REDUCE: Lessons From the Lorax, by guest blogger Cayce

Please welcome Cayce, an “in real life” friend of mine who goes above and beyond when it comes to caring for the environment. I asked her to guest blog today, Earth Day, since she is so much more knowledgeable than I am in this area!

Visit Cayce’s ETSY Shop, Sustainable Homestead for lots of reusable items and awesome hand knit items. Get FREE SHIPPING this week!
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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, 
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

“Green living” is such the buzzword these days. It’s everywhere – the tv, radio, magazines, even stores. To be honest, its use annoys me. It is used in such a way to imply that buying and consuming something will do good, when in truth, doing and buying LESS will usually do the better good. What? Yes. I’m here to ask you to care an awful lot by learning how to reduce: the most important part of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” trio. It’s easy, really, it is. And you will save money in the process. I am going to list out some ideas to help you reduce your consumption of single-use waste. Give it a try. Pick a few to implement in your own home, your work, your life on the go. It doesn’t hurt. The Lorax thanks you an awful lot.
1. Stop cutting down truffula trees.
  • Use cloth napkins with meals at home.
  • Use absorbent cloths instead of paper towels for kitchen spills and general cleanups.
  • Bring cloth napkins with you when you know you’re going to have a meal on the go, or pack them in your sack lunch.
  • Call to stop companies from sending you their catalogs and advertising.
  • Save 1-sided junk mail for the kids to draw on and allow them free access to the rest for painting and collages…then recycle it when the crafting fun is over.
  • Find alternatives to one-time use paper gift wrap such as cloth bags, fabric wrap, reused gift bags.
  • Consider using wet cloth wipes instead of baby wipes for clean ups.
  • Say “no paper napkins please” when you’re in the drive through lane or getting fast food to go.
  • Reuse the backs of envelopes for grocery and other lists.
  • Pay bills online and request your invoices online.
  • Keep a handkerchief in your purse to dry your hands on after washing in public bathrooms. Much softer than paper anyway!
Did you know that paper is the number one thing that is thrown away? It is estimated that Americans use more than 50 million tons of paper each year, consuming more than 850 million trees.

See? It’s not so painful. And no one will think you’re strange. Think of all the money you’ll save by not buying trash every week!

2. How much plastic packaging did the Once-ler’s Thneed really need?

  • Ditch the plastic grocery bags for reusable ones. Figure out a system that works for you so that you will remember to bring them with you. This is one instance where purchasing something “green” can potentially pay off, but only if you commit to using these bags for the long haul, and on every shopping outing.
  • Use lidded glass or ceramic bowls for leftovers and sack lunches instead of saran wrap and aluminum foil.
  • Bring your own coffee cup to the coffee shop.
  • Consider reusing your produce and bulk food bags or finding reusable alternatives.
  • If you have the choice, pick the item with less packaging.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle with you every time you leave your house. Bring it into the fast food restaurant! While you’re at it – bring your kid’s own lidded cup too. Once they get old enough, request that they be served in an adult washable cup (not toss plastic or Styrofoam) when you are out. Just ask that it be ½ full to prevent spills.
Did you know that it takes 12 million barrels of oil to make plastic bags for US consumption? The average family in our country uses 1460 plastic shopping/grocery bags a year and out of those less than 1% are recycled. Of those that end up in landfills (or flying around the big box store’s parking lot) it takes an estimated 1000 years for decomposition to occur. These statistics do not include plastic water bottles or plastic used in other single-use goods and packaging.

The Lorax Challenge

Here it is – reduce your waste with a bit of simple thoughtfulness. Think before you buy. Can I use this again? What will I need to throw away after I use this? Are there any better options? The thing is that we are not the first generation to think this way. We call it “green” but generations before us simply called it frugal. You do not need to be crunchy to care for the state of our planet, only creative! Be passionate by making small daily choices. It doesn’t have to be one of the ideas I’ve listed. These are but a few.

Let me know what changes you make! The Lorax, Once-ler and I’d love to hear about it.

Reusable Items Work for Cayce! For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit We Are THAT Family

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. These are such great and original tips (I love the idea of a cloth in your purse rather then messing with the nasty bathroom dispenser). And I am going to get on that online invoice thing-anything to bring less paper into my home is awesome in addition to saving the earth. Thank you!!w

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  2. ~*Michelle*~ says:

    Great list and tips!!!

    We use alot of cloth in our home too….I hate seeing all those paper towels go in the trash.

    I put up a cute recycling/save the earth/help the birds idea too.

    http://pridelandsmommy.blogspot.com/2009/04/jumpstart-on-earth-day.html

    Happy Earth Day!

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  3. Great tips! We are trying to be a better steward as well. I just posted a few things that we’re trying to do. 😀

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  4. Great tips. I’d never even thought about carrying around my own handkerchief for drying my hands while I’m out.

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  5. Frugal Finds says:

    Great tips! I love to see families going green!!

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  6. Courtney says:

    i totally agree with being sick of it like having 85 reusable bags are really needed. oh well, they see it as a money maker and less of an environmental thing.

    i think your tips are great and i love the Dr Seuss reference!

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  7. BranFlakes says:

    Great and thoughtful post.

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  8. Great ideas! Click on my name for some more.

    Thanks for the link to Sustainable Homestead. Those lunch baggies are so cute!

    [Reply]

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