Steps to becoming greener: Reducing your waste, reusing and recycling

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Reuse the backsides of paper documents and envelopes for printing, taking notes on non-essential paperwork. Ask your postal delivery person about stopping delivery of junk mail. Red Plum is our deliverer of junk mail; I called the 800 number on the fliers and stopped delivery. Use paperless e-statements from your bank, utility statements, etc. Recycle what little paper you have left. We make paper from our junk mail and paper waste, for holiday cards. Check out our friend Kendra at green post, she makes paper from junk mail for artists.


Recycling -this is a big one, are you sitting down for this?  The best way to reduce any environmental impact is to not recycle more, but to produce and dispose of less! Think about what you are buying and where will the waste go when you are finished with it. Don't buy bottled water! Use a recycled glass jar with a screw on lid to carry your water in. I carry a gallon jug around with me everywhere like a camel; I use a green glass sake bottle; I even used to use an apple juice bottle (until I broke it). I installed a zero waste reverse osmosis water filter, which we fill our re-used glass bottles and jars before we leave the house. Regular reverse osmosis filters waste 10-12 gallons for every filtered gallon!

Reduce waste by buying in bulk, purchase whole foods, not shopping from the middle isles in the grocery store (which all have packages inside of packages). Find a use for your wasted materials and get creative. Use glass jars from pasta sauces, jellies and olives for storage - I use them for nails and screws; and non-plastic drinking containers for sprouting new plants. Plastic containers from hummus, yogurt or salads can be reused for food storage, leftovers and perfect for packing lunches in.

Think about it before you buy it, what will you do with the waste? Leave a comment if you have more uses and ideas for reused items.

Here are numbers 5 and 6 from my list of 12 ways to start living greener and smarter.

Picking up trash on the ground is part of living green, if we all took 10 minutes a day and cleaned up the waste and trash we walk over, everyday, it would make a difference, not only in our environment but in taking pride and investing in our communities.

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