Saturday, May 9, 2009

Focus on reducing your waste

This is a great way to put a lid on your trash and conserve resources. Here is a list of ways to reduce with little or no effort.
-Avoid disposable items whenever possible. Usually these have a coating that cannot be recycled.
-Choose durable products that can be used again and again. (coffee mugs,silverware,etc.)
-Use the blank sides of scrap paper for notes, list, or printing again on. I use hand outs from my daughters school papers to print coupons on. Then recycle scraps. 
-Save plastic produce bags and paper or plastic bags for reuse. Some stores have plastic bag recycling box's so recycle yours when done or better yet stop using them all together. Reuse paper bags as trash bags in every room. Have the kids decorate them and then use them for throwing in stuff to be recycled. 
-Carry a cloth bag to use when you shop. Many stores sell them for cheap. Beware of poorly made ones. Trader Joe's has excellent stury ones for around $1.99. Carry them in your car(or cars) at all times. Have a small travel bag? Throw that one in your purse. Your always covered.
-Buy in bulk whenever possible. Winco has the cheapest prices around. Take your own container if possible. No need to use their "plastic" thin bags. There are several bags that can be reused and washed that you can use to buy bulk in. Try out. 
-Pack lunches in reusable containers to reduce waste and save money. I pack my daughters lunches every single day. We have a "No Ziplock" rule when it comes to packing lunches.
-Choose products with minamal packaging or packaging that can be reused or recycled easily. Buying in bulk will reduce this. Most products are starting to use recycled packaging so seek those out as well. 
-Bring a resable cup or mug to coffee shops. Like those famous coffee brands? Just bring your own cup. They encourage it. 
-Request a junk mail kit to reduce unwanted mail. Portland area: 
-Borrow books from the library or buy used rather than purchasing new. Try for books you cannot find in thrift stores. Otherwise you can find books for 25 cents-$1.99 at Goodwill.
-Repair broken or damaged items rather than replacing them. Keep a sewing kit handy. If you need to replace the item, look for it in the thrift stores first. You will spend 50% less then new items.
-Donate items you can no longer use to nonprofit groups or thrift stores. Try seeking out a womens shelter.  Do some help along with getting rid of your unwanted items.
-Purchase quality used items such as furniture, clothing, sports equipment, toys and books at second hand stores, garage sales or classified ads. Try for what you want too. is a site for free items. Look for your nearest local group and list what you want or look for what you want. 
Compost leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy) in a home compost pile. Use compost to improve your garden or feed house plants. 

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