It's About Time
Tips help make living ‘green’ a daily routine
Are you doing your part to live responsibly? Do you reclaim wasted resources, recycle containers and usable items, reduce consumption and resist buying more than you need?
I've found that a little organization is needed to turn those good intentions into action. Three R's to consider:
1. RECLAIM resources now being wasted. I recently visited a friend in the East Bay area of San Francisco where there is a mandatory 19 percent reduction in water use. My friend had worked long and hard to create a beautiful garden with ever-blooming roses and other favorite plants. Due to the water restrictions, she was watering the garden only once a week and hoping her plants would survive.
I felt bad that, as her house guest, I was using some of her precious water. While washing her dishes, I was curious about how much water was going down the drain waiting for the cold water to become hot. So I collected the water in a pot - collected about 2 quarts, which I used to water the plants.
Upon returning home, I was curious as to how much water I was letting run down the drain in the same manner. So I collected the water in my largest plastic bowl, and to my surprise I collected more than a gallon each time! I took that water outside to water my plants. The problem is that I don't always have the bowl handy. It's taking a little organizing to have it where I'll need it next, whether in the kitchen, laundry or bathroom. What resources that are now being wasted can you reclaim?
2. REORGANIZE to create a designated "home" or place to store your recyclables so they don't become clutter. Many people think there's no space, but when unneeded items are removed, space can be created.
I have a small bin under my kitchen desk where I toss my recyclables. The bin fills quickly, so I bag the cans and bottles and put them in the garage to be recycled at the end of the month.
My daughter-in-law in Boston carefully separates her recyclables and has a "home" for them in a corner of her kitchen. It needn't take much space at all.
3. RECYCLE REGULARLY. What works for me is to deliver my recyclables at the end of each month. The bottles, cans, plastic bags, newspapers and cardboard are about a car trunkful. If you don't have the space to collect that much, you may have to recycle more frequently.
Tip: If you tie the task to a certain day or date, it will become a routine.
I have three reusable tote bags that I have yet to use. I keep them in my car trunk but have yet to remember to bring them into the store with me. That's something I'm working on.
How are you doing? It isn't always easy being green, but it is possible with a little planning and organizing.
Happy recycling! See you in three weeks!
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813, call 488-0288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org