Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Three R's - Repurpose, Recycle, Reduce

Reducing our carbon footprint – it’s a catch phrase you hear on the news and talk shows, and see in the paper or magazines or the internet……and for most of us, we apply it the other guy, or the big corporate “users” and “abusers”, but me, what can I do?

The other evening, I was emptying waste baskets around the house, preparing for the morning trash pick up, and oh my, where did all the trash come from, I must have not emptied last week, surely all this trash wasn’t from one week!  And even more to my chagrin I went outside to find two large trash cans full, and an extra box already filling fast!  To say the least, I was appalled….how could three people, one of which is a housebound granny who generates little if any trash, have so much waste!

Now I am an avid follower of MaryJaneFarm® magazine and her rural love of life and all things good, and after completely devouring every issue of her magazine cover to cover numerous times, I always think to myself…”self” I say, “if we lived on a farm, we would be thrifty and frugal like MaryJane!”  Well that pre-trash night, I had an epiphany!  I don’t need to live on a farm to be thrifty, frugal and environmentally responsible, and my occasional reusing a bag or piece of foil, just doesn’t qualify.

So here is my plan – we are now a home that lives the three R’s – repurpose, recycle and reduce!

Repurposing gives life to things you may have tossed out.  Jars with lids go to the garage or craft room to hold all those pesky little bits and pieces, nuts and bolts, buttons and the like.  That flannel sheet that can’t be mended is cut up and hemmed for the perfect polishing cloths; our community is full of thrift stores supporting various charities, and one box a week of clothing, dishes, and other unused and stored items that have gone untouched for more than a year will leave this house!

Recycle – bins are in the carport to collect cans, papers, plastic; phone books boxed up for the annual girl scout phone book drive; cardboard now has a new purpose flattened and layered in next year’s garden bed to create the “lasagna” garden that breaks down harden ground for a perfect garden bed!  Shredded junk mail and compostable food scraps to the compost bins and well, one small point for effort, we already use reusable grocery totes!

Reduce, in addition to reducing out going trash, we are reducing incoming trash by bringing less home.  Making my own laundry soap eliminates all those huge plastic bottles; buying less convenience food eliminates some of the boxes, plastic wrap and little plastic dishes and an added benefit is we eat better by buying more fresh items!

And though we are just beginning we will be proficient by the end of the year so that we can save those New Year’s Resolutions for something that won’t be a shame if we don’t keep!

So today, Repurpose, recycle and reduce and
‘til tomorrow,