Reuse Tips

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Categories: What's it Like, Living Green?

Here are some things you can re-use instead of throwing away!

  • When planning a backyard barbeque, I invited guests to bring a potluck dish and their own reusable utensils, plates, and cups. This cut down on the waste of plastic and paper products.
  • When having a picnic at the park, carry your own reusable dishes and utensils. Have you seen the overflowing trash cans at the park?
  • Do you pack lunches for your family for work or school? There is no need to buy paper lunch bags or sandwich bags. We use lunch boxes and reusable sandwich-sized containers.
  • Do you pack chips or cookies for lunches? Try using small reusable containers, which fit right into a lunch box.
  • What about plastic utensils? Sam’s Club® or Costco® carry stainless steel utensils in restaurant packs of spoons, forks or knives at a reasonable price. These won’t match your regular utensils, but they come in handy for yogurt or dessert, and they won’t cause waste in a landfill.
  • Are you trying to cut back on the use of paper towels? K-mart® sells bulk packages of thin washcloths. These are very handy for quick clean-ups and they can also work well in a lunch box as a napkin.
  • When I started carrying a reusable water bottle to work, I soon noticed that everyone else began carrying one as well.
  • If you are like me, it’s hard to remember to bring the cloth bags into the grocery store, even though they are in my car. I’ve found something that helps. If I get up to the checkout without the bags, I ask the cashier to load my groceries back into the cart, without bags. I then take the food to my car and pack the items into my own bags. Soon, to avoid embarrassment, you will remember your bags.
  • Stores in my area offer a five-cent credit for any reusable grocery bags you use. They also give me that same credit when I refuse a bag.
  • Be sure to watch when someone is bagging your food. The baggers are so fast, they may have all of your groceries bagged before you hand them your reusable bags.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a change. Your example will help others to take a green leap.

Watch for my new book in 2009–What’s It Like Living Green? Kids Teaching Kids by the Way They Live

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