This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias
Being eco-friendly is very important to me. Now that I’ve been on the path to being aware of my usage and waste, I can’t believe how much I wasted when I was younger! Even now, when I go to my Mom’s house (she hasn’t been converted to the green lifestyle… yet) I can’t help but cringe when she tosses absolutely everything into the trash can. I was lucky to get to know and embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle when I entered college and really started to understand just how much I waste.
While recycling your waste at a recycling center is a great step to living a greener lifestyle, there are a few different things you can do to push your normal recycling to the next level. Ready to get the maximum use and benefit out of your recyclables? Let’s do it!
1. Be smart about the materials of things that you buy.
Did you know that glass is 100% recyclable? Yeah, I didn’t either! Glass is superior to plastic as it retains it’s quality even if it is recycled over and over again. With one of the highest rates of recycling, it’s smart to switch over to products in glass whenever possible.
Share your love to brands that are embracing a more eco-friendly product line. Not only do you do good, but you are encouraging other businesses to follow suit. Demand better products by spending your money wisely on greener products. One of the most surprising companies going towards a greener product is Energizer. Yes, batteries! When I saw them in Walmart I couldn’t believe it. I never thought that batteries could be recycled in any way. Their Energizer New EcoAdvanced Recycled Batteries are the first batteries on the market containing recycled materials. This is Energizer’s longest lasting alkaline ever, and they are showing their commitment to making a greener product. Great for them! An awesome innovation from Energizer that holds up to 12 years in storage. That is a long time! I grabbed some AAs but there are also AAAs available. They were right in a display at the check out line so I didn’t even have to search! 😉
2. Find another use for items you don’t need.
Are you stuck with something that you don’t want anymore and are thinking of just chucking it out? Wait! Sooo many things can have a second life after they are no longer useful to you anymore. Pinterest is a huge resource for ideas that can help you give your old, tired items a new life. Old clothing can be cut into dish rags (eliminate the paper towels!), an old piece of furniture can be spruced up and even old shoes can be used for gardening or bird feeders.
If crafting isn’t your thing, consider donating to your local Goodwill or second-hand shop. Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure and I’ve gotten so many good deals for things that are no longer wanted. If what you have is still in good shape and useable, this is a good option.
Another option rarely mentioned is donating to preschools. There are a lot of low-income preschools that don’t have the funds to buy tons of materials for the classroom. Programs like Head Start depends on donations from the community to partially fund their program and are ALWAYS in need of toys, art supplies, and books. It’s all tax deductable and you do something good at the same time! Preschools go through art supplies like water and simple things like empty egg cartons, water jugs, notebooks, and clothing/objects for pretend play are always in high demand.
3. Find waste in your routine that can be eliminated completely.
If you really want to commit to a no waste lifestyle, you can also invest in some food bags and buy in bulk. This eliminates the packaging and an enormous amount of waste! Always keep reusable shopping bags handy in your car and remember to take them to the store with you. I always forget to put my bags back in the car so I really had to stay on myself about returning them. Otherwise, I would end up at the store bagless and stuck with tons of plastic grocery bags!
One of the things that I did almost immediately was to cut out plastic water bottles and use a reusable jar with filtered water. I try to use washable dishes and cutlery, even when I’m getting take out. I love Asian food, but I always remind them to skip the wooden chopsticks because I have a perfectly good pair at home that can be washed and reused.
Committing to eliminating waste is hard, and I had a really hard time doing it at first as well. It’s just easier to take the lazier way out. But I kept at it, and I promise you will form some of these good habits as well! The bumpy ride there is totally worth it. Our environment will thank us. 😉
Q: How do you live green?
Ready for a giveaway? Enter the GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway where you can win $1,000 in Gift Cards. Good luck and to a greener life!