I hope everyone recycles. It is certainly one of the easiest steps toward reducing the mounds of decay that infects our landscape. Check you cities official website for a list of what is accepted and the pick up schedule for your area. Want to make a little money while you are at it? Aluminum cans and paper products can be dropped of at a salvage center for cash. Be sure you only use aluminum cans, including some canned goods that are purchased.
A compost is beneficial in so many ways. A great deal of items that end up in your garbage can be added to a compost. I won't claim to be an expert so do some research to make sure you aren't adding the wrong products. Some misconceptions could actually harm your efforts. Composting not only helps reduce trash, but it also returns important nutrients back into the soil.
Those plastic bags from the grocery store are such a nuisance. It is estimated that 500 billion of these bags are discarded each year. I know of one town in Texas that is considering banning them completely in favor of reusable cloth bags. I have several so I carry a few extra in my car to be sure I am always ready. Cloth sacks can be purchased at most stores, or you might consider making your own out of old clothing. One example is to cut the eggs off of a torn up pair of jeans and secure the legs closed. Use the remaining denim to attach two straps for carrying.
Here is a list of several techniques I use to reduce excess:
Before discarding a used item look into donating it. Clothing, furniture old dishes, bedding and even trinkets are useful at homeless and family shelters.
Contribute expired coupons to Military families who can use them for up to six months past expiration. Check with your favorite base to see who accepts and distributes these for redemption.
Freeze old water bottles and use in a camping cooler to keep beverages and sandwiches chilled. No need to purchase excess ice and you will always be prepared for a spur of the moment trip.
Remove the top half of a plastic milk jug and use as a planter for new seedlings. Start preparing the garden early and grow your foliage inside.
The packaging that deli lunch meats are sold in work great for making lunches. Place chips and cookies in these plastic containers and your lunch won't be crushed by the time you want to eat it. You won't find yourself purchasing sandwich bags any longer.
If you prefer the family size deli lunch meat don't toss our those zip lock bags. Wash with warm water and use for items like leftover meats, bologna or hot dogs that aren't packaged with zip lock tops.
My family eats tortilla's like most people eat bread. I purchase these at a local market. They are packaged in a very nice, sturdy plastic bag. I save these bags and use them to freeze meats. Yes, I do have to double bag the product, but I don't have to pay for zip lock bags. Save bread bags too.
Paper towel and toilet paper tubes can organize extension cords, yarn and even thread. Use wrapping paper tubes to wrap and store holiday lights.
If properly cleaned and sanitized emptied glass jars can be reused to can your own vegetables or preserves.
If we all take small steps we can make a big difference. If you have any techniques that you use to promote going green I'd love to hear them. If you have any questions or comments on the suggestions I have recommended please feel free to speak up. The more we can share the more we can save.