Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reduce Reuse Recycle

I hope you enjoyed the guest post from Amber yesterday.  I'm seriously going to have to invest in a juicer now.  My Hubbs can blame Amber for that.  If you missed the post, you can find it here.  You can also find the link to her Etsy shop along the side of my blog.

I wanted to make today's post about reducing your waste, reusing what you can, and recycling what you can't.

Any one who knows me knows that I am big into being environmentally friendly.  I try not to use chemicals outside, or much inside really.  When I do buy cleaners, I buy Clorox Green Works or some other similar mostly plant based brand.  I make my own laundry detergent.  I don't spray bug spray or weed killer outside (we'll look at my solutions for that a little later in the spring).

Reuse and Recycle
We're fortunate enough to have a recycling truck that comes through to pick up recycling bins every two weeks.  We put cardboard boxes, glass (when I don't wash and reuse), papers (when I don't reuse them), junk mail (with plastic window removed), plastic bottles and jugs (when we can't reuse them).  The only downside is that they won't accept plastic bags.  Ugh... So I try to get paper bags or reusable bags when I can.  I do have a ton of plastic bags though.  I usually save them up to take to We Care (my favorite local thrift store) because they use them a lot.

We even reuse a lot of our veggie and fruit kitchen scraps. 

Remember me telling you not to throw away those egg shells from the cakes?  This is why.

 I keep a jar on the counter to put egg shells in so that I can crush them up and put them in the soil with my tomatoes.  That's about four or five dozen egg shells right now.  I use a large rolling pin to crush them down with.  I wash them out and let them air dry before I put them in the jar so that I don't have to freeze them.

For our veggie and fruit scraps this year, I want to but a worm tube in the garden so that I can compost directly into the soil.
Something like this, but I'm gonna decorate it or something.  You just put the scraps directly into the top and worms will come in and out to eat.

We also reuse two liters for our tomato plants.  The Hubbs drinks soda but I don't.  A lot of sites and gardeners recommend watering tomatoes at the root.  What better way than to bury a 2 liter that has holes drilled in it.  Like this:

I reuse newspaper in the garden too, by laying it down under the dirt.  It'll decompose in about a year and will kill the grass and weeds, so that they don't keep coming back.  I used it in my raised beds last year and it worked very well.

I've got a huge collection of egg cartons started too.  I don't know what to do with them yet.  Any ideas?

The recyclable items that we can't use, go in the bin and get taken to the top of our driveway for pick up every other Tuesday (there's not a lot that we don't reuse though).

There are a lot of options for reducing your own pollution.  Turn lights off when you aren't using them (I'm typing this in the kitchen with the lights off), unplug electronics when you aren't using them (I am guilty of not doing this, but the laptop I'm using isn't plugged in right now), don't continue to run water when you don't need to, reuse the water you wash garden veggies in by washing them outside and using it to water the garden.

Walk or ride a bike instead of driving your car. 
I really wish that we lived in a place that had things within bike or walking distance.  If we lived closer to downtown then I'd walk every where.  We live more out in the country but within the city limits.  It's a few miles to get to the nearest grocery.  Though, when I do testing at the end of the month, I do walk from the office to the courthouse to drop off my samples and back (which is about 10 minutes all together), so that is something.  You get exercise that way too. 

We don't use a dishwasher because they still use a lot of water.  I fill a side with soap and a side with water. Wash, rinse, repeat.  Then they air dry before being put away or I dry them with a dish towel.

We're trying not to use so many paper towels in the kitchen.  At least I am. The Hubbs likes to pull off a ton of them.  Ugh...  I use dish towels to wipe everything down and dry dishes.  Then they go in the way. 

What do you do to Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle?  Comment here or e-mail your answers to me at


  1. I really like this post. If you eat bananas the peels are really good to cover up at the base of a rose bush as well.
    I have not used paper towels in years :) My husband thinks its weird but we save a ton of money,because it must be a manly thing he uses a ton as well. I have been looking at making "unpaper towels" here recently. They are on a paper towel dispenser and they are cloth with snaps to hold them together.Here is a link of what they look like :

    1. I've seen those before. I really want to make some but I need a bit more practice on my sewing machine. I want to make new, reusable pads for my Swiffer too since it seems like such a waste to throw them away.

      We eat a ton of bananas and I have roses in front of our house. I had totally forgotten about that peels!