Each April, annual Earth Day events encourage us to do our part to be better stewards of our planet. Making “greener” choices is not only the right thing to do, it’s now easier than ever to be eco-friendly and live an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Here are some easy ways to adopt some green-living habits to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle while you stay eco-organized.
Reduce Your Paper Waste
Junk mail and catalogs are major clutter creators in a home and can quickly become overwhelming. They are also a huge waste of paper. You can help reduce paper waste and put a stop to your paper clutter by going paperless for statements and bills, and by proactively stopping unwanted mail.
If you are tired of getting unsolicited mail, there are free tools at your disposal to make that happen. Try the Paper Karma App to stop unwanted mail from clogging up your mailbox. Just snap a photo of junk mail you want to stop receiving and they contact the mailer to remove you from their lists. The other free tool I recommend is the Credit Card Opt Out service to get your name removed from credit card offer lists. You can opt-out for five years or permanently, and if you ever change your mind and want to start receiving offers again, you can opt back in.
Reduce Your Plastic Bottle Waste
According to the statistics, Americans use about 50 million plastic water bottles a year, and only a quarter of those bottles are recycled. Yikes, right? It’s time to banish the plastic water bottle in exchange for a greener, less wasteful option!
Instead of the plastic bottle, choose a refillable glass bottle like the Lifefactory Glass Bottle and take it along with you each day. This is one of my favorite bottles because I look for bottles that have a wide mouth for easy cleaning. A leak-proof bottle is also a must for me, as my bottle goes into my purse or workbag and, really, who’s got time for accidents? There are tons to choose from these days, so get yourself a bottle today and end the plastic water bottle dependency.
Re-use it. Don’t toss it!
As part of my organizing service, when possible, I try to reuse what my clients already own and have around the house before purchasing new items to organize. Items such as shoeboxes, cereal boxes, glass jars, and cans can easily be converted to organizing containers, drawer dividers and supply caddies. Get creative and cover a box with some pretty paper for a cute and functional organizer. Even an empty toilet paper roll can make a great little gift box! Reusing and repurposing items to organize is a great way to be Green and save money. Click below to see some fun and simple ideas for re-using and up-cycling on my “Re-Use It” Pinterest board.
Here in San Francisco, where I’m based, we have a robust recycling program through SF Recology that helps us keep things out of the landfill and supports our efforts to be Green. I recently discovered how easy it is to responsibly recycle household hazardous waste materials like old paint, batteries, cleaning solutions and aerosol cans. It’s an errand worth running, and a quick trip to the SF Dump does not take much time. In fact, it was one of the most efficient processes around, and only took 2 minutes! I pulled up to the Hazardous Waste Facility, showed them my ID and they took care of the rest. If you have household hazardous waste items adding clutter in your garage, under your sink or in your storage shed, do your part to get rid of it safely. Here’s a list of the materials SF Recology will accept, their hours, and their location. You can also request a free home pick up, so really, there’s no excuse!
Ever wonder if you’re recycling right? If you have an item you need to get rid of, but just not sure if it’s garbage, recycling or compost, type in the item in question on WhatBin.com for answers and other resources. Most municipalities offer information and recycling services, so check out the guidelines in your town and recycle responsibly.
The ultimate green living habit is composting. Composting can sometimes be gross, I get it. If you tend to skip composting due to its smelly and icky aspects, I have a favorite product to share that may change your mind. I know it’s a strange thing to love, but I LOVE using my eco-friendly composter bin, the Sure-Close Kitchen Composter.
I’ve gone through a couple of composting bins in my time, but this one has won my favor because of its hinged lid, which makes for easy scraping of food into the bin, and its size. It’s small enough to fit under the sink, keeping my counters clutter-free, yet has the capacity to handle a large amount of food scraps. It snaps closed and has a seal under the lid so no smell, and it is easy to clean. No smell + no sticky gross lids to hold open make this little bin a star in my composing efforts!
Everyday can be Earth Day if you make small, but important, choices to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Hope you’re inspired to add a new eco-friendly habit to help you live Green and stay eco-organized. Happy Earth Day!