The simple mantra of reduce reuse recycle encapsulates what you and I can do on a daily basis to try and minimize the impact that we have on our environment. We can make changes in practically all areas of our life so that we reduce how much we use, reuse what we can, and recycle things at the end of their life.
Consider whether you really need all that you buy: statistics show that we waste a very significant portion of the food we buy; so be circumspect when you buy – make a list of things you need and stick to it to reduce impulsive and needless purchase.
When buying stuff buy better quality consumer durables and clothing, that may cost more right now, but which will last longer and mean savings in the longer term. Pay less attention to trends and fashions that tell you to discard clothing periodically, and that includes your car as well as the latest gadgets and gizmos!
Reduce use of your car. When possible use public transport or the good old bicycle. Make use of car pooling as much as possible. Consolidate trips to the stores by running several errands at once and reduce the number of trips to the store with better organization.
Carry your own bag to the store and refuse the one that store offers to pack your stuff in.
Buy larger containers: they last longer, mean less wastage in terms of packing and also savings for you.
Buy online to reduce not only your own traveling but also resource expenditure at several points in the product distribution process leading to a bricks and mortar store. This will also save your valuable time.
Reduce your reliance on the electrical grid by turning off all lights and appliances that are not in use. Do this religiously, consistently and get others in the family to comply as well.
Reduce the amount of water you use by using water efficient plumbing – faucets, flushes, showerheads that use less water and when possible take a shower instead of a tub bath.
Dematerialize whatever possible. Instead of getting the daily newspaper, read the news online. Instead of buying books, read eBooks. Instead of going to the bank and getting a paper statement, use online banking and get an e-statement.
Think ‘vintage’ rather than pre-owned. Reuse clothing, cars, furniture, jewelry, paper, bags, boxes… the list is endless and you need to look no further than eBay and online barter sites to access a world of options when you are looking to reuse. Remember one man’s junk is another man’s treasure; so keep an open mind when it comes to reusing stuff.
You can get pre-owned car as good as new at rate far lower than that of a brand new one. The same goes for a lot of gadgets such as tablets, cell phones, laptops, and so on. Often you can get refurbished pre-owed stuff or you can buy used hardware and simply get the up to date software to go with it.
Jumble sales and yard sales can yield treasures such as furniture, décor for the home, linen and a host of other stuff.
Ask around among friends and family and offer to barter kids clothing and other stuff that either party has in surplus.
Learn some DIY tips to try and repair gadgets and appliances that break down. Why replace the washer? Fix it instead!
And when you think that you really need to upgrade, say for instance, to a larger fridge or a more energy efficient oven, make sure that you donate what you no longer want, to a charity or someone else who may need it.
There is so much that can be recycled – cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bags and bottles, paper, glass jars and bottles, steel cans, electronics, and much more. All you have to do is make the conscious effort to recycle anything that you don’t need any more.
Composting is a terrific way to recycle household waste in a beneficial and earth friendly manner. All organic waste from the home goes into the composter that makes organic fertilizer and which hopefully goes into growing organic produce in your very own backyard.