Yesterday I discussed the most important weapon in the “going green” arsenal…… reduce- reduce the amount of energy you use, reduce the amount of stuff that you buy, and reduce the amount of garbage that you throw away. So let’s say that we are doing a pretty decent job of all of these things, and we are using less….. but even so- our life is still full of lots of “stuff”…. so the next step in moving forward is to be mindful of things that you are thinking about throwing away…. and ask yourself whether or not they can be reused.
Plastic containers and shoe boxes can be re-purposed into storage bins for all kinds of things
We save every shoe box that crosses our door…. they have been used countless times for school projects, and they make great storage containers for corralling all of those little things that kids collect- like rocks and silly bands. Shoe boxes can be covered in a solid colored wrapping paper (to improve its appearance and match decor) and a nice tag can be added to the front to label what is being stored inside. We also save things like baby wipes containers, plastic food containers (like margarine tubs), glass jars, wicker baskets that accompany holiday gifts- and we turn these into storage containers all of the time. I have an area in our basement where I keep all of these things on shelves so I have a place to look for them when I am in need of a little storage box.
Choose reusable items over disposable ones, wherever you can
I’ve already mentioned that in our kids lunch bags and snack bags, that we primarily pack them with reusable containers (Gladware, Tupperware types) and aluminum water bottles, as well as cloth napkins. We use cloth napkins for all of our meals instead of disposable paper napkins.
Carry your own shopping bags
And leave them in the car so that you will have them every time you run into the store for something. I have acquired most of my mesh shopping bags for free during grocery store promotions.
Pass down or re-purpose outgrown clothing, sheets and towels
Of course I do a lot of passing clothes down through the younger siblings here in my own house, but once we have outgrown them entirely, we donate our clothing to Goodwill Industries. Old towels and sheets become rags used for household clean up or car washing, or even paint drop cloths.