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10 Abstract Ways to Live Greener

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Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!

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The 3-R's... Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...

Everyone has heard about the 3 R's of green living: Reduce, reuse and recycle, but did you know that they are listed in order of importance? Reducing is a very important part of green living and leads the list with passion!

Reducing is ever so important in this critical time that we live in. There has been an over production in consumer products which has brought the 3 R's into existence. So what if we reduce our purchasing, reduce our energy use, reduce our reliance on throw away items and really reduce our negative impact on the world around us? It would be a much greener planet!

Reusing is second on the 3-R list and is vitally important. Why... We live in a time where products are cheap to purchase and easy to come by, creating a huge mess for the environment.. Products are too often discarded into the landfill before their time and take up valuable space, while creating negative gasses..

Recycling fills the third slot in the 3-R's, over 1000 items are now recyclable! From bottles, cans and paper, right to televisions, stereos, computers, toasters, batteries, light bulbs, ink cartridges right to electronics toys! Our governments are making it easy for us to recycle, we just have to 'do'...

Reducing, reusing and recycling... tt is an easy habit to form! Power to the ten of GREEN!

10 (Abrstract) Green Ideas

  1. Reduce water use by making your toilet low flow by putting a brick in the tank
  2. Add some jugs of water to that freezer! Did you know that it takes more power to run a half empty freezer than a full one?
  3. Move that trash can to a more inconvenient place and in it's place your garbage can with a compost bucket and a recycling bin... This will make recycling the first priority in your home and 'trashing it' the second option
  4. Reduce the need to replace items like toy boxes or storage containers... Stay away from buying plastic! Plastic does not have the lasting power of metal or wood and will have have a shorter life span. Another one of my fav's that outlast the competition is products by Corelle... You can drop a plate, pick it up and keep going!
  5. Don't upgrade! An example for this would be upgrading from VHS to DVD means that you are making a product obsolete before it's time... Do you think that they would have fazed out the VHS systems this quickly if their market didn't go along with it?
  6. Find out what you can really recycle in your community ~ I reside in a community of 5300 people and we can recycle over 1000 items!
  7. Use power bars! Kitchens, offices and living rooms easily have three or more items plugged in at any given time... So many items will still consume power even if they appear to be off... Put them on a power bar that you can turn off at night and not only conserve power, but save a few cents every day!
  8. Bypass air conditioning for heavy curtains and a simple fan with a block of ice in front of it... Believe it or not, this is just as efficient!
  9. Reuse those pickle and spaghetti sauce jars that you get from the grocery store to can items for yourself (I no longer need to buy canning jars, as the ones that I am reusing work just as good!)
  10. Add a little storage to your counter... I was gifted some very old canning jars, the ones that have beautiful glass lids and designs on them... Instead of using these for canning (they were too pretty to store in the pantry!) I lined them up on my counter and emptied quite a few partially opened packages of this and that into them. We have less items surpassing their 'best before or expiry dates' now and has reduced our house's 'waste' foods quite drastically!
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Be the reminder - To those around you can be simple

If you are not always exposed to something, it can easily fall to the wayside... I personally want to be a reminder to those around me to keep recycling and living an environmentally lifestyle. No, I am not an extremest, or I hope not. If I see garbage or recycling on the street, I will pick it up and dispose of it properly. I will scoop a recyclable material out of a trash can and I attempt to buy as many local products as possible... These are just a few of the things that I do, at least on a weekly basis. Personally, I want to walk the walk and talk the talk and be part of the movement for a better tomorrow...

Getting the word out to those around you, as to where you stand can be as simple as promoting a classic recycling symbol, which is a visual reminder for us all.

Smart buy - For your home and the environment

Have you ever...

Seek out 'made to last' items

When you go out to purchase a new product from the store, it is really valuable to choose wisely, or it will end up costing your pocket book and the environment! Try to seek out items that will have a long life and save the need to be replaced. Yes, you can go for the best deal, or the sweet sale... but will the item outlast the product that is better made? Or will it require a replacement in the near future?

We need to be smart consumers that seek out quality before quantity! Also try to check to see if a product is made locally! Not only does it save on transportation emissions, it supports local economy, two really smart tips for the environment...

Where do we sit...

Looking for other 'green minded' information? Here are three other articles that I have wrote:

  • Recycling in today's world
    Recycling in today's world, to ensure a sustainable earth for tomorrow is everybody's responsibility, young or old, male or female. Recycling in today's world now goes way beyond paper and bottles.
  • The Recycling Era
    With today's world being at huge environmental risk we need to stand up and take action! Knowing where we stand and what options there are is the first step for a better tomorrow!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Lou Cannon

Share your thoughts on abstract green ideas...

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on June 03, 2014:

This is an excellent list of ideas! I really appreciate the reminder about using the power strip and shutting it off. I go in waves and right now, I'm in a lazy wave. I need to get back into the good habit of turning it off when we're not using the electronics.

I would like to add to Grace's word of caution below. I applaud the reuse of the jars, but canning into them can lead to botulism. I work periodically with Master Food Preservers and this is something they definitely advise caution about. I even tried to use the reusable lids you can purchase and they told me that's a no-no too. I was disappointed.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on May 18, 2014:

Thank you for providing this list. I'm thrilled to find another advocate of the 3 Rs on Squidoo. There are more and more of us all the time.

Do tell your readers to be careful about #9. I don't know if the USDA still warns against using mayonnaise and spaghetti jars for canning, but back in the 70s, when I first started canning, they warned against such use. Their reason was that those jars are designed as one-use containers and are not safe for canning due to flaws you and I cannot see. Those flaws, the USDA claimed then, could permit bad bacteria to seep into the jars and spoil them in ways we could not detect with our eyes and nose.

I always wondered, though, if the jars aren't safe for canning, how can they possibly be safe for the food we buy on the shelves?

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 17, 2014:

Living green is so very important for our future health. We compost our kitchen vegetable waste back into a corner of the garden and it turns back into nutrient rich soil in about a month so really quite quickly. I also love to shop the thrift stores. There are treasures there that you just cannot find else where.

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 16, 2014:

@TapIn2U: Thanks Tapln2U! Green-living is a lifestyle for me (in my spare time I have helped develop and manage a recycling department that accepts 1000 items)... I look forward to having a peek at some of your lenses!!

TapIn2U on May 16, 2014:

Love your lens! Sundae ;-)

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 14, 2014:

@SusanDeppner: I soooo agree! Thanks for taking the time to post Susan

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 14, 2014:

@ColettaTeske: BearTale... Thank you for the insperation for a new lens! I look forward to seeing some of your lenses...

ColettaTeske on May 14, 2014:

I grew up in a city that began recycling in the 1960s. My grandparents and parents lived through the Great Depression and passed down many of their frugal ways. Lou, you have such a cool job! I'd love to read more about your adventures in recycling!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on May 14, 2014:

Lots of great ideas here. Since we've built a new house (which has three porches to keep the sun out in the hot summer) we've done well with buying and using less than we had before our house fire. Owning less "stuff" is very freeing - and it's easier to clean!

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 12, 2014:

My day job is managing a recycling department in a small rural town that recycles about 1000 items -- so this is a very near and dear topic in my life... I hope you enjoyed it!

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