How to Go Green for Free - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose for Life
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Have you heard the phrase, "Reduce, reuse, recycle"? It seems that I've heard it all my life, and while I have usually practiced that guideline, that mantra, in some manner, at least on a small level, I have really practiced it more passionately the past several years. Okay, maybe more than several. How about 20 or more years?
Being frugal and working toward living simpler, I try to reduce the products I buy and use. I try to reuse items I can, and I recycle every item--paper, plastic, aluminum, glass--that my city will pick up. In more recent times, I have also been trying to reuse or recycle by repurposing items for something else.
I have always tried to recycle, as soon as the program was introduced to me. Many weeks, I put out my recycle bin, while waiting two or three weeks before I even need to set out my trash bin. That's cool. It makes me feel good about doing what I can to save the environment and not waste our resources. If I can reduce, reuse, or recycle items I've used, that makes me feel I'm a part of the solution.
Whether or not you're a big believer in going green, we can all do at least a small part in just not being wasteful. And it won't cost you a thing. Living greener might--and should--even save you money.
Do you recycle?
First, in an effort to live greener, reduce the amount that you consume. Cutting down on disposables will minimize the need to get rid of things in the first place.
There are things you can do to eliminate waste of trash bags, paper towels, and more common household items that I rarely buy.
Buy used clothes--at thrift or consignment shops, yard sales--to cut down on the mass production of clothing. Plus, you'll save money. Do this with the many items that are already out there. Re-use them! There are a number of ways to save money on clothing.
Reduce usage of intangible items such as cutting back on electricity by washing clothes only when dirty (yeah, you can wear them more than once), and hanging them outside to dry when possible. Use slow cookers and toaster ovens to save on electricity with the stove and air conditioning required to cool down the house again. You can also conserve on water usage and save money at the same time.
Here are some great ideas on how to reuse products, ideas that I've gotten from some other writers.
Don't know what to do with empty pill bottles? Check out ways to reuse these bottles by randomcreative. She also gives some great ideas for projects on how to use wine corks. I love wine, so these are some great ideas for me!
What do you do with all those Christmas cards you get? Here are suggestions from Deb Neyens to reuse Christmas cards. Brilliant!
What does your local trash recycle? We have a bin (see first photo) that we can throw cans, bottles, plastics, newspapers and junk mail into. We can even deliver Styrofoam and other plastics to certain places in the local area.
Check with your own town to see what recyclables they will pick up or what you can deliver.
Compost on your own, too, by piling up kitchen scrap and leaves for use in garden beds. Here are some guidelines on what you can compost and how to do it.
Finally, check this out--pretty amazing! Mary615 tells us about a company that is working on making edible packaging. Wouldn't that really cut down on waste!
Turning an old item into an new item is re-purposing it. Need some ideas?
Deborah Neyens has some great ideas for making scarves out of old t-shirts.
Don't know what to do with all those plastic bags lying around? Stephanie Henkel makes plastic bags into tote bags. How cool is that?
Faithreaper has some really creative ideas, as she make hanging herb dyers out of old picture frames and turns old windows into message boards and flower planters. Cclitgirl makes her own stained glass windows out of old windows.
Tired of some of those old records? Randomcreative will also show you how to make some really cool things out of old vinyl records. Wow, these people are creative!
I've been trying to save money and live simpler by growing my own food. Check out these great ideas from billybuc to reuse items you may already have for making a garden. Gardening in itself is another way to live greener.
Tips on How to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle--to a catchy tune!
Do What You Can!
Just do what you can, people! I keep that "reduce, reuse, recycle" chant in my brain. Do what you can to cut down on waste, and reuse what you can . . . when you can. I find that it saves me money, too, as I repurpose items to serve a new purpose, keeping me from buying new products.
TL Poague has a unique way of reusing items, as she shares with us how to decorate the "Redneck Way." That might be worth checking out.
If you have more ideas on how to "reduce, reuse, and recycle," I would love to hear about them in the comment section. I love hearing about new and creative ideas!
© 2014 Victoria Lynn