3 Little Words
We live in a disposable society where everything from our morning cup of joe to our toilet bowl brushes are designed to be thrown away after a single use. Remember a long time ago, I think it was grade school for me, we learned what those three little twisty green arrows on our notebook paper meant? “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” It seems that the term “green” is everywhere these days; just add the word “green” to any search you are about to run on Google and you’ll come up with tons of hits. And while this is great that “green” stuff is even more popular and accessible, I think that it is also important to remember the basics of caring for the environment: 1. reduce your impact, 2. reuse everything you can, and 3. recycle what’s left.
So, what I’m really focusing lately on the art of re-using, as in re-using the extra napkin from lunch that I never even took out of my lunchbag, re-using that piece of foil that only rested on top of my dish for 30 minutes in the oven, and re-using the old t-shirt I hate for a dustrag rather than using tons of paper towels throughout the month. It’s probably one of the easiest “green” steps you can make and it’s free! I mean, my Mom always saved her jars when I was growing up, why did it take me so long to catch on?
We like to use some of our posts, especially in the “at the market” category, to highlight the great new “green” products that we discover and love, but it’s important to keep in mind that while it’s great to make eco-conscious decisions each time you shop, it’s even better to first consider whether buying something new at all is even necessary. For example, I’ve read a lot about food storage containers and how much healthier it is to store your left-overs in glass containers and, at first, I was so tempted to go out and buy all new bright and shiny glass containers. But then I realized that I could just start saving the glass jars that I was regularly sending to the recycle bin and use them for my food storage and even to take with me to collect my bulk items at the co-op (instead of getting new plastic containers or bags). And recycling is always good, don’t get me wrong, but it does take more energy to turn one old thing into a pretty new thing, and the recycling process can create unwanted by-products too. So go on and take those empty spaghetti jars, wash, rinse, fill them up with new good stuff, eat, and repeat!