Green New Year’s Resolutions

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Green New Year’s Resolutions

green recycling

Did you make a New Years Resolution to “go green” this year? There are a lot of simple ways to have a greener family and household without overwhelming yourself. One of the simplest is avoiding one-use products and getting into the habit of using reusable products like travel mugs for your morning coffee shop cup-a-joe. Each use of a reusable item means one less piece of cardboard or plastic that ends up in landfills. It sounds small but it adds up if 20 people do it, or 200 people even.

Or you may have decided to try doing repairs before you throw out an item. Getting some phone or game console repair tools and doing some DIY repair is a step up from other green schemes but often it is worth it. It can be a great money-saving venture as not only are you reducing waste, you’ve paid less for a repair than you would have for a replacement.

For my family, our green resolutions were going to be carried out one step at a time. The first thing I wanted to focus on was recycling. This in itself can be a hard habit to get the family into. The average person throws 56 tons of trash into our landfills every year. YIKES! This is ALOT of trash!

How we started green recycling

I started with a small reusable bag on the kitchen floor and a list of recyclables accepted by our “soon to be green” city, and asked everyone to recycle as much as they could. I can’t tell you how many times I dug into the trash bag and took out stuff that could be recycled. (Yes, I actually put on my rubber gloves and dug into the trash can.) Then I would call the family to the kitchen and announce that this item in my hand could be recycled (refer to the list inside the kitchen cabinet) and please remember to recycle next time. I also repeatedly reached into the recycling bag and pulled out cans, bottles, etc, and had to wash them out. (Same thing, called a “family pow-wow”, and announced that if they were too lazy to wash it out immediately, then leave it in the sink.)

After 6 months we all started to get into the groove of things, and wanting to get that ugly recycling bag out of the kitchen, I graduated to a rubbermaid storage tote on our back patio. Called the family meeting and announced that everyone would now have to walk an extra 20 feet to the back patio to dispose of the recyclable into the recycling bin. This is when I discovered more and more cans, bottles, etc., sitting in the kitchen sink. It seems it was a bit too much like work for SOME members of our family. And again, family meeting. Whoever was doing dishes that evening was also the designated can/bottle washer and recycler. It’s been a year and a half now and I can proudly say that nary a slip of paper that can be recycled goes into the garbage can, and everyone in the house has been “programmed” to think green & automatically, and properly, recycle our household waste. We’ve also graduated from 7-8 bags of trash per week, down to just around 3. This is a significant amount of waste being kept out of the landfills. Looking for something to get you started? Check out this recycle sorter!

There are lots of other ways to be “green” and environmentally conscious. Like installing commercial and residential solar power in your homes or your place of work, for one. Solar energy, being a renewable energy source, can help in your journey to reducing carbon footprints. The choice is all yours-either go green/continue drawing from non-renewable sources.

Hopefully, my thoughts and ideas will help you on your journey to environmentally friendly and sustainable living! Come back and visit me as there will be more to come! Happy New Year and happy recycling! ~Lori

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