Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Welcome to the eighth week in our 10 week series on Natural Living! I hope that you learn something that will help you on your journey to natural living. Wherever you are, just jump right in! Hopefully we can all inspire each other to live more mindfully, one step at a time. (Some links in this post are affiliate links.)

NLS500x500.jpgThis week’s focus is on reducing, reusing and recycling. I grew up in Southern California recycling. Our community collected recyclables at the curb in a specially marked bin. When I moved to the south in my teens, I realized that was not the case everywhere. All these years later, it still is not neccessarily the case. My neighborhood collects one bin only of either cans/aluminum or paper. You can fill your one bin with one of these items but you have to choose which one. Since I rarely have any aluminum, we choose to have them take our paper recycling. For any other recycling, I have to load up the car and drive it to one of the collection areas. Luckily, we have several close by and the actual recycling center is not too far from me. I imagine it is not quite as convenient for others though. To find your local center, simply enter your zip code into Recycler Finder. You can even select by the type of material you want to recycle. I will say, this website did not seem to have my local place so not sure if it works for all areas.

Of course, it would be better yet not to have a bunch to recycle in the first place. Try repurposing/reusing what you can and cut down on purchasing items that come in single use packaging. We stopped buying the big packs of bottled water years back, and I don’t miss it a bit. It is hard to get away from all of the plastic packaging, but being more mindful and intentional about what we buy is a start. An eye-opening read (so I’ve heard as I have not read it myself yet) is Plastic-Free by Beth Terry.

We are bad about trash. It is an area we really should work on. Of course, recycling and reusing/repurposing can cut down on trash, as well as using up leftovers instead of throwing them out. But a big way you can reduce the trash you produce is composting. You can make a compost bin pretty easily yourself, too. Also, Freecycle is an excellent resource for when you are decluttering and have usable items that you no longer need. Instead of throwing them up, offer them to someone else. We use this resource quite a bit and have gained some great things someone else would have otherwise thrown out, and we have passed along things we no longer needed.

Let’s all start being more intentional about the products we consume. For instance, maybe buying the bulk package of something makes more sense in the long run because we don’t use as much packaging. Keep a smaller container on hand to refill from the bulk and store the bulk product. Buy reusable batteries. Use all of those junk mail catalogs and papers as art supplies for your kids. It’s really in the day-to-day where we can make the most difference.

This week I’ll share some of the products that are helping me waste less and give you a chance to win some for your own home.

Other Topics in the Natural Living Series are:

Natural Skincare (May 5 – May 11)
Natural Baby Care (May 12 – May 18)
Natural Haircare (May 19 – May 25)
Natural Cleaning (May 26 – June 1)
Natural Wellness (June 2 – June 8)
Eating Naturally (June 9 – June 15)
Eco-friendly Clothing (June 16 – June 22)
Natural Mouthcare (June 30 – July 6)
What Living Natural Means to Me (July 14 – July 20 )

Want to participate? Learn more in my Call for Submissions post.

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