I want to take a moment from my food posting to get up on my milk crate and talk about “green.” Green is a great colour, my son’s favourite colour. It is the colour of grass and trees, healthy foods, good Jedis, superheroes and gamma irradiated scientists to name just a few.
What does it mean to be “green”? It does take some work to make your home and life completely green but it can be done. Now, I try hard to reduce my carbon footprint as much as I can but I am not completely there. However, we can start slow by starting to recycle, reduce our waste, reuse what we can and refill where possible. We may not all be able to buy Prius and install solar panels, but we can sort out our rubbish and refill our containers and reduce our impact.
It has taken a long time but I think finally, people are understanding the importance of recycling and reusing. There was time that only a city here and there offered recycling centres or better still, curbside recycling programs but now almost all cities offer some kind of opportunity to reduce your waste. It is unfortunate though how many people still do not recycle.
When I lived in Texas, the little city I lived in did not offer a curbside recycling nor a recycling centre. I researched the web and found one city that had a open dumpster type recycling centre. This centre was about twenty miles or so from our house. For me it was important to recycle, not just for the environment but also to teach my children the importance of our effect on the planet, their planet.
We had our house constructed and it was built “green.” Everything was energy efficient: from our appliances, to the windows, AC units and water heaters. I even made sure that our electric company was wind powered. We travelled a good thirty minutes to recycle our waste and yet, down the road, in the neighbouring city where many of my friends and family lived, they had curbside recycling and I envied them. However, to my dismay, many people didn’t recycle.
I don’t understand it. I mean, recycling not only cuts down on the waste in a landfill, but in your own rubbish bin. I hate having huge containers or big, cereal boxes taking up my bin. I think it’s my distaste of this oversized packaging these companies insist on using that makes me seek out refillable products.
If we recycle, we must also refill and therefore, reduce. If we don’t buy the packaging, then we don’t need to recycle it; save time in the long run and save energy and cost too. I was reading a great article on the Our Daily Green blog. They explain the importance of recycling and refilling and how much money can be saved in our own pockets if we choose to buy refills. Find their article here and see how much it costs us and how it effects our planet. They also offer great, easy tips on how to make little changes to “green” our life.
Of course, not everything is refillable yet but you can find some products that offer refillable options. I use the Greenworks household cleaner and it comes in a large, bulk bottle that you can use to refill your spray bottles. I use reusable and refillable water bottles. We all have our own bottles and if we go on a picnic or hike, we take gallon bottles of water and refill our bottles throughout the day. I like to buy from the bulk bins of my grocery store; rice, sugar, salt, beans and nuts are all out of the bins and I refill my containers at home. I have my milk delivered in plastic, reusable bottles and I love it. I love the convenience of not having to run out for milk and I love it that I don’t have plastic gallons cluttering up my recycling bin. Lately, I have been getting my coffee tin refilled also by Conscious Coffees. I bought coffee in one of their tins a while back and now during the summer, they have a stall at the Boulder’s Farmers Market. I take my empty tin and they fill it up for me.
Refillable products are great: for my rubbish bin, recycling bin and my conscience. I know I pay less for products that are not in some fancy box. I don’t know about everyone else but I sure get tired of all the recyclables taking up my garage! I would prefer not to have to deal with so much packaging.
So, green is a great colour and we could let a bit of green in our life. Now, I don’t drive an electric car, I don’t have solar panels, I don’t unplug every appliance not in use and in this house, nothing is really energy efficient! However, I do recycle, all our electronics and appliances are energy star certified, and I do refill my containers when I can. We try to reduce our electricity use, try and walk as much as we can and buy only what is necessary. We don’t have to make huge changes but if we all take baby steps, then we can make a big difference as a whole.
How do you minimise your trash? Do you have a recycling centre readily available? Do you shop in bulk?
Thank you for reading.