Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life-giving cycles of this little blue-green round planet and give back. It’s a day to be conscious of individual impact and the collective impact of humanity’s presence and production of material goods, in how it affects Earth’s sustainability.The green spaces of the world are beautiful and diversely rich with inspiration, nurturing and lessons on survival, yet these spaces are slowly decreasing day by day. What if you applied that same consciousness you feel on Earth day in an intent all year round to celebrate the planet, through respect in daily effort to recycle, reduce, reuse and re-purpose?Recycle Did you know that nearly 75 percent of what’s thrown away daily is recyclable? While it’s easier to toss it and forget it, it’s better for the Earth if you choose to recycle instead.If you only choose to recycle one object, such as plastic water bottles, that is a major impact. The smallest of steps have a big impact, and many items are recyclable:
- Most types of paper that you don’t use to wipe up stains and are easily broken down, including office, white or colored paper, un-waxed food packaging, empty juice or milk cartons and shredded paper.
- For plastics, look for numbers 1-7 on the container, not including Styrofoam. Some plastics that may be recycled are milk jugs, soap bottles and detergent jugs.
- Cardboard’s may include unstained pizza boxes, box board, brown paper bags and corrugated cardboard. Do not recycle anything covered in bubble wrap or is waxed.
- For metal, aluminum cans, pie plates and even kitchen cookware may be recycled. Paint cans aren’t recyclable because of toxic ingredients.
- For glass, clean food jars and glass bottles, including clear, green, brown, and blue glass. Do not recycle crystal, light bulbs, mirrors or window glass.
Some computer parts and inkjet cartridges and other items may be sent back to the manufacturer or other collector. For items that aren’t recyclable, you may be able to reduce, reuse or repurpose them.Reduce Unfortunately, there are items that cannot be recycled. In your efforts to be more green throughout the year, reduce your use or purchase of these items. You may also want to reduce your consumption of items that are recyclable to lessen clutter. Consider these ideas, and choose one to start with:
- Use old hand towels, cotton table napkins and other fabrics over paper towels
- Choose online subscriptions over paper subscriptions to magazines.
- Bring your own canvas shopping bags to the grocery store.
- Can your own food instead of buying canned food.
- Shop at thrift stores instead of buying new clothes at the mall.
- Donate old clothing and interchange a few items in a capsule wardrobe.
Reuse and Re-purpose Many items in your home have multiple functions and old items may be of use to a neighbor or local artist. Before you send items to the landfill, consider how you could reuse or re-purpose them instead.Cut up old clothes and turn them into cleaning rags. Old computer equipment and electronics may be refurbished or sold to a pawn shop or online. DIY blogs also have interesting ideas for re-purposing old parts. You never know what art projects your “junk” can inspire!The life giving cycles of the Earth may be celebrated all year round, by recycling, reducing, reusing and re-purposing the material goods in your life. You may not think your impact is big, but even the smallest of steps inspire a big change, reducing the clutter and stress in your life in the long term, too.Whether you choose to can your own food or recycle plastic bottles, any small step is a wonderful green tribute to this beautiful, small blue-green planet.
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