Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't give up.

I pride myself in trying to make environmentally friendly choices and decisions. I try to avoid things that are used once and tossed. I was determined that as my son started 1st grade and was packing his lunches and snacks daily that we were not going to use the traditional throw away sandwich bags. I bought a bunch of reusable snack bags with cool designs that he could be proud to show off. 

We had a bit of a tough start to the school year and it wasn't made any easier by complaints that his sandwich was a mushy mess by the time the lunch bell rang. Darnit.. my well thought out plan didn't work quite as I anticipated. So, determined to keep at it I put a standard sandwich bag on the outside and the reusable inside and began the war with my son.. complete with begging, pleading, idol threats and  "DO NOT THROW ME AWAY" signs. Then.. as I was doing some shopping I stumbled upon these bags.. and I must say.. YAY, they work!! 

These baggies remind me more of the throw away bag but much more durable. You can wash them out and the insides don't get stained by mustard, jelly, or other lunch staples. The bottoms are gusseted so they can hold more and they seal snugly to keep the sandwich dry and the snacks fresh (chips would get stale in an hour in the cloth ones we had with a plastic liner). Plus, they are a fraction of the cost of others on the market and I've gotten comments on how cute they are.

I do love these baggies and (for us) they've been a heaven sent but on a bigger picture, I'm not necessary speaking just about these bags in particular but more about the idea of them. Don't give up.. if you make a "green goal" to rid your life of a throw away item but after taking the plunge it just doesn't quite work as you had hoped don't give up.. reevaluate and try again. We need to remember that big changes start with one step and each step has a large impact.

Recycling Tip #3 - Labeled for Success


"What am I supposed to throw in here?".. the last question that you want someone asking when they are trying to rid themselves of waste.

Ah.. people are looking at me.. quick, chuck it in the closest bin

To avoid the confusion and increase participation be sure that you clearly label each and every bin. Make sure that everyone knows what goes in the bin (garbage, recycling) and what type of each if applicable (paper only, plastic only, compost, etc.) as well as what does not (please keep out garbage, food waste, plastic, etc). Recycling bins and waste bins should be put in areas that are easily accessible and in the common route of travel. If we make recycling just as easy as tossing the material in the garbage more people will do it.