Thursday, June 7, 2007

Reduce the Trash and Keep the Cash!

Now there's a line that might sound a little familiar to some of you. That's cos I've pinched it from Cindy ( She sends out some really inspiration emails if you join her email group (it's free). This month she's issued a challenge for us to all take a fresh look at what we're disposing of and see if we can cut down on buying things just to use them once and throw them away.

For some time now I've been trying to cut down on the amount of waste we add to landfill. It's so much more obvious, when you don't have a weekly garbage service, just how quickly garbage accumulates. I have to admit, at times I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle with "stuff" and in particular with how much we throw away but I figure the real loss is only if I stop fighting and trying to improve in this area.

So for June I want to look at our garbage with fresh eyes and make an extra effort to cut back on how much simply goes to landfill. Not spending money unnecessarily is one benefit of not buying too many disposable items. Considering the environmental impact of all our waste (wasted resources as well as our landfill problems) is just as important if not more important than any dollars we save. Isn't it wonderful how many of these things go hand in hand? What's good for us and our pockets is often good for the world we live in as well.

I've recently taken one small step with my deodorant usage. Up until the end of May I've been using a Rexona spray can. I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a crystal stick that I've heard others talk about. It prevents body odour by inhibiting bacteria growth. So far I've found it wonderful. It's possible that come summer I may have to reassess what works and what doesn't as it doesn't stop you perspiring. But I figure even if I only use it for half the year it's got to be better than never at all. There are so many benefits on many levels from this change. For an outlay of $7 I have a product that's expected to last me at least a year. I have cut back on the nasty chemicals I'm placing on my skin (which tend to get absorbed into the body) and there is a LOT less packaging ending up in landfill as a result (1 small plastic container over the course of the year instead of numerous spray cans).

Another small change I made yesterday was to not use fruit and veg bags in the grocery store for things that really didn't need it (like the single large sweet potato I bought and the 2 fresh corn on the cobs). I do actually resuse these bags in my toilet bins but generally we only need 2 a week (1 for each toilet) and most weeks I accumulate more than 2. Just a small habit change really (I tend to reach for a bag out of habit more than anything) and not one that will save me any money. But a small step toward reducing our rubbish all the same.

Throughout the month I'll try and blog more about my progress in this area of "reduce the trash". If you feel like sharing what you're doing in the comments section that would be great - we all love to read new ideas and be inspired by what others are doing!

As a side note - Cindy now has the menu plan form up on her website for the month of June. It's very easy to print off and use if you're interested in menu planning - click on Treasures in the Kitchen and ít'll take you to a page which includes a link to the current month's menu plan. I've just printed off a copy and filled it in with my new pink pen (my DH bought me a set of coloured pens as one of my Mother's Day treats - he knows me well, I'm a big stationery fan. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having lots of coloured pens to choose from - and they're soooo nice to write with as well).

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