Friday, November 14, 2008

Earth Friendly Friday

I thought it might be fun to try something new on my blog. Earth Friendly Friday. This is a post that if you like the idea, feel free to join along and add this idea to your Friday posts. It would be a chance to spread the word to all your family and friends about ways that YOU and your family are doing your part to implement the three R's. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. And hopefully inspire others to join in on doing their part to take care of our beautiful earth.

Living in a smaller home has forced me to think about "stuff" in a very different way. When I say small home, I mean super tiny, like 740 square feet tiny. So I have to make every inch count. Not only do I have limited space to put "stuff", I found out very quickly that there were so many items that we "just had to have" but never really used. I used to buy whatever with not much thought as to where it would be a few years from now. However now I am more thoughtful about the purchasing process. Whenever I make a purchase of anything other than food, I ask myself these questions::

*Is this an item that I could buy 2nd hand? Thus reusing an item I need, that someone else doesn't. There are a few things I myself am not willing to buy secondhand. Underwear, most shoes (unless they look brand new) and items that can't be laundered or cleaned/disinfected before I use them. Everything else is fair game. I have been known to rescue Little Tykes outdoor furniture out of trash heaps. Crazy? Of coarse! I am saving money and a perfectly wonderful plaything from the dump. I always give them a good scrub down and let me tell you, my kids have been playing with them for the past 6 years. I feel most people set outdoor toys like this by the curb in hopes that someone will pick it up and reuse it. 

*Am I really going to use this item?  How often do we find ourselves buying something only to realize a little later that not only did we never even opened the package, but you wasted money that could have gone to something useful.

*If I decide I want to purchase the item, how long will this item last me?

*Is it made with enough craftsmanship that it will last for years to come? Sometimes paying a little extra is worth it in the long run.

*Is this something I can recycle when I am done with it? When I no longer need an item I don't just toss it out. No way. I usually ask if any of my friends need it first. If no one is interested (you never know unless you ask) I take the item to a center donation center like Goodwill.

What are ways you help to reduce, reuse & recycle?