Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Blog Action Day

When The Panda first brought Blog Action Day to my attention she said that she assumed I’d want to write a post on my new Prius. As interesting as I think my new car is, I thought that my Blog Action Day post should be more down to earth, something that other people could relate to. So, I’ve decided to write a post about things everyone can do in the home to help the environment.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s simple. Really, it is. It amazes me how many people still don’t take these steps. Reduce your amount of waste by reusing simple things. Try using washable plastic containers instead of zip lock bags. Try washing out and reusing ziplocks if you do use them. They don’t have to be single use. Use cloth hand towels that you can wash instead of one use throw away paper towels. Put a bin under your desk to collect your waste paper and instead of throwing it out, recycle it. One of the easiest things you can do is invest in some canvas or other bags to bring with you to the grocery store. Use those bags to cart home groceries and save on the hundreds of plastic bags that accumulate with each shopping run.

Here is a list of recyclable materials. Many things that you would not consider recyclable sometimes are. For example, an electronics store near our house has a receptacle for depositing old batteries and cell phones for recycle.

There are other ways to be kind to the environment.

What sorts of cleaning products do you use? Do you use bleach based products? Try switching over to Hydrogen Peroxide based products. Try using vinegar. Try baking soda. These natural products clean and disinfect as well if not better than the toxic substances in commercial cleaners.

How about laundry detergent? Many common detergents contain phosphates that seep into the earth. Use natural detergents (and dish soaps) and reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that are released into the soil. I don’t want to sound like an advertising ploy so I’m not mentioning any particular name brands, but there are MANY MANY eco-friendly soaps and detergents out on the market now. If you would like suggestions, let me know, I’ll be happy to recommend my favorite products.

Does your house tend to look like a Christmas tree all year round? Turn off the lights when you’re not in a room and you will save on energy. (I tend to follow my darling husband around the house switching off lights in the rooms he has just exited.) Many of the lamps in our house have had a bulb make over. Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFL) use about 1/10 of the energy of standard carbon filament bulbs but the problem is that CFLs contain Mercury which if not properly disposed of can cause harmful environmental pollution. Check here and here to find places near you where you can safely dispose of and recycle CFLs.

Buy products made form recycled plastics and paper. Obviously we all need to throw out our trash, but do the plastic bags we use have to be made from once around plastic? No they do not. Don’t let advertising win you over. I’ve been using garbage bags made from recycled plastics for about a year now and I have had no trash break throughs. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest using them for sharp materials like tree cuttings, but for house hold garbage they work wonderfully.

There are many many ways to be kind to the environment. If you feel that you may have a difficult time changing your ways, pick one thing. Start with that. When that has become part of your routine, add another. Make a difference by taking small steps, but as the old saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


~ by CableGirl on Monday, October 15, 2007.

29 Responses to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Blog Action Day”

  1. I’m linked!

    Thank you for a great post with lots of easy things that we can all try to incorporate into our daily lives!

  2. I’m linked too. Great post cablegirl. The little things can make such a difference can’t they.

  3. I especially appreciated the Small Steps reminder. Instead of making lifestyle changes an overwhelming task, just tackling one at a time makes it easier. Great post! I’m linked!

  4. conserving potable water too.

  5. I ove the passion you have for saving the enviornment – way to pass along info in a really interesting and infectious way!

  6. Great post lady! This is an important issue and one that we can all do something about. Glad you took part!

  7. I linked to you and thank you for the link too! And again, I thank you for finding the project and keeping me motivated to join in the fun.
    This is a great post.

  8. Oh, do you know that’s me up there? JiH, jenn in holland, the girl with apparently far too many logins in the blogosphere.

  9. Are you loving your Prius? We looked at one but the truck was too small for the double stroller, so ended up with the Hybrid Camry, which is tres cool but doesn’t get the mileage that the Prius gets.

    Changing little things makes lifestyle changes so much easier. You incorporate one change into your life and then, when that is something you don’t even think about anymore, add another.

  10. TRUNK, the TRUNK, not the truck.

  11. I’m linked! See the more I read other Blog Action Day posts the more I realize maybe I do more than I think… I recycle those plastic grocery bags and I send my son to school with reusable lunch containers! One step at a time, one step at a time.

  12. What type of laundry detergent do you use? We have the maximum recycling bins that our town allows. However, two towns over people have to pay for recycling so many of them don’t recycle anything. When I was in KY for my BIL’s wedding, I didn’t see any recycling bins. A couple of years ago, it didn’t occur to me that people weren’t recycling. It sounds so basic, but yet in many many places it is not done.

  13. Great post! Natural, non-polluting laundry detergent is actually really easy to make. Made some with lemongrass and lavender for all of my family members for Christmas a couple of years ago. Mmm!

  14. You’ve got some great suggestions here that I think I’ll try to incorporate into our house. I recently read a really good homemade laundry detergent recipe too. I think I may need to test-drive that when I get through what we currently have

  15. cablegirl you rock! I just posted. I know it’s late but it’s early in CA!
    this post is great. I’m adding the link to my post. thanks for doing this.

    ps just watched all your cre8buzz videos and that baby must be bitten.

  16. Okay – laundry detergent recipe can be found here:, about 3/4 – 7/8 of the way down the page – there’s 2 liquid recipes and 1 powdered recipe – and apparently it makes your clothes way nicer – no soap residue for those of us with skin issues.

  17. Nice work lady. Nice work.

  18. Thalia, thank you for the links. I’m going to have to try the recipe next weekend. 🙂

  19. Great piece! Completely agree on ‘Why don’t more people recycle!?’ The lady in the cube next to me always throws her soda cans and paper and coffee cups all into her wastebasket. It makes me visibly cringe. I want so badly to take it out.

    I had NO idea that there was mercury in those bulbs. I knew they had to be recycled, but was completely oblivious to the chemical within. Go figure.

    Thanks so much for getting us all involved in this! I know I’m late. 😐 Sorry.

  20. Great post! Mine is up as well! You were one of the 1st people I thought of too.

  21. I love your list. Fall is my favorite time of year so I share the same list. Great job.

  22. I’m linked thank you 🙂

  23. […] Against Waste (read what Cable Girl had to say on the topic on her Blog Action Day […]

  24. Great post Cable Girl. Just about managed to do my own post! Phew, it’s been a busy few weeks. Gotta start posting about the move!

  25. Thanks again for bringing blog action day to my attention. It was interesting to see the many posts yesterday

  26. Great post with some easy things that we can *all* change now!

  27. I work for Cox Enterprises and saw that you participated in Blog Action Day. I thought you might be interested in visiting The site details Cox’s commitment to the environment and offers tips on how anyone can become eco-friendly.

  28. Jenn-in-holland (or alljenn as she posts here) told me about this and that she got it from you. So I played and linked as well. Cool Action. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I even managed to get a “Soap Opera Sunday” story that fit the theme! We’re doing all the things you mentioned and a few more around our house!

  29. i have used your title in my blog.

    i hope u will not mind. and nice and inspiring post.

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