Sometimes as we’re organizing it feels as though we’re putting so many things to waste. In a culture that is becoming more focused on the outcome of the planet, throwing all our old items, paperwork, and scraps straight into the trash can cause a bit of guilt. But it doesn’t have to! There are many ways we can organize and still feel as though we’re protecting our planet. After all, being more organized, cutting clutter, and saving time are all forms of reducing, reusing, and recycling!
It’s Fall and even though the leaves are falling we can still save some trees:
The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail. Purging the files and paperwork in your office, file cabinet, or even the pile of mail on the kitchen countertop is essential to remaining sane! But purging all your paperwork doesn’t have to feel like the death of 100 trees. Simply taking a few extra minutes to recycle the paper you purge can make a HUGE difference. Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution! You can make your life more organized AND make a significant impact on the preservation of limited natural resources. Talk about motivation to purge that paper!
Postive Habits Come Full Circle:
Paper isn’t the only thing we feel as though we are wasting when organizing, cleaning, and purging our homes. We’re also guilty of throwing away other items in our home, for example clothes, furniture, and old towels. The truth is giving to a charity can be easier than just junking items such as clothes, furniture, and other nicknacks. Dealing with transporting the item to a waste disposal facility can be pricey and inconvenient, not to mention unpleasant! Instead pick a charity! It will feel better to give to the people who truly need it. You can even get your kids involved so they can clean out old, outdated toys and see what it’s like to give (and to organize). As for the other items, get creative! If you cut up those old towels they can be used for reusable cleaning rags or even hand towels in some cases. Save those paper towels AND recycle old towels! Now you’re getting green.
Fall Cleaning & Greening:
After all that organization you now have lots of room and space. Keeping it clean and organized is the next step in the battle towards organization. However, the notion that when we clean our homes we make that environment dirtier is not a pleasant one. Consequently, we rinse and flush a lot of extremely harsh and unfriendly chemicals down the drain where they overwhelm the water treatment plant’s ability to neutralize them and they are flushed out to contaminate the watershed. In addition, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes averages 2-5 times (and up to 100 times in extreme cases) more polluted than air just outside our homes. These harsh chemicals have a lot to do with this terrifying statistic. But you can keep the cleaning process green as well! Eliminating the harsh chemicals from our homes is even better. Not only are there new environmentally safer products to choose from, but also there are older alternatives that were used, and effective, before harsh cleaners were ever made. One great line of these eco-friendly products is the Caldrea line. They offer everything from countertop cleansers to laundry detergent, but use all-natural and non-pollutant ingredients. You can even feel good about their aromatic hand lotions!
(Find these products and MANY more at The Organized Lifestyle’s online store! Simply visit www.theorganizedlifestyle.com to find creative AND green ways to organize your lifestyle!)