listed as the last viable option because as many have reported, the things that are placed into recycling bins by consumers are not always recycled. As a result, recycling should be the last option.
Adopting this method of waste reduction in our daily lives makes us less dependent on others for waste removal and encourages us to find a second life for the materials we bring into our homes. At first, this can seem like a lot of extra work; however, it becomes routine after time, requiring very little additional effort from you.
What things do you have in your home that could get a second life this week?
We are in the middle of our three week sustainable living challenge. Don’t want to miss any of the challenges? Follow us via RSS or email in the upper right hand column. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.