Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tips from Living Like Ed

© photo copyright Toni Boyko
Carrie and Tanner Play Tug
with a Recycled Tug Toy

Recently I posted Keeping Up With the Begleys--A Book Review, after reading the actor/activist's book. In today's post, I'm sharing a few of his easiest to implement tips for saving money and resources:

  • It turns out that, when loading your dishwasher, hand-rinsing them uses more water than running the dishwasher's rinse cycle. That was a surprise to me, but good to know.
  • Every year our curbside recycling programs change. This year, mine added some new items that can be included for recycling. Be sure to keep up to date on what you can place in your bin for recycling.
  • Make use of Terracyle and Freecycle to find new homes for items that cannot be recycled in your curbside program.
  • Buy as many products as available in glass, particularly larger volume items like juice and milk, when available. Glass is one of the easiest materials to recycle, therefore a better choice.
  • Choosing plastics can make a difference. Number 3 and Number 5 plastics are the least environmentally friendly, and therefore the least desirable. When possible, choose products that are packaged in other recyclable materials.
  • High quality paper, such as printer paper, can be made into recycled printer paper, when recycled with the right facility.
  • Don't place dirty paper in recycling bins.
  • Although magazines can be recycled, it is better to donate them, after you've read them. Consider hospitals, retirement homes, any place with a greater need for reading material.
  • Leftover paint can be donated for use in a paint exchange program. Imagine giving up your 1/2 can of yellow paint in exchange for 1/2 can of pink for that bathroom you've been wanting to repaint. Cool idea, huh?
  • When recycling electronics like computers, be careful to use reputable facilities that will destroy any contents that might provide information for identity theft. Even though you may think you have deleted all the contents of your hard drive, much of that information can still be harvested by a knowledgeable hacker.
  • Creatively reusing old items is the best plan of all. Recently, with an idea from a friend, I made some old clothing in doggie tug toys. I was so pleased to have a new use for stained and torn clothing, and so were my dogs. Check out this idea at Recycled Doggie Tug Toys, my post on how to quickly and easily make your own.
  • Choosing products with less packaging means less to recycle and send to the landfill later.

Next week I'll return to offer a few additional tips, this time on the topic of reducing your exposure to toxins. Some call this your toxic load. Sounds scary, but it's easy to make a difference. Join me next Thursday.

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