Remember: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!
By Linn Smith
October 12, 2017—-People in developed countries are losing the ability to be resourceful! We “run to the store” impulsively on a daily basis. How did folks survive without today’s conveniences? Today nearby stores provide us with our every need, and we too often toss excess and unused products in the garbage, leaving our landfills and oceans overloaded with toxic materials that may never decompose!
Growing up on a farm, we grew most of our own food. Our basement was lined with many shelves containing hundreds of jars filled with colorful, canned foods from our garden. Cows, pigs and chickens provided us with fresh meat, and our dairy cows provided the milk we drank, and it wasn’t pasteurized! My mother strained the milk through a cheesecloth to get the big chunks (of whatever) out…..and my brothers, sisters and I all grew up healthy! Farm life was what we call green living today….but back then it was just life!
Families use to be resourceful. To obtain something they needed, they reused, fixed, mended or created something new from what they already had. My grandmother created children’s mittens from old sweaters, it saved money and no new items were purchased.
Eco-friendly Steps to Going Green
What are some eco-friendly steps we can take to conserve today? Here are just a few:
1. Turn some of your yard (or all of it) into a garden and can or freeze the vegetables. Yards were originally for very wealthy families in England, who used sheep to keep the grass trimmed. Lawns weren’t meant to look like golf courses. They had dandelions and clover. Today our lawns are toxic with chemicals and leave huge carbon footprints!
2. Buy unpackaged products from local farmers at farmer’s markets.
3. Cook from scratch instead of buying processed food. It tastes better!
4. Make restaurants an occasional option, not a daily trip. (This includes Starbucks!).
5. Buy second-hand from used stores, garage sales, or auctions. Fix, mend or make-do.
6. Don’t buy more than you need. Several years ago we stored most of what we thought was our valuable “stuff” and went RVing. It cost well over $1000 to store. When we returned and assessed our “stuff,” we realized we could live without most of it. We had a garage sale, making several hundred dollars from the sale of our valuables that had cost over a $1000 to store!
7. Recycle and compost.
Why Not Go Green?
Here are some excuses people make to avoid helping our planet:
1. It’s too expensive…BUT, if you shop around most things are comparable.
2. One person can’t make a difference….YES, you can! Good thing everybody doesn’t feel this way!
3. No one else around me is living eco-friendly…..WELL, THEN….how ’bout you be the first!
4. It’s too late. The planet is already doomed….OK, pull your head out of the sand and look around at what positive people are doing!
5. Global warming is a myth. NO IT’S NOT! (But I won’t waste my time arguing with you on this point!)
6. It takes too much time and effort. It’s like anything else, it becomes routine when done on a regular basis.
Before you buy something, ask yourself if you really need it, or is there something you already have that could be used…or ask, Can I make do with less?
Remember: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!
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