Yesterday we talked about the four R’s, but there’s one more “R” that happens to be my favorite: Repurpose. For me, nothing is more rewarding than rescuing a scrap of something that others write off as trash. Repurposing is a chance to unleash your creativity and sense of fun.
For an imagination jump-start, check out sites like Pinterest or Confessions of a Curbshopaholic. Once you start repurposing, you’ll see furniture and other everyday objects not as what they are, but as what they could be.
The best part of repurposing is that it prevents perfectly useful items from entering the waste stream. What’s not to love about that?
We all know the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. What is the fourth R? Rebuy! Whether you’re in the market to remodel your home or just buy a roll of paper towels, consider seeking out items that are made with recycled content. Items made with recycled content save energy and conserve natural resources.
Today’s post comes from David, a staff member at the library. Here’s the story of how he turned green.
WOW! I am turning Green…..and I like it!
Just a year ago, I never took stock in the idea of “Going Green.” There was nothing in my lifestyle that prompted me to consider “Going Green.” To me the words green, sustainable, and even recycle meant nothing. I was comfortable throwing all my waste in a trash can. I told myself: “I don’t have a recycling bin, so I can’t recycle.” Sometimes I would use a recycling bin at a store I was at, with emphasis on sometimes. Now, the idea of “Going Green” is taking a strong hold of my conscience, and when I look around I think about how much waste can be recycled. When I am at a store I seek out a recycling bin. If the store doesn’t have any recycling bins I wonder: “Why doesn’t this store recycle?” I find myself grimacing when I toss something in a trash can which is a far cry from my mentality a year ago. For me “Going Green” was, is, and will continue to be a process. Like many things in life change starts with a simple step. Whenever, I take on something new I tell myself: “You always got to start somewhere.”
The next World Water Day is March 22, 2012. It sounds like it’s ages away, but we like to plan for things early around the library. So naturally, I’ve been thinking about my water usage. I used this water calculator from the USGS and was surprised that I use more than 350 gallons of water every week. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds; if I had to carry every gallon from a well to my home, I know I would be more careful with the amount of water I use.
How much water do you use? What would it feel like to carry that water to your home every day? Could you implement some of these ideas to reduce your consumption and cut your water bill?
Look at the containers you use to collect trash and recyclables. Chances are, the trash can is larger than the recycling can. Switch them so that the smaller container is used to collect trash. You’ll think twice before you throw a large item in a small container.
Welcome to the library’s newest blog! We’ll be kicking off our new Go Green blog by publishing an entry every day for the first 30 days. Several contributors will be writing on the many ways to save energy, reduce waste, and have fun doing it. Our first offering is a map of Waukegan, but it’s not just any city map. This map will show you an array of locations in and around Waukegan where you can recycle items that are not normally picked up in your curbside recycling.
Please comment on each entry to let us know whether it was helpful, and if there’s a specific topic you’d like to learn more about. Together, the small changes we make can change the world.
Follow this link to see the Recycling Map of Waukegan. Happy recycling!