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Simple Ways to Help Reduce Landfill Waste



landfill by ellesmere FNC + James via Flickr

While it’s next to impossible to avoid contributing to at least some landfill waste these days, all of us can still make an effort to avoid contributing more than is necessary to our local landfills. It doesn’t even take much effort to do your part in reducing landfill waste. Here are some simple ideas and tips to incorporate into your daily life.

1. Eat Healthier

Manage both your waist — and your household waste — by eating healthier. Typically, healthier foods come with less packaging. Think: fruits and vegetables. Foods that come in bulky packaging are often processed foods that aren’t healthy for you anyway. Try to use more real ingredients to benefit not only the Earth, but your health as well.

2. Recycle

Everyone knows the importance of recycling, and recycling doesn’t even take much effort. It only takes a second to throw a cereal box in a recycling bin rather than the trash can. Make it even easier on yourself by keeping recycling bins in multiple locations of your house. Those shampoo bottles in your bathroom might not make it down to the recycling bin in the kitchen when you’re in a hurry, so keep recycling containers throughout your house.

3. Don’t Use Plastic Water Bottles

How hard is it to drink from a glass or from a reusable water bottle? Purchasing one or two reusable water bottles once will end up costing less than the sum total of the hundreds or thousands of plastic water bottles you’ll end up buying otherwise. Plastic water bottles are pointless and damaging to the Earth. Reusable water bottles are a much better solution.

4. Make Green Purchasing Decisions

The green movement is a popular one, and advertisers aren’t shy about letting you know when packaging is made from recycled products. When you have a choice, always choose the product with packaging made from recycled materials.

5. Clean with Fewer Products

You really don’t need a separate product to clean every surface of your house. Baking soda and vinegar can be used in a variety of ways to get your home sparkling clean. Not only will you be helping the environment by using fewer chemicals, you’ll also keep those many cleaning product bottles out of the landfills.

6. Compost

No matter how economical you are with your food, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with some kitchen waste. Instead of throwing it in the trash, use it for compost — creating nutrient-rich food for your plants.

7. Buy Reusable Bags

It doesn’t take any extra effort to use reusable bags at the grocery store, but it does reduce waste significantly. If you struggle to remember to bring your bags to the store, keep them in your trunk instead of somewhere in the house. It will only take one or two trips for you to remember to grab them before you head inside to do your grocery shopping.

8. Use Thrift Stores

Use thrift stores both ways — donate your used items there instead of throwing them in the trash, and purchase items from the thrift store to keep reusable items in circulation — rather than ending up in a landfill.

9. Use Rechargeable Batteries

There’s nothing worse than needing to use an electronic when the batteries have died. Help yourself out by using rechargeable batteries. Not only will you enjoy regular use of your battery-operated electronics, but you’ll also keep batteries out of your local landfill.

Just a few small changes in your regular routines and purchasing decisions can make a big difference in your personal impact on the environment.




Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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