Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It’s a mantra in our house and is also mandated by the county in which we live — we have to recycle specific household products and take it out to the curb on “garbage” day in its separate blue box container. Even before we had to recycle, I remember my dad always separating items from the trash and taking some items to the local dump, others to a recycling center and burning others in our backyard burn barrel.
I grew up on a farmette and burning in a burn barrel was the norm. I don’t believe my dad was particularly “into the environment” the garbage separation was likely more of a matter of saving money on trash pick up. But watching him instilled in me the idea that I wanted to save the environment for my children.
While my family always thought it was a little “much” the way my dad continued to separate his recycling even when it was in the recycling bin; he put newspapers in a paper bag, cans in a cardboard box, bottles in another cardboard box and other items into yet another box and then put all of them into the recycling bin on garbage day. We didn’t always understand his system, but we did learn from his inadvertent teachings — cut back, recycle and reduce the amount of trash that went to the curb.
Today, I try to always use my reusable cloth bags when I go to the grocery store. There are times I admit that when I bring the groceries in and then forget to take the bags to my car. There is also a grocery store in town that doesn’t offer bags for your groceries, you either have to pay $.05 for a plastic bag or use some of the boxes they have up front in the store that are leftover from grocery item on the shelves. It used to annoy me, but then I got in the habit of using my own bag so I embraced their frugality and environmentally conscious way of doing business.
When I walk Henrietta I either use eco-friendly poo bags or I will use the sleeve our weekend Pennysaver comes in to clean up after her. I’d like to think I am making a difference and I believe that every little bit counts so, I think I am!
I love too that this year BlogPaws at its conference in Nashville is embracing a Zero Waste Initiative. They will be urging vendors to eliminate the amount of handouts and material they bring in and leave behind. They will be urging attendees to not use plastic, disposable water bottles. They are also moving to an electronic schedule program; rather than printing the program (which you can certainly do at home) you can go to sched.org and see the entire schedule and customize it so you can choose your sessions and have it all available right on your smartphone. What a great idea! I mean, what do you do with those programs once you head home? You probably toss them, am I right? It was the same way at Social Media Marketing World, they used an online scheduler which you customized and which then sent alerts to your phone to remind you of the upcoming session and which room it would be in — genius!
What steps can you take — or do you take — to be environmentally friendly? We’d love to know in the comments below!