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Reduce Packaging by Using Your Own Containers

Rows of lettuce growing in a garden.

Save both the production of the packaging and the waste that it creates by following these tips on using your own containers to reduce packaging.

  1. Buy (or sew) some cloth bags to use them while shopping. Tip: keep them in your car so you don’t forget to bring them when you go out. http://www.wikihow.com/Live-a-More-Environmentally-Friendly-Lifestyle MW-BS218_pfgroc_20140108165614_MG shutterstock reusable cloth grocery bags
  2. Instead of using zip-top or plastic wrap to carry your snacks to school or work, purchase a reusable snack bag like this cute one http://www.colibricanada.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=112 2034-600x600-500x500 colibricanada snack bagor sew one yourself like these- using the instructions from this blog: http://thediymommy.com/sew-a-diy-reusable-snack-bag/ Sew-a-15-Minute-Reusable-Snack-Bag-by-The-DIY-Mommy.jpg
  1. Finally, use waste-free containers – at home or on the go – like these: http://ecolunchboxes.com/ portions-16_1024x1024 eco lunch boxes tri-bento.pngpicnic-time_1024x1024 eco lunch boxes camping tray.jpg

In conclusion, there are many reusable containers to use for the purpose of minimizing your environmental impact for example: cloth bags for shopping, cloth snack bags that you can sew yourself, or waste-free food containers. This will not only save you some money in the long run, but will help save our environment. These are great tips to help you to decide to Live Environmentally Conscience.

How Reuse Dryer Sheets for Every Purpose!

Reuse dryer sheets to help reduce static cling. Picture from http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/101-new-uses-for-everyday-things/10-new-uses-for-dryer-sheets

What do you do with items that are not recyclable, like dryer sheets? Do you throw them into the trash? That will just fill up our landfills and add to our environmental impact. What if instead of tossing them you find clever ways to reuse them?

Look at closely at used dryer sheets. Once you run them through the dryer, they are not recyclable according to http://lausd-oehs.org/docs/Recycling/Non_Recyclable_List.pdf . So just throw them into the bin, right? NOPE! Here are some of my favourite ways that you can reuse these “garbage” items.

Reuse Dryer Sheets for Cleaning

From dusting furniture and removing pet hair off of everything to removing bugs off of your car and soap scum in the bathroom, there are many great ways to reuse dryer sheets for the purpose of cleaning.

Reuse Dryer Sheets for Crafting

A few of my favourite ideas that I’ve seen for crafting are to reuse a dryer sheet for the back of a pieced quilt block. You can adjust the size of the sheet to fit your requirements by trimming to a smaller size or sewing as many as you need together until you have the bigger size that you need.

Reuse Dryer Sheets While Camping/ For Your RV

One of the worst part of camping (either tenting or using an RV) are some of the unpleasant smells that happen. By reusing your dryer sheets and placing them inside your tent or RV will help to freshen up the air. Another great tip when packing up your camping equipment for the season is to place the used dryer sheets inside your sleeping bags before you roll them up and also placing them into your RV cupboards before putting them into storage/ winterizing. This will help to fight the smell of mildew and it also deters pests (moths and rodents) from entering.

Reuse Dryer Sheets for Many Other Purposes

Finally, a few final tips that are great for reusing those dryer sheets are: fighting static on ladies’ pantyhose by rubbing the dampened sheet over the legs, using as a fire starter by stuffing an empty toilet paper tube along with dryer lint, and cleaning gummed up scissors by cutting through or wiping some used dryer sheets over the blades.

For more tips on how to reuse dryer sheets because they are not recyclable, check out this blog for inspiration: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2014/09/55-ways-reuse-re-purpose-recycle-dryer-sheets.html . Comment below on your favourite ways to reuse dryer sheets or anything else!! J

In conclusion, there are many ways to reuse items like dryer sheets for the purpose of minimizing your environmental impact. This will not only save you some money, but will help save our environment. These are both great reasons to help you to decide to Live Environmentally Conscience.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… and Repair

Repair or mend your clothing. Picture taken from http://www.livemoredaily.com/cute-clothing-repair-ideas/

Move over Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. There’s a new kid in town! Let’s add the fourth “R”: Repair! As we talked about in one of my previous blog posted (found here), when an item is reused, or by Buying or selling a used item, it does not require any more energy in the production of that item. The same can be said when repairing an item. This will eliminate the carbon footprint related to the original production of that item. It does not require any more natural resources. It also cuts the actual cost of that item down instead of paying full price to repurchase the item brand new. A repair cost will, in most cases, be a much lower cost.

“Although it’s not part of the well-known triad, “repair” partners with “reuse” in the reduce, reuse, recycle hierarchy—and it’s a better option than recycle when it comes to the environment. Why? Because when we repair, we don’t buy new stuff. No matter how “green” it claims to be… Repair also generates less air and water pollution than recycling, leaves behind less hazardous waste, and creates an affordable supply of high-quality goods for those unable to afford new things.” http://archive.onearth.org/articles/2013/09/why-do-we-throw-our-stuff-away-instead-of-fixing-it

Mending (Repairing) clothing or other items made from fabric.

