Everywhere you look, you see something about living Green. Keeping our planet healthy so it can serve our decedents and us well is on every mind in the world. To be sure, it is on mine. When I was a child, before this big rush of being Green, my Grandmother told me every day, "You must Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle."
She taught me many things but this had the greatest impact on me and my current persona. Everyday I am doing some sort of recycling. Every Spring I hit the closets and filter out ill-fitting clothes and old toys to take them to Good Will, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, or any one of a number of charities that can use them. During my most recent spring-cleaning, I recycled my old car by donating it to Purple Heart.
Whenever we upgrade an electronic device, the old unit goes to Best Buy. They have a recycling program where you pay $10 and get a $10 gift card to use in their store. Granted, we always spend more than $10 there, so it is good for them and their business. As good as it is for them, it is good for the environment. By the way, they also recycle old cell phones and printer ink cartridges at the front door. They have bins for these smaller items stationed there.
I saw an ad recently for Sears. They are doing a big recycling push also. Sears will pick up your old stuff when you buy their new stuff. This is fantastic because I am sick and tired of seeing old worn appliances and furniture items perched on the side of the road and at highway underpasses downtown. Why people dump their unwanted goods like that is beyond me.
Given we live in the Internet and email age, we have signed up for paperless billing with all the services we use that offer the option. Currently this service is only available from our cell, Internet, and satellite companies but I hope our electric and mortgage companies will soon follow suit.
Doing all this gives the postal delivery drivers a little less work but it is worth it. Speaking of mail, I hear postal delivery may be reduced in the United States from the current six days a week. The only problem I see with this is if I order something via USPS, I may not get my parcels as quickly as I desire or Saturday delivery may be delayed until Monday. It is a small price to pay to save our environment from almost daily exhaust contribution from postal vehicles to our atmosphere.
Many companies contribute living green by reducing their carbon contribution by either encouraging carpooling, allowing employees the option to work at home, or outsourcing phone transactions to home telemarketers. I have also seen many local businesses doing things like going solar, recycling water for their landscaping or xeriscaping to reduce water consumption. In addition, many have paper and plastic recycling programs in place.
Still other companies are doing their part by recycling or reconditioning, such as in the automotive sector. Auto part stores take back batteries, cores, and old parts. Tire service stations recycle your old tires. Oil and transmission service centers take care of old automotive fluids.
10 things you can do to help our world and Live Green:
1. Donate good unneeded useable items to charity rather than throwing them away in the trashcan
2. Deal with companies that recycle
3. Reuse or repurpose items you just cannot part with (I once converted an old TV stand into a microwave cart by cutting the wings off it. We still use it to this day. Imagination goes a long way.)
4. Purchase or make re-useable grocery bags. Speaking of groceries, when you buy food that comes in lidded tubs, save the empties and use them for storage
5. Carpool to work, the grocery store, or even church
6. Aluminum, steel, iron, or any metal can be recycled. Find your nearest metal recycling center and utilize them. Our metal recyclers pay money for such items.
7. Purchase energy efficient items to reduce your energy use and carbon footprint
8. Plant a tree.
9. If you have to cut down a tree, use the wood for something good. Hardwoods such as Oak, Pecan, and Mesquite make excellent BBQ wood, which adds flavor to your food and cuts your charcoal bill down. Cedar trees can be turned into fine garden mulch. If you cannot use the wood for anything else, cut it into pieces suitable for your fireplace or fire pit. If you do not have one, give it to someone who does.
10. Be a water saver. Turn off the water while your toothbrush is in your mouth. Upgrade to water saving devices like toilets, faucets, and appliances. Try to catch and store rainwater for watering plants.
Bonus: Recycle your paper products. Newspaper works extremely well with glass cleaner on windows. Funny papers/cartoons make excellent gift wrapping paper. Toilet and paper towel rolls can be used as unique gift boxes for smaller fun items. Old greeting cards make wonderful crafts. The pictures can be cut down for scrapbook embellishments or used decorate an old box (decoupage).
We need to be proactive when it comes to being Green. If everyone does just one Green act a day, our world would be a better place.