Recycle CenterI’ll never forget a certain Saint Patrick’s Day when I was in kindergarten. I was sitting cross-legged on a rug in my classroom during Story Hour when, much to my surprise, the boy sitting next to me reached over, pinched my arm, and laughed. I was none too excited when he matter-of-factly told me that I would likely get pinched all day long because, alas, I had not worn green.

Fast forward to today. Wearing green on this Saint Patrick’s Day remains a tradition. Dying fountains and rivers a greenish hue on this occasion is also on the docket for some folks. And “going green” on Saint Patrick’s Day – and every day – is something I hope everyone will thoughtfully consider. So how to “go green” with ease? Consider exploring one, some, or all of the following ideas. If you already do these things and know of some other easy ways to “go green,” share them with us. Your wisdom could appear in a future blog entry.

10 Easy Ways to “Go Green” Daily

1. Place in-home recycling bins in a central location (i.e. your kitchen). Then put them to great use. Daily. The hubster and I find that this approach helps us keep our recyclables orderly. Bonus: I get an extra surge of organizational satisfaction every time I look at my recycling center (made possible by the good people of Ikea). There’s just something about those blue bins that fills me with joy.

2. Sort recyclables in accord with your recycling company’s policies. This will ensure that your items actually get recycled. If you have children, encourage them to help sort your family’s recyclables. It’s never too early to teach the joys of reducing and reusing, and avoiding unnecessary waste.

3. In your home office, place a small garbage can and a recycling bin  near your desk. Then make a point of using the recycling bin as much as possible. If you shred documents in your home office, those shreds are optimal recycling bin fare.

4. If you’re employed outside the home and your  workplace has nary a recycling bin in sight, consider talking with your facilities manager about the marvelous recycling options that wait. It’s okay to be thrilled about sharing the joy of recycling with others in your network.

5. If you pack your lunch on weekdays, proudly carry your delicious non-lunchable in a snazzy reusable bag. (Read: stop using plastic bags.) And while you’re at it, transport your lunch delectables in food storage containers instead of their plastic bag counterparts.

6. Walk, carpool, or use public transportation whenever possible.

7. Before lining your recycling bin with unwanted mail, use any plain-sided unnecessary mail items (read: fliers, envelopes) for your grocery and to do lists, weekly menu, or as a convenient place to capture some ideas before writing a thank you note. And, of course, when these pages are satisfactorily filled, recycle them in your trusty designated bin as you enjoy yet another moment of recycling bliss.

8. Hop online to learn about clothing, book, and furniture swaps in your neck of the woods. These adventures take reusing and recycling to an entirely new level – and they’re a creative, fun way to spice up your wardrobe, house, and the little things in life.

9. Make great use of your favorite magazine issues long after you’ve read them. Simply tossing them in the trash receptacle is a big no-no.

10. Enjoy every moment as you drink from reusable water bottles. Just like the colors offered by our friends at Benjamin Moore, these bottles come in a variety of attractive hues (and several sizes, too). KleanKanteens are a favorite in our household.

Encourage those around you to join the fun of “going green” by being a great example of this practical and oh, so hip, approach to life – on Saint Patrick’s Day and every day. No pinching allowed.

* Photo by Jonathan Eggers

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