RECYCLE, RECLAIM, REPROCESS, REUSE, REAP REWARDS, OR REDUCE. As we know there are many ways to save nickels and dimes and ways to save energy use during our day. We all can benefit by educating ourselves to find new or different ways to help recover the green of our planet and regain our attentiveness to the consequences. So here are some ideas from a personal standpoint.
Make your lunch rather than buy it. Wrap it in silver foil which then can be washed and reused. When finally unusable, the washed foil can be recycled with your glass and metals. Instead of using brown lunch bags, use a washable plastic container or a lunch box tote over and over again.
Turn on or off every light as you enter and leave a room, and unplug all appliances, electronics or machines not in use to save energy. Yes, they still draw power when plugged in and are not being used.
Be frugal with your pennies. Do research. Use cold water for washes (except for diapers or when contagious illnesses are in your home). Air dry your clothes; they will last longer and stay true to color. Turn your water heater to a lower temperature, keep the furnace a bit lower than usual and put on a sweater.
You can stretch meals with grains and fiber or cheaper cuts of meat. Enjoy a meatless meal several times a week with a tossed salad. How healthy and budget friendly for everyone.
Recycle your magazines by sharing with friends; better yet, go to the library for free reading material!
I clip coupons and shop sales. Did you know that the cheaper items in the grocery store are on the bottom shelves? No one wants to bend over that far – think of it as exercise. Recycle your empty cans and packaging. You can compost your food scraps to regenerate your soil to improve it.
Limit TV use, both for electricity and for your mind. Wash your windows for sunshine warmth but pull drapes closed to keep in warmth when cold.
Reuse your computer paper by printing on the backside when feasible. All my rough drafts are printed on paper used twice.
I use old socks to dust furniture and old toothbrushes to clean with. Great for getting in those tight little crevices and great for scrubbing stains out of clothes. Lots of ways to reprocess items. Its a game to think of new ways to use an old t-shirt, (cleaning cloths, car rags, cut strips to tie rose branches;although nylons can work too; they also make great strainers).
Don’t let a water hose run, put on a nozzle to turn it on and off. Use an old barrel to reuse rain for the plants. Don’t let the water run while washing or brushing your teeth or shaving. Turn on as needed.
Stay home, read books or even write one, watch videos or dvds from the library and have dinner in rather than spending money out. Arrange a potluck dinner with friends as a fun evening.
Watch your paper towel use. Cloth towels, dish towels, and cloth napkins are great to reuse over and over. They save money and reduce the need for paper products. Bath tissue, though, is still a necessity. Probably in the future we will be able to safely recycle tissue too.
Make some of your own clothes, knit or crochet wearables or pull them apart to recycle yarn for the next projects. Buy items at consignment shops as they are greatly reduced in price. Shop clothing sales or closeouts or off season; buy in bulk at the big box warehouses. All are cheaper than conventional buying.
You can go to salvage yards, swap meets and to recycling programs at the local transfer station. Often there is a dump picking area, where you can find items for use, to refurbish or just in need of simple repair. I’ve found some great repurposes from dump castaways. Sometimes people are moving and cannot take items with them, so off to the dump it goes. You can save it from landfill crowding. I once found a perfectly good vacuum cleaner, a floor lamp and a door. I used the latter to make a table to work on in my studio. Hooray!
A few more…
- Plan your errands to save gas.
- Garden to grow your own food.
- Recycle everything.
- Give excess to charities.
- Craigslist…sell your stuff!
- or eBay…to earn some money from your stuff.
- Shop Etsy.com for homemade girfts or make them yourself.
Everything we can do to save money and/or energy we should do. There are quite a few benefits to your vigilance. Try doing just one thing to change your habits to reap the rewards. I’m sure you know most of these suggestions but perhaps some ideas will grab your attention and encourage or inspire you. We all need to be motivated in our efforts to save the earth and to save money at the same time. You will take another step forward in Reaping Rewards from your Reducing, Recycling, Reclaiming, Reprocessing, and Reusing efforts to help reclaim our planet.
This is a guest article from reader Trisha Starr.