Christine shares with Green Scene Mom some of the little things she does in her household to REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE every single day. You'll be amazed at how easy it can be to reduce waste and "go green" with these simple ideas in your every day life.
They're the perfect size! We use these for our girls, because the hubby and I just use our hands to cup the water. I can't imagine how much we've saved by not buying Dixie cups over the years.
When the girls were just babies, we managed to amass quite a few of these baby wash cloths. Now we keep a drawerful in the bathroom for the girls to use to wipe their faces before bedtime. The rest of them are kept in a kitchen drawer for the girls to dampen with water and use as napkins at meal times. It's great because they really do a fabulous job cleaning up those messy fingers and faces -- much better than napkins could ever do. And now that the girls are older, one of their "family contributions" is to set the table and set out wet washcloths. We've saved a BUNDLE in paper and money, by using these instead of paper napkins... maybe even a whole tree's worth! :)
This was actually one of the first projects that I undertook when my youngest went off to Kindergarten. My drawers were in serious need of organization and after looking around for those plastic drawer organizers that never quite come in the perfect size, I happened upon this idea. Just look how awesome these turned out and I utilized every inch of that drawer. Not only did I avoid buying more plasticy stuff, I also saved a bundle of money because those plastic drawer organizers aren't cheap!
My EasyLunchBoxes, LunchBots and Thermos re-usable containers get used alot! These are my go-to lunch-transporting gear and rarely do I use any plastic baggies, paper bags, plastic utensils or even disposable water bottles to pack lunch. I just love my lunch packing buddies. Couldn't imagine life without them!
My parents bought us two sets a couple years ago. You can find similar ones from Reduce. It takes extra work to clean and fill these every time, but I KNOW I've done my part in trying to reduce the use of plastics. I keep four filled and chilled in my fridge and must reach for one at least 10 times a week. I admit, I hate to wash them and refill them but I still do it to make what difference I can.
I started doing this years ago when the foam pump soaps first came out. I quickly realized refills were just watered down hand soap gel, so instead of buying the foam refills, I just bought the hand gel refills, watered it down and used it to refill my foaming soap dispensers. I even use emptied, washed V8 Fusion juice bottles to pre-water down batches at a time and store those under each sink in my house. It not only saves lots of money but packaging too, that doesn't seem to be easily recyclable! Related post: How to save on foaming hand soap refills
Cans and boxes make for great craft projects with kids. Take for instance these pencil cans. So easy to make, my daughters loved picking out their own styles of paper I already had on hand, and we were able to organize without having to go out and buy them.
How cool is it to make something that was once old new again and give it new life?! I've been pretty happy with the few projects I have tried and I still have a PILE of clothes squirreled away in my closet for future use. Here's a sample of one of my upcycling projects: an upcycled t-shirt shrug for my daughter!
Between friends and family, I get and give bags and bags of clothing for the girls. What was once old for one girl is now new for another! In the past 6 months, I've literally gone through 10+ trash bags full of clothes from family and friends and now I'm getting ready to pay if forward. Here are 4 bags that I have ready to go -- either to friends or for donation to my local Goodwill. Saves me lots of money spent on clothing and we get some great stuff!
I've been using reusable shopping bags for as long as I can remember. Certainly before they they had all these really cute bags you see today. These days it's much easier to use them for grocery shopping as well as clothes shopping and any other shopping that requires putting stuff in a bag. I had many bags that were starting to wear and fray from over-use but I'd just patch 'em back up with my sewing machine.
One last thing I do, as simple as it is, is just RECYCLE, whatever I can! Items like batteries, cooking oil, computer parts and other electronics can almost all be taken to the nearest Recycling Convenience Center or be scheduled for special pick-up. You can check on your city/town's recycling page (usually found under the Department of Public Works and Utilities) to see what new things they accept curbside.
We can all make a difference, even just by making little changes in our every day lives, and an even bigger one if we all work together! So please REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE as often as you can, and involve your kids!
Learn more at www.myepicureanadventures.com
Hi, I’m Christine, aka happyvballgirl, of My Epicurean Adventures. I’m a former hardware engineer turned stay-at-home mom just trying to raise a happy, healthy family and having as much fun as possible along the way with my Sweetie and two funny little girls with nut allergies. I love to cook, make fun bento-style lunches, play volleyball, be crafty, travel and blog!