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Earth Day Tips: 10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Earth Day is April 22. There is no better time than the present to appreciate Mother Earth and practice conservation. Here are some little things that we do around our house that are easy and make a difference:

Water conservation
Not rinsing dishes before we put them in the dishwasher (it was a hard behavioral pattern to stop!)
Collect cold water in a bucket in the shower before the water gets warm and use it to water inside/outside plants
Brush teeth without water running
collect rain water in barrel and water outside plants
use low flow toilets

Energy conservation
install a programmable thermostat
replace air filters regularly
wrap water heater in a blanket
unplug electronic devices (they still use electricity if turned off and plugged in)
change our light bulbs to CFL bulbs
recycle cardboard, glass, plastic, newspaper, aluminum, magazines, etc.
hang energy-efficient curtains over windows
install window liner during winter season to insulate wall

Grocery shop with a fabric bag and save the paper and plastic
Reuse water bottles and cut plastic usage
Plant a tree

Resources

After watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, I learned little things we can all do daily from the Climate Crisis web site: There is even a calculator to determine our personal carbon footprint.

Treehugger.com is another good resource to get ideas.

I also use Freecycle to clean house, avoid taking items to the dump and to share with those in need.  I just unloaded a mattress and headboard to a woman today for her grandson’s bedroom!

Reduce junk mail

Cut direct mail catalogs and junk mail – use Catalog Choice to stop receiving unwanted catalogs.

An new organization called 41pounds.org promises to completely remove you from up to 95% of the junk mail lists by contacting each organization from which you receive mail and/or catalogs for a one-time fee of $41.

Here is an opt-out guide to junk your junk mail from New Dream.

Good luck! Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle whenever you can.

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The Joy of Giving Back.

Every year we try to give back to the community in various ways. This year we donated lots of clothes and houseware items to a local shelter and stuffed animals to the Sheriff’s office for the domestic unit. We made cookies for local firefighters and stopped by to say thank you. I like to show my girls that giving is an important part of the holidays and in general.

We had an exercise bike that my father in law gave us years ago. We haven’t used it in awhile so we figured we would get rid of it. Rather than take it to the dump, I figured someone else would enjoy it. I discovered freecycle.org and signed up for the local chapter. I asked some Twitter friends if they have used it and many responded back that they did and it was a great experience. So I posted our bike earlier this week. The next morning I had about 10 replies! I gave the bike to a woman for her husband who is legally blind. He has a home gym with weights and wanted an addition to his room. She and her son picked it up the next day and it was a surprise for her husband. It felt so good and they were so thankful! It was a good start to the new year.

Check out freecycle.org and sign up and watch the message board to see what it’s all about.

I have been telling friends about it every day. One friend’s neighbor was able to unload a used chain link fence to a farmer through Freecycle! Someone else gave away a large laundry detergent since they had a reaction to it. Items that you wouldn’t think someone would want might be valuable to someone else. Plus it keeps these items out of the dump and that’s better for us all.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!