Making Our Home Green

I have been part of the “green” movement since I was in elementary school. Even back then, I decided it was cool and necessary to recycle and pushed my family do adopt the practice. (I am happy to report that after much prodding, my dad finally puts his cans in the recycle bin!) While I like to think of myself as “green,” I know there is still much more I could be doing. But if we all start small and build, together we will make a difference, one step at a time!

Twitter Moms and are hosting a blogging contest, they are asking bloggers to share our “Top Three Green-Living Tips.” So, in accordance to the blogging contest and my desire to encourage others to be green, here are my Top 3 Green-Living Tips!

1) Bring your own bag! Even to me, this seemed a little daunting at first – how would I ever remember. But I found that the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it. I felt good about saving that bag, plus I bought myself some cute bags (made of 100% recycled bottles) that I would like to carry! Once you make a commitment to yourself you can do it. BONUS – some stores like Target and CVS are passing along their bag savings to you in the form of a discount!

2) Recycle EVERYTHING! My family is very lucky that our curbside recycling collects all types of plastics, papers and more. I know some municipals are more selective as to what can be recycled, but the only way to know is to check. Look up your county municipaland see what you can recycle curb-side, once you know recycle everything they will take! We greatly reduced our trash output in 2009 just by confirming what could be recycled. Cereal boxes, tissue boxes, plastic blister packages, junk mail and more – we now fill 2 recycle bins every week and only about 1/2 a trash can. Now that’s progress!

3) Give the Gift of Recycling. When curb-side recycling isn’t an option, you can mail in your recycled items. I know, I know another cost. Trust me, the frugalista in me doesn’t like spending money to dispose of something I can toss for free, but some things kill me to throw away. For example, batteries. Besides the nasty acid that can leak out, how long do you think they “live” in the landfills? So, this holiday season give your family a recycling kit. The kit arrives with a box to fill with your recyclables and then postage paid to return it for recycling. I bought our family a box about 6 months ago, it sits in the cabinet where the fresh batteries are kept and when a battery needs replacing the old one goes in the box. At some point, we will fill the box, ship it back to be recycled and I will buy a new one. A small investment to keep batteries out of our landfills!

4) Bonus tip #4 – Pass it along! If you can’t/won’t use it any more, don’t throw it out, pass it along! I know you have head this before, and people are getting better about donating old items to charity, but take it a step further. My neighbor and I have an unspoken exchange program. Anything we can’t/won’t use I give to her family and visa versa. We pass along extra food, coupons, diapers and more. Anything that might go to waste if it isn’t used is passes along. (Which reminds me, I have a new loaf of bread to give her that will go bad while we are gone for the holiday!)

So, there are 4 easy things you can do to help your family be a little greener. I hope you will try to implement one of these steps for 2010 and beyond!

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