Monday, February 2, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

I try to encourage people to make just one green choice at a time. For instance, if you can't commit to a vegan diet, try vegetarian. Can't do vegetarian? Try replacing just one meat meal a week to make a difference. Maybe one meal a week will become two. If so, that's great. If not, it's still better than none! But one you get hooked on a green lifestyle, you'll find yourself doing more and more.

When we moved to Alabama, we recycled the items our neighborhood collection site accepted: cardboard, plastic and aluminum. We were disappointed that glass and steel weren't recycled here as they had been in Wisconsin, but, we threw them away. Then we noticed our co-op in Florida accepts steel and glass, so we started hauling those items over there when we shop. Then, our Messianic synagogue started a recycling program to benefit the youth department. They accepted paper, too, so now we were recycling cardboard, plastic, aluminum, steel, glass and paper. Then I read a tip that you can take your packing peanuts, bubbles and air pillows to UPS and similar shipping stores and they will reuse your packing supplies. So now when I receive items in the mail, if I can't reuse the materials myself, I give them to our Pack & Mail store. I recycle at the office and home. In fact, when we go on vacation or out of town, we bring bags with us and, if necessary, bring our recycling to our home bins. Now I wouldn't think of throwing away a 1" x 2" post-it note; it goes into recycling!

Guess what? My office now disposes of one 13 gallon kitchen bag of garbage a MONTH. The rest of our waste is recycled. Our home disposes of approximately one bag a week.

How low can you go?

1 comment:

  1. It's true ... once a person gets started on the "green" path ... it becomes addictive. We can't wait to get out electric bill each month to see if we've been able to lower it. If it goes up ... even slightly ... we feel disappointed and start searching for ways to reduce it. As for garbage ... we are now down to a quarter of a tall kitchen bag a week. In fact, we have to toss it before it's full because it smells. :)

    Wonderful post (as always)!

    Small Footprints