Whether it is mending a sweater with a hole or fixing a tear in a throw pillow, you can find a tutorial on how to repair anything on the internet. Here are two links to get you started! Comment below to share your favourite links on repairing items.

http://creativesavingsblog.com/money-saving-tips/dont-throw-it-away-mend-it/

http://aniora.ch/mend/

In conclusion, repairing items for the purpose of minimizing your environmental impact will not only save you some money, but will help save our environment. These are both great reasons to help you to decide to Live Environmentally Conscience.

Top 3 Reasons to Buy & Sell Used Items

the environment is in your hands

Do you need three good reasons for buying and selling used items? Read on to learn my top three reasons:

  1. It’s good for the economy. When you are buying and selling used items, that money is made in Canada and kept in Canada. This promotes our economy and helps real Canadians. According to this article, “second-hand goods spending by Canadians contributes close to $34 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada by diverting dollars away from items that would otherwise be imported.” http://www.kawarthanow.com/kawarthanowguide/2015/03/05/buying-second-hand/
  2. It will save you money. When you think of an item that you’d like to purchase, make a list of those items. By simply going to the local store to purchase items when you want them, doesn’t mean that you actually need the item. You may find that by waiting to purchase will actually lead to the realization that you don’t actually need that item at all! This will automatically save you from spending anything! Keep your hard earned money in the bank! If you do actually need that item, then you can start “hunting” for them by either going to garage sales/ flea markets, searching online groups such as Facebook or on kijiji.com, or by word of mouth. You will most definitely find it to be less of a hit on your wallet if you find it second hand, thus saving you money! Remember: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!
  3. It will save the environment! Buying or selling a used item does not require any more energy in the production of that item. This will eliminate the carbon footprint related to the production of that item. It does not require any more natural resources. “The farming, harvesting, manufacturing, and shipping of a new product requires quite a bit of energy from electricity (usually from natural gas or coal) and from oil (from running the vehicles used in farming, harvesting, shipping). This is called “embodied energy“.” http://www.resilience.org/stories/2008-11-20/top-7-reasons-buy-used-goods

In conclusion, buying and selling used items will not only save you some money, but will help to boost our economy and save our environment. These are three great reasons to help you decide to Live Environmentally Conscience.

How Eating Steak Ruins the Ozone Layer

Did you know that cows produce more greenhouse gasses than all other animals raised for consumption combined? Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chicken. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars . In other words, giving up your car will make a less of an environmental impact than if you give up beef!

Stop eating cows

Eating less beef reduces the demand for beef, will cause a reaction in the beef industry to produce less beef, and therefore lowers your environmental impact. Choosing other meats or eating vegetarian dishes more frequently will greatly affect the way our earth is used. This will lower the demand for land and water resources directly related to the production of beef. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1169-1

Cows are animals, not food

Not to mention the treatment of animals. Does the feedlot image http://www.keyword-suggestions.com/bGFyZ2UgY2F0dGxlIGZlZWRsb3RzIGI/ look like a pleasant place for cows to live in? Jammed in those fences, wall to wall cows are peeing and pooping everywhere and on each other. I would say that it is cruelty to animals and personally wouldn’t choose to eat beef raised in feedlots, for those moral reasons.

In conclusion, choose to eat less (or no!) beef that is farmed in a responsible way. Allow cows to live a pleasant life and not just be mass produced for our consumption. Lower your environmental impact by eating less beef if you are wanting to Live Environmentally Conscience.

cattle feedlot environmental impact
Does the feedlot image http://www.keyword-suggestions.com/bGFyZ2UgY2F0dGxlIGZlZWRsb3RzIGI/ look like a pleasant place for cows to live in?

Are highlighters recyclable?

recycling plastics into the new products infograph

Are you unsure if your unwanted item is recyclable? Most likely it is, more are than you’d think! Click on this link to the David Suzuki website that tells you everything about what is recyclable and how to recycle it. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/recycling/?gclid=CJKnoqvtncwCFQaUfgods8cPHQ Highlighters might seem like small beans but BC Hydro estimates that office supplies account for 10 per cent of all landfill waste in British Columbia.

Sorting: An Important Step

Recycling is an important part of living in an environmentally conscience way. Sorting is the first step when deciding to recycle your items, and arguably the most important. Is the item recyclable? There are different categories to determine an item’s recyclability. Most items will have the applicable symbol on the bottom, but there are other items that are not labeled such as some metals, wood, paper, and other materials. Here is a great picture from https://www.instagram.com/p/BEJQT8PrVRx/?taken-by=wastemanagement with an explanation of what items are made using recycling plastics.

In conclusion, by recycling your unwanted items, you will ultimately reduce your environmental impact. Check out this link http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/recycling-statistics.html that talks about how recycling reduces the impact. By sorting the materials and knowing where to recycle, you are on your way to Living Environmentally Conscience.