Monday, May 21, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I am often shocked by how well the tenets of the recyclinng movement match up so well with money saving tips. There is always a fine balance between convenience and expense. By spending a little more time one can re-use many items or reduce the need for them altogether. Is it worth that effort though? Only you can answer that question. One thing to keep in mind: If you say your time is worth more, then you actually have to use your time in a worthwhile manner! (How's that for motivational speaking?)

Some Examples:
A prime example of reduction is the fact that I rarely use paper goods. I prefer to wash dishes. No, I do not have a dishwasher and I do not have cleaning help. It is better for the planet and our wallets to use reduce the use of paper goods. We got a giant thing of Costco plasticware and plates when we were married three years ago. It is still in my closet. The only real depletion of my plasticware happens when 1) a neighbour comes over to borrow some  2) on Passover since I do not have space for Passover dishes (although we sometimes rewash the plastiware and make it last all Passover because it feels so wasteful). We even have a set of melamine plates for outdoor picnics.

Not everything in life is reusable, or worth the effort of reusing. I know I could not handle cloth diapering, but I respect those that do. I also crunched the numbers and realized I would not save much money, so the benefit would be entirely environmental. To run a load of laundry in my building costs $1 and to run the dryer is another $1. I found disposable diapers for 5 cents a pop. Plus I duobt I'd have enough time to wash them on my own. I'd end up shelling out $30+ a week for a service.  On the other hand these adorable breast shields are reusable and can go in with your regular wash.


To me, this is about finding creative new uses for items after they are used. I am a big fan of storing grains from the bulk food section in washed out jam jars. It's simple and allows me to buy my grain at the bulk section without worrying it will spoil and air tight kitchen containers or tupperware can be pricey! Finding new ways to recycle leftovers is also a good practice - saves on waste and groceries!

How do you reduce/reuse/recycle?


Post a Comment