How? Let us count the ways:
- reuseable grocery sacks- When Camille was one, I bought a new bag for a dollar every time I went to the store. Soon I had enough for all my shopping and then various places starting giving them away! I have ones from my kids' school, MOPS, Lowes (awesome swim bags) and the Sounds of Pertuss. They hang up outside the door to the garage or stay in the van. I even have cool ones for produce that will come in handy during the summer when we pick from our own garden or go to farmer's markets. Heck, they work now at the store! When I do forget them and get a plastic or paper bag, we . . .
- reuse the bags- a pooper-scooper bags, for wet or dirty diapers, to send to preschool or the nursery for accidents, in the bathrooms to line trash cans, to throw away yucky dog barf paper towels, to take to the store again for another round of groceries.Or you can even recycle them at Wal-Mart!
- Recycle everything- or as much as possible. I will admit that we have such a dinky recycle bin that the stuff I cannot cram into the garage gets tossed. I'm working on fixing that. We have three bins in the house- one in the kitchen and one each in the upstairs bathrooms. I chuck empty shampoo bottles in them although sometimes I...
- reuse the bottles- a fantastic movie about the bottled water industry is "Tapped." It's like "Food Inc" for water and is avialiable on Netflix streaming. It's fairly safe for the kiddos to watch although some of the footage of the sea life and the plastic bottles might be upsetting for very senstive kids. For my older two, it really hit home that plastic bottles can harm other living beings and was a great starting point for a discussion. Although I prefer bottled water over soda and sports drinks, we are now comitted to bringing our reuseable metal bottles with us. Can't afford a 20 dollar (or more) metal bottle? Look for a BPA-free plastic bottle. And when you do get a drink from the soda fountain?...
- Think of all the uses that cup can have! - I heart fresh brewed iced tea from places like CFA and McDonald's. When I'm done with the cup, it hits the recycling bin but I try and get one more use out of it- filling it with water to drink, letting the kids use it in the bathtub, sandtable or water table. Especially craft people can probably find a craft use for it too!
- Go green with your household- After putzing around for too long, I finally made the switch to greener chemicals in our washer, Charlie's Soap. I like that I can use it on my cloth diapers and our clothes. I use vinegar as a fabric softener and oils as a scent, if I want them. I bought lavendar and orange oils over a year ago. They are pricey but a little lastest a long time! I use water and vinegar for all my cleaning and microfiber cloths for dry dusting. (I haven't founds something to replace Pledge- any ideas?) When I need a kick in my cleaner, I add Dr. Bronners- which I also use as a body wash on the big kids. For the littles, I use Burt's Bees. As I told Adam, it makes sense to use natural- or more natural- products on our skin since it is our biggest organ! Of course, we have cloth napkins, towels, rags for cleaning, diapers... the list goes on!
- Buy what you need- that's the reduce part. Yes, we reduce our waste by reusing items but we also try not to buy more than we really need. We don't do anyone any good if we routinely by more food or goods than we need and let the excess spoil or sit stagnet in our house.
Note: I have brought items from Reuseit.com before and like their service. The links, however, are not an endorsement but just a sample of where you can buy the products I meantion.