Sunday, March 4, 2012

Isn't It Time To Go Green?

Is it too late to save our environment?  I don't think it is, but we all need to get involved.  It is estimated that the average American contributes 1600 pounds of trash to the environment every year.  It is up to all of us to take control of the amount of debris we add to overcrowded dumping grounds.  There are so many simple, conscious efforts we can all work toward every day to reduce the amount of waste that pollutes our cities landfills. 

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.


  1. Fantastic article Pam! Love the suggestions! Let me add two more. Try making more foods at home from scratch. For example, tortillas are amazingly simple to make, and so much more flavorful (and less expensive) when made from scratch. Also, buy quality with intent to reuse versus cheap disposable. For example, buy quality, responsibly made kitchen towels and use them instead of disposable paper towels.

  2. Thank you Susan. I appreciate the tips. I do make my own Tortilla's and we tend to eat them a lot more than we do bread. My husband finds them easier to handle than typical sandwiches since he's running on his feet all day. I even have a press to make corn tortillas which also make great homemade baked chips. If you have a minute I'd really appreciate it if you could take a look at my facebook page. I always appreciate any feed back I can get.