Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The topic at my MOPS group this morning was on ecology (you know, go green, save the planet, etc.). It was very interesting and we even got to watch a video that was almost non-political. The video kind of brought me back to the educational videos of my school days, only then it was filmstrips (does that make me seem really old!).

Anyway, I was struck by a few things she said. The statistic was thrown out that Americans are only using 1% of the items that they bought one year ago (or something like that), and we are living in a consumer crazy society that encourages us to buy, buy, buy (whether we need it or not). We are in a cycle of working, going home and watching TV, seeing things (through commercials) that we need to buy, going to the mall to buy them and then working some more to pay for all the things we just bought.

I fall into this cycle. I want to buy, buy, buy when I really don't need more stuff. It was a good reminder to be content, and along with that, to look for more ways I can reduce what I buy and reuse what I have (or go garage-saling and reuse what other people have!). I appreciated the reminder to think about where all that stuff comes from and where it goes. Hopefully it will affect my buying habits.

I have been trying to be more environmentally conscious. I want to be a good steward of the world God created. I have started recycling and I even bought those reusable grocery bags at Meijer. If I would remember to take them with me when I shop, that would be even better!

So, what are you doing to reduce, reuse or recycle? I would love your input and your ideas!

12 comments:

Lori said...

Hey Megs! I've always been a little bit green, but have been feeling like I should be trying to do better lately too! Some of what I do...I recycle everything that I can. Kristy L. just gave me 2 more recycle totes, so we have 4 totes that we fill up every 2 weeks. I use the plastic grocery bags as garbage bags in all our small garbage cans. I try to only use Ziploc bags when absolutely necessary...otherwise, I store or freeze things in dishes that can be washed and reused. Rather than cleaning with paper towels, I use rags that can be washed and re-used. I have been wanting to find out more about how to use natural cleaning products, as cleaning ingredients are actually very poisonous and bad for our groundwater. I'm looking forward to seeing other ideas too! I get a little weird, but I sometimes cringe when I think about what our world is going to be like in 100 years, if Christ doesn't return to rescue us from our mire. =)

Christina said...

I was really convicted today by the video as well. The part about how we buy to make ourselves happy, yet we are still unhappy. I totally have days where I think "If I get this cute top, I will feel good about myself" then I feel bad for not being a good steward of our money.

I am trying though. We recycle, I have those bags I always forget to bring to the store, we replaced all our light bulbs.

But I think maybe I need to change my mindset. Get back to basic's--going on walks with my family, playing outside. Finding pure and good ways to be happy other than buying stuff

L & J Gutwein said...

Megan- good post. Since moving to FL I have had a bit more time & they are more encouraging of recycling (as in a bin just outside our condo complex). I do not do as well as I could, but I have definitely enjoyed starting it.
I also use the little bags for Luca's dirty diapers, so I feel like they are being re-used.
I think what Christina said is the most important. Playing with family outside, exercising, & enjoying fun all natural events outside of the mall :). Love, J

sharlin said...

i applaud you! i have the reusable grocery bags, too, and keep them in the van. i use them mainly when i go to the co-op, which works well, because the parking lot and store are small, which accomodates me running back out to the van to get them. (since i never seem to remember to bring them in with me.) :)

i should bring them to target, too. i never have that many bags when i got there. and every little bit helps, right?

we've started recycling. we have shelves in the garage with boxes on them to sort all the stuff. i take it all to a place to dump it for free every couple of months. sort of a pain, but i too have been convicted over the last couple years about how we need to take care of the world the Lord made.

~shar

sharlin said...

oh-and about to cloth diaper again. i have to put that because the environment is the biggest reason-and i must admit, it can be gross. :)

girlie girl said...

I just found your site through Jill's. I've been thinking about this too. As Christian's, I think we are sometimes "too heavenly minded to be any earthly good", and we overlook this issue. When I hear "go green" or "save the planet" I think of hippies and tree huggers, but really we should be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.
My family has started using non-toxic household cleaners (Get Clean by Shaklee)that come concentrated and you delute yourself with water, eliminating packaging. We also have been trying to reuse things we have. I'd like to start recycleing and using fabric grocery bags too. Thanks for the great post!

Summer said...

Hi! Girlie girl passed on your link to me. We just made a "Let's Go Green" list for our house of things we are doing or want to do this year. Here's a few:

Take public transportation during spring/summer months

Use clothesline/drying rack outdoors instead of dryer

Switch to all natural/homemade
body care products

Invest in local CSA organic vegetable farm

Recycle

Cloth diapers/wipes

Switch to non-toxic cleaning products

Reuse envelopes instead of buying new

If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down! LOL!

Use cloth, reusable grocery bags & stop accepting bags at stores –(we even get change back for doing this!) I think the checker at Target thot I was crazy when I carried an arm load of random stuff out of the store instead of taking a bag, LOL!

No lights on during daytime – make the most of window light.

Use burp cloths as napkins instead of paper napkins.

Utilize library instead of buying new books or magazines.

Most of these we have already implented, and I can say it really wasn't that hard! We are also planning on starting The Compact this summer - I am so excited about that :) I feel The Compact is actually a very Biblical way to live.

Glad I found your blog. God bless!

Ryan and Becky Weiss said...

You can also usually find local places that will take old, unused paint, car oil, oudated cleaning chemicals and most Wal-Mart's will take your old plastic bags (from any store) and recycle them - just ask at Customer Service. And don't forget that cereal boxes, Kleenex boxes, Mac N Cheese boxes, cake mix boxes - anything that is made of chipboard - can be recycled! Old crayons can be melted down to make multi-colored jumbo crayons, too.

girlie girl said...

Girlie Girl again. The Get Clean products have to be purchased through Shaklee - they are a direct selling company. I use a rep from Bloomington, Deb Grieco. She's supper sweet and very helpful! Here's her e-mail: d.k.grieco@insightbb.com
Here is the Get Clean website for more info:
http://www.shaklee.com/index.shtml

Hope this is helpful. I love the cleaning products - no more strong smells and they work great! Hope you had a great Easter.

megs said...

Thanks Girlie Girl for the cleaning products info. and thanks everyone for the great ideas. I may have to come up with my own "Go Green" list!

Jami said...

Wow! So many great ideas! Thanks girls!

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