Declutter:  Clean out the green way

Happy New Year!

This is a great time of year to de-clutter and clean out unwanted items to have a fresh start to the new year.  Many people make resolutions and start new habits (like eating healthier or exercising more).  Why not use the momentum January gives us to start a new sustainable habit?

Here are some suggestions:

Start Donating Unwanted Items to Charities

Establish a “de-clutter area” in your home  (like in a hall closet or mud room).  Once a month (or more often if you like), deal with those items you no longer want by either donating them to a local charity (like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, ARC).  Many charities will do porch pick-up for items making it easy peasy.  This win-win habit is also a tax-deductible donation.

Other organizations will even take some hard-to-recycle items.  Here are some examples:

The Art Garage in Denver, CO – accepts toilet paper paper towel rolls, often not recyclable bottle caps/lids, yogurt cups, Styrofoam, egg containers, paint and other items.

R.A.F.T. (Resource Area For Teachers) – Accepts many items and uses them to support teachers in their classroom art projects.  Click here for a list of accepted donation items.

Your local elementary school may also accept such items for craft/art projects.

Start recycling plastic bags

Many grocery and super stores recycle clean, dry plastic bags.  Many people recycle their plastic grocery sacks (“t-shirt bags”), but did you know you can also recycle other plastic bags from packaging (and inflated “plastic film” (deflate first)), cereal box liners, frozen food bags and more?  Some stores do not put them in obvious places, so it would be an extra bonus to encourage your local store to put the bag recycling container in a very obvious location.

Start reusing containers when you shop

Level 1  – Start buying in bulk.  Briana Ryan has some suggestions on how to ease into buying food in the bulk section here.

Bulk Food Shopping

Bulk Food Shopping – Photo Credit: Briana Ryan

Level 2 – Reuse plastic containers like this

Reusable Plastic Container with Lid

Reusable Plastic Container with Lid

Level 3 – Bring your own (clean) Mason jar (pre-weigh using a kitchen or postal scale and write the TARE weight on the jar in permanent marker)

Bulk Food Mason Jars

Bulk Food Mason Jars

CHALLENGE:  Post a photo of your new commitment for 2017 and tag #SustainableThree

&/OR Tweet about it @SustainThree

One thought on “Declutter:  Clean out the green way

  1. Gwen Blumenschein

    Thank you so much for making an adventure out of starting to compost. You made it so easy and even put the composter together. Looking forward to being a more responsible earthling thanks to you!


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