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curbside recycling
different colors
cream cone
preconceptions
second nature
chores
mentality
municipality
time and money
habit
sacrifice
neighbors
Living Green Guide: Simple Tips To Save The World
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When it comes to living green the preconceptions that people have can color the way that they think of the idea. They hear that term and think of a life of chores, sacrifice and hard work. They think that they cannot enjoy a drive or go and buy a simple ice cream cone. They think that they have to give up every modern convenience to live the green lifestyle, that they cannot vacation or travel and that they must learn to make their own soap, churn their own butter and make their own clothing.

While living green can mean some changes to thought and buying patterns, it is not necessarily that extreme. All it takes is for each person to make one living green tip their new habit to benefit our planet. Choose a tip, practice it until it becomes second nature and then work on a new one. Do not get caught up in an all or nothing mentality. We all just have to commit to doing our own small part. Pick one of the following tips and make it your own:

1. Recycle. If you live in a municipality, you are probably in luck. Most cities offer free curbside recycling pickup with bins of different colors that make sorting the items that much easier. Take advantage of this service and be on the watch out for bigger item pickup days as well. Some cities make routine pickups of yard waste, sofas, tires and other items that might otherwise end up in the city dump.

If you do not live in an area that offers these services, you might still be near enough to a recycling facility to be able to do it on your own. If you enlist a few neighbors you can make a big trip with a full load once or twice a month to save time and money. (The price for aluminum cans and other items fluctuates, but in some cases it is well worth the effort to pick them up, bag them and bring them in for resale.)

2. Reduce. If you limit the amount of trash that you generate, your reduce the amount that must be dealt with. Buy products that have less packaging, or buy a second hand item that will have zero packaging. Buy larger versions of items and refill smaller containers if you need to. A larger sized package that lasts a full month is better than a few smaller versions of this same item that lasts one or two weeks.

You vote with your wallet; manufacturers get the message when you do not buy their products. Tell them that you can do without the extra packaging- they will not only listen to you, they will appreciate the savings to themselves as well.

3. Reuse. Make sure that you use a product until it is truly used up. A worn towel can be cut into smaller pieces and used as wash clothes or rags. A torn clothing item can be used to make quilt pieces for others. Salvage the buttons off of a worn shirt before ditching it. Ruined pantyhose can be used for a wide variety of uses.

Small tips with big benefits are easier to get behind for most people. Not everyone can afford to buy a hybrid car. Not everyone can install and use solar panels in their home. Do what you realistically can do and be proud of your efforts.


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