Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I decided that I wanted to share some of my ideas about trying to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. My environmetalist of a husband has helped me be more aware of our environment and how I can make little changes in my life. I think sometimes one could feel guilty about not doing enough, but here are a few easy things I have done. Most of these things are in the "Reuse" category.
  1. I keep a pile of paper to the side of my desk that is for Leland to color or cut. The paper is anything from random junk mail that doesn't need to be shredded that is blank on one side, to other extra pages that were printed and no longer needed. She knows that is where she can go if she needs paper.

  2. Cut open cereal boxes (or other boxes) for painting projects. The cardboard is more sturdy than a peice of paper.

  3. Shop yard sales. With warmer weather approaching many will start to pop-up on Saturday mornings. Shop Goodwill (or DI) You have to be willing to dig and search, but you could find some great stuff. I have 2 skirts that I got from Goodwill for $3 each, one is J.crew and the other Ann Taylor. Check out the girls new doll house I found for $0.25 at a yard sale this weekend.

  4. Print front and back when printing from your computer.

  5. Use a letter opener to open bills, keep the envelope to write your grocery list or other lists. The pocket from the envelope is great to hold my coupons while shopping.

  6. Use canvas bags for your grocery shopping. I got 4 black canvas totes from Wal-Mart for $1 each. (They say "Paper or Plastic? Neither") I don't seem to need more than 4. I am amazed at how much each can hold.

  7. Accept (or give) hand-me-downs. I LOVE the clothes my sister has given to us. She was really into matching her girls so most of her stuff has a pair. The new box that I just opened for Leland had a lot of outfits that match Lucy's clothes. Leland was so excited about having matching PJs she went in her room and laid them out just before bed.

  8. RECYCLE! If your town picks up from your house and you can mix everything - you have no excuse to not recycle. Find out what your town accepts and where to drop it off. A simple way to start is to get a 2nd trash can just for plastics. (That's what we use most) We have to seperate our recyling and take it to a recyling center. I have bags hanging in my laundry room for each type of material and I have a tub for paper.


  1. her laid out clothes are so stinkin' cute! I love the idea about an envelope for shopping. When I run out of my cute hang on the fridge shopping lists (thanks Char), I will totally use this idea. Maybe I will start stacking my used envelopes and start keeping my coupons in the house instead of in my purse. Then I will take out the coupons for the things on my list. I am going to try very hard to not buy things that aren't on my list at the store.

  2. You guys are so good at "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle." When you shared your tips with me several months ago, we followed your example and bought tote bags for our groceries - I have 5 and find that is all I need too (our little market credits you .08 per bag when you use your own)! I am glad you love our hand-me-downs, it is so fun for me to see your girls wear them - I am a match-aholic, so I am glad Leland appreciates it :-)

  3. Have you guys signed up on Started in good old Calif. - try it out!

  4. Good ideas, Ash! I have been thinking about getting some canvas bags. I think I will now.

  5. Yeah Ashley!!!! I am so glad I am not the only hippie using reusable shopping bags. It is actually kind of amazing what a difference a few little changes can make. I am embarking on the use of cloth diapers-wish me luck. Maybe I will blog about it soon. So far it hasn't been too bad and despite having to change her diaper more often, I am rewarded with feelings of moral superiority as a mother. :)

  6. These will come in handy... especially because it seems that here in Utah nobody believes in recyling! But I do save my own paper and use the backs of things. Love you and miss you all!

  7. Ashley, you are so inspiring! I just saw a show on Oprah that said that Harpo studios save $41,000 a year by not allowing people to use paper cups anymore, I'm sure that is also helping our landfills. I love your ideas Ashley, and it's so fun to see your family.

  8. Good for you Ashley--I also have a very "Green" husband. Unfortunatley, our neighborhood is not so environment friendly. The members of our HOA voted against recycling in our neighborhood because it would raise our fee $5 more a month (five stinking dollars!!!). Comments such as "while we know helping our environment is important, we do not want our fee to be raised" were heard by the majority of members. In a lot of ways I feel like I am outgrowing Utah!