With Earth Day upon us, we are thinking about the environment and what we can do to help save the planet…sounds ominous, but true. Maybe, just maybe, each of us doing a little can help…factories around the world not withstanding.
I would love to have curb-side recycling where I live, but we don’t, and hauling what little I have to recycle is hard, so we cut back as much we can. The recyclers here won’t take steel cans or glass, which upsets me to no end. If I can get a label off of any container,(and /or it is thoroughly cleanable), I reuse it. I have cabinets in the kitchen and boxes in the laundry room and garage full of tiny-to-large jars and bottles, although many are in use. Any items and foods I can get in less packaging gets poured into said containers…rice, beans, coffee, pasta…anything small can go into a bottle or jar. Plastic ‘clamshell’ or other topped containers are used to send goodies or entrees home with family and friends. I ask family members who use microwaveable meals to give me their empty bowls and trays to make my own frozen meals, (mostly from leftovers).
I not only donate anything wearable or useable to my local charity thrift store, they even get our stained and torn clothing, as they cut and sell them as rags to local factories, and make a tidy profit doing so.(The moneys go to food banks and emergency help for working families to pay their energy bills and housing bills.) They also get my extra grocery sacks to reuse for their patrons. I still get plastic bags most of the time, but I use them for trashcan liners, which are especially necessary in the bathrooms. (Trash into the landfill or into the water supply? The choice has to be landfill.) I have also found them to be useful for cushioning and wrapping holiday items for storage, and I reuse them year to year, unless the mice have gotten into them.
By the way, I bought a number of reusable bags a few years ago when it looked like grocery sacks would not be available here without cost. I bought a lot of Halloween ones on a terrific clearance one mid-November. So if you see me carrying black bags with skeleton heads in April, you’ll know why.
We have quit taking the daily paper because we found ourselves hardly touching it. I have a large PUR container and refill sport bottles from it. I bought little colorful canteens and send the kids out to play with them full of water or lemonade instead of disposable drink containers. I do what I can.
And speaking of cans, here is one recycle/reduce/reuse idea that I am pleased with myself about: Cans.
Coffee cans, nut cans, bread crumb and cookie cans that I have decoupaged:
I don’t usually have them piled like this; it’s just to give you an idea of the different types.
I keep oatmeal in the one that has grains, flour in one that has flowers, vegetable pasta in the one with vegetables…but not all work out that well. Do you see the angel, or teddy bear, or maybe the fine art one? One has light bulbs, some have candles, one has electric items, one has hooks, some have miscellaneous items. I have Christmas ones, Halloween ones and ones with Autumnal scenes that have holiday items in them, they are easy to spot… and they are easy to do.
Look at the open ones with cars that my young author has on his desk:
I also have larger storage boxes, too. I make them while I am watching movies or listening to BookTV or other online/TV/video time. I reuse the container and lessen the paper waste from magazines, greeting cards, old calendars and catalogs, plus, I gain durable, nearly free, storage. Even though one can purchase expensive decoupage medium and coatings, simple white glue, (often found cheaply on clearance at back-to-school sales and even moreso, right afterward.) If you feel that you need a waterproof finish, clear spray paint will do the trick, rather than buying costly craft acrylic spray.
So now you know some of my small tricks to do my part environmentally.
I hope you share some of yours, too.