I started to get serious about recycling 4 years ago. I became more aware of the products I buy and consume. The biggest reinforcement for me was the amount of money we save. It sure took me a long time to be more consistent but every time I throw something on the trash, I ask myself “how can I reuse this?” to “what can I do more?.” I know if I ask these questions I am more likely to do something positive instead of asking myself these questions: “how long will this trash sit on the landfill? or how long it will decompose?” Here are my baby steps to “Going Green”:
1. I started bringing my own bags to grocery stores or used plastic bags from a previous shopping trip (always leave used plastic bags or extra grocery bags in your car if you forget to bring any).
2. I bought Brita pitcher and filter to reduce my plastic water bottle consumptions.
3. I bought reusable water bottles to take with me at all times.
4. I bought everything used on Craigslist; books, home furniture, home decor, school supplies.
5. I bought clothes at thrift stores.
6. I tried buying products that has less and simple packaging (yes, this was the tough one).
7. When we lived in Seattle, I was extremely happy to be taking the bus to and from work with a kindle on my hand!
Now, that I have a family of my own… I even do more or should I say….WE:
1. We use cloth diapers. If you Google “how long does a disposable diaper decompose?” you will get a range between 50-500 years. Even if it’s just an educated guess…it doesn’t sit well with me.
2. We only have one car. It works. It works. It works. My husband and I communicate with each other, coordinate and plan our week. I know at some point we will need a second car, but for now, I can wait, no need and no rush for a second car.
3. We purchased used baby jogger, stroller, bike and baby bike carrier.
4. I have two separate color coded bins under my sink. The white bin is for garbage and the green bin is for recycling. It is so much easier this way.
5. Almost all of my son’s clothes and baby stuff are hand-me-downs.
6. I buy used toys at a local children’s thrift store.
7. I wash my laundry on cold water…all the time.
8. I do laundry once every two weeks by having my son reuse his PJ’s and house clothes at least three times. I let him wear “special” clothes when we go to the park and do playdates. I change him back to house clothes as soon as we get home. It takes a little effort but it has become a hobby now that I don’t even notice.
9. I reuse the products we consume at home. I do think of creative ways of recycling. The most recent recycling I have done are these:
Fine Motor and Counting: recycled plastic bottle and plastic caps from his baby food pouches.
Beginning Lacing: card board and shoe lace.
any cereal boxes can be an organization or storage for pens and papers
These steps saved and still saving us money and at the same time doing our part to be a little bit more responsible and kinder for this planet. I hope we will be a good example for our son and someday do his part. Thank you for reading!