Best reduce/reuse/recycle tip? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-30-2005, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm always trying to practice the 3 R's---for environmental, financial, and clutter-reduction reasons.

I do the basics--compost (sometimes), use cloth napkins, only take shopping bags from the store when I need one (and then re-use those)...

What are you tips?
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#2 of 7 Old 12-31-2005, 11:45 PM
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Cloth Diapering is one of the best tips I can give for an eco-savy mom.
Also going vegetarian (or vegan) will have a great impact as large scale meat production
is one of the most environmentally taxing things.

Little Things We Do:
-Buy quality items that you really want and will use for a long time, and not just stuff because it's on sale or trendy
-Try buying in bulk, but only stuff thats healthy and that you will really use.
-Baking Soda, Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Bon Ami, essential oils like lavendar and tea tree oil are great cleaners/deodorizer and much safer to use around little ones
-Get a water filter and buy personal water bottles (they make stainless steel ones now that are super---no plastic chemicals to leach in your water) for each member of the family instead of buying bottled water

I remember reading something from Julia Butterfly Hill (the woman how lived in a huge redwood sequoia for a long time) that the first of the 3 R's is to reduce and how we as americans always think recycle first.
Thats so true isnt it?

Good luck..hope to see more tips so i can learn more myself!
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#3 of 7 Old 01-01-2006, 12:38 AM
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Take Cloth shopping/produce bags to the grocery store with you. Or you can take paper instead of plastic and use those for arts and crafts, trash, putting fried foods on to soak up the grease,etc..
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#4 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 11:38 AM
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i am trying to be more environmentally friendly too. i wrote out a list of things that are going to change around our house. this is part of our list (according to my memory):
*organic cotton menstrual pads versus disposable pads. we not only save on disposing of the pad itself but the loads of packaging it comes in.
*compost bin for all food scraps and trimmings instead of putting them in the trash. recycle the rest. that virtually eliminates 95% of all the stuff coming in our house, going in the trash, which is pretty damn good! as it is, our rubbish bin is never full anyway, so it's just going to get better.
*when in the grocery store and packing up fruit and veg to be weighed at the checkout, try to not pack small amounts of produce in seperate plastic bags if you can help it (for example 2 peppers, 3 tomatoes etc)
*using org cotton soft cloths for pee instead of toilet paper. we are still going to use toilet paper (unbleached and recycled in recyclable packaging) for bowel movements. were thinking of installing one of those mini showers for our toilet so that we can wash straight after a bowel movement instead of using toilet paper. it's more hygienic and less wasteful.
*using org cotton cloth hankercheifs instead of paper tissues.
*buying only what we really like and will go the distance as a previous poster mentioned. and buying only what you really need!! there is no need for 10 different knives when 3 can do everything you need it to do.
*instead of trashing something you don't need or use, give it away to charity or freecycle. i really believe when you give, you recieve.
*buying food in bulk straight from the farms or warehouse (if you can).
*letting little kids cut up and write all over old magazines instead of new clean paper, and when they are done with doodling and cutting it into little bits, recycle it. if they ask for a fresh sheet of paper, then by all means give them one - but if you can keep them satisfied with old magazines, why not!
if you'd prefer to not have them cut up and doodled over, donate them to local hospitals.
*we already store and cook nearly everything in glass, which is recyclable if it does break and is non toxic.
*take good care of your stuff!!! don't knock your plates and cups around in the sink when washing, wash your clothes on the delicate cycle, etc.
*any waste water that you can catch, water your plants with.
*put a "NO JUNK MAIL" sign on your letterbox.
*ask for your bills to be sent electronically instead of by mail. my identity paranoid dh even did this for our mobile bill and boy was i surprised!
*save used paper as scrap for writing down shopping lists, notes etc.
*creating an arts and craft box filled with empty egg cartons etc and letting my dd go wild. i've found she gets far more excited with stuff like this instead of conventional toys.
*re-use plastic containers for storing nails, nuts and bolts and other small stuff.
*washing and re-using glass jars (the jars that pasta sauce and tomato paste come in) for storing dried herbs instead of putting them in recycling.
*buy recycled!! if we don't buy it, we don't create a market for it.

i can't think of anymore right now, but here is a link filled with good ideas:

good on ya for wanting to do more, mama!!!
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#5 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 12:02 PM
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#6 of 7 Old 01-07-2006, 03:22 PM
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If you are a gardener, you can get a pet rabbit or two. They make great pets, and they eat many vegetable scraps - cucumber peels if you peel, the lettuce from the head that is a little to gross looking to eat, but not inedible, bread scraps, ect. Then you use their "leavings" as fertilizer! When I was little, we had 10 rabbits (give or take at various times). My mom had the best garden (still does) and the neighbors would take a wheelbarrow of our fertilizer for their yard. Of course, rabbits do cost and add to what you buy, ect, but if you were going to get a pet anyway, they are a great choice.

Kind of off topic, but I have a rabbit now, and she takes care of my vegetable scraps!

Edited to add: I had a very heavy wetter too, and we would use two fitteds at night, and wool. During the day, I had good uck with thick (especially felted) wool covers and shorts/pants. I had to lanolize every month or two, but it worked, and kept me form buying 'sposies. I even made my own wool pants from a thriftstore sweater! I am not a sewer, either.

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#7 of 7 Old 01-20-2006, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by
I'm always trying to practice the 3 R's---for environmental, financial, and clutter-reduction reasons.
Add the 4th "R". Refuse. If you don't need it, don't buy it.
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