I heard a saying today that has really stuck with me. "By consuming less you are reducing". How true is that.
If we all consumed less then there would be less in our trash cans and less in our recycling bin's, there will also be more green in our pocket.
I would love to go save the rain forest, or go to Africa and plant tree's but I can't. All I can do is my best and teach my children. By teaching my children how to reduce and make do with what we I am teaching them to help the planet, with out them even knowing what I am teaching them. Lets face it they are the next generation. It is their generation that will be cleaning up our mess.
One of the things I have tought my children is to clean up the beach. On mothers day weekend we spent a lot of time at the beach. While we were walking the beach I noticed my children picking up trash. I did not have to say a word to them. At one point Chris went into the water and pulled out a huge black trash bag.
Yesterday while we were at the lake we also picked up a lot of trash. I think it is becomeing second nature for my children and I.
I recently got so discussed with the area under my sink. People had been shoving plastic bags under there, and then we could not find anything that was under there! I gathered up all of the bag's and on my next trip out I took them to a store that has a plastic bag recycling center.
I now have no bags under my sink. Until the marines, and hubby refill that area. However that does not bother because I know that I am not going to the store and getting them, so I am doing a small part.
This morning while I was cleaning up the laundry room I noticed that my lint bag was full. I keep a plastic bag on the back of the door and that is where all of my lint and dirt goes. Now what? I have no more plastic bag's. So I took the bag out and shook it into my green trash can. Everything will compost down and I just gave a plastic bag another use.
When I got my babies in they ladies asked me what all I needed. As they were opening cupboards and handing me stuff I was handing it back. No, I don't need formula, I have two half cans at home. No I don't need bottles because I still have some from last year. Yes, I do need some new nipples. No I don't need and plastic food dishes.
All of this is not only conserving, but it is also going back to my no spending diet. I need to retink everything. At the time I never really thought I was reducing my amount of trash I was just thinking about consuming less, and saving everything else for another foster mom. This will save the shelter money.
As I sit here thinking about it, I have a list of things that I have not bought, but have made do with what I had.
1. an old alumin pan is now being used as the kittens litter box.
2. a plastic container fron roasted chicken is now being used as an outside water bowl for the dogs.
3. a plastic ice cream bucket is now being used to hold my homemade dish soap.
4. all of my material scrapes are now being used to make pet quilts. That is really nothing new, but I am also using the scrapes from the pets quilts to make a Christmas gift for my girlfriend. My girlfriend is a fellow quilter, so I am giving her two 4" squars of every material that I have used. By Christmas she will be able to sew them together and make a really cool lap quilt. I am keeping all of her squars in an old bread bag.
5. I do not buy zip lock bags. This morning when I pulled some chicken to thaw, I was looking at the big plastic bag it came in. Onece the chicken is thawed, I am going to marinade the chicken in the same bag. I will at least be reusing it before I place it in the recycling bin.
I also heard that something like 75% of what we throw away can either be recycled or reused. I believe it. I see people throwing away so much good stuff. I am famous for pulling stuff out of the trash and using it myself or posting it on craigslist for "free". One man's trash is another mans treasure.
I don't need to try to save the rain forest. I need to consume less, recycle more and re use more. That will be my goal. A goal which I can reach and a goal that will have an inpact not only one pocket book but also on my community.