Reduce Before You Reuse


Summer is a very special season when families take long vacations together to their favorite places, when families take time to play more (even adults!), and when parents teach their kids all the benefits of eating in the season and maybe even do a bit of gardening together.  I feel like summer is a worldwide celebration of all things green, after all the snow has melted in the mountains, and the rivers are high and some of those May flowers are now producing fruit.  I hope you all will visit your local farmers markets with your children, like I plan to do with my nephews and niece this summer.  It’s an exciting chance to spread the words of Green, Local, and Seasonal to your kids, your friends, and your community…not just the word of sprinkler wars, BBQs, sidewalk chalk art, and beach days – although you do need ALL of those together to make your summer great!  Oh how I do love chalk art. 🙂

Here is a great article that I found that exemplifies the word of Green, ultra-recycling, and even Composting across this fine nation.  Reduce before you Reuse.

Slashing the trash: Some area families drastically limit how much garbage they create by living by the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra: By Ted Gregory, Tribune reporter, April 21, 2011

“For those content to toss empty spaghetti sauce jars, soda cans and bagged newspapers in the proper bins in pursuit of responsible recycling, the efforts of the Holmes and Rappe families may be astonishing.  They work far beyond the recycling horizon in a realm many would find daunting, even frightening.
The Holmeses, a family of five… produces one plastic grocery bag of trash a week.” 

“[In 2009], the Rappes generated 1,800 pounds of trash and were able to recycle or compost all but 197 pounds, which Scott Rappe jokingly calls “evil trash” that consisted mostly of plastic wrap.”

“The amount of trash produced nationally jumped to 243 million tons in 2009, the latest year for which figures were available, and more than 61 million tons of that was recovered for recycling, EPA data show”

That’s a heck of a lot of trash!! Now I don’t expect you all to immediately change your life and live like the Holmes and Rappe Families.  Some of my friends and I consider ourselves to be very green and we can’t even begin to size up to these families. However, please just remember, that Every little bit counts.  Whether you start to recycle, or recycle more, or start a compost bin in your yard, or buy a worm composter bin and teach your kids how to feed your worms… it is these seemingly small actions that will speak volumes.  By choosing to do one more thing this summer that will reduce your trash that goes into our landfills; that action will have a giant ripple effect to encourage our friends, our family, and our community.  And hopefully we will pass those lessons down to all those beautiful young children in our lives (a.k.a. our future).



Reuse (and Compost!)



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