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Recycling and other easy ‘green living’ tips

By Paula Felps

Living green and recycling isn’t just trendy — it’s essential for the health and well-being of your community. The mantra of “Think globally, act locally” has never been more important — nor has it ever been so easy to do. 

“Going green” doesn’t have to be a challenge; in fact, it can be fairly simple, and small acts can quickly become a part of your daily routine.

“Green is a spectrum,” explains Tom Bazzone, owner and president of the retail store Green Living in Dallas, Texas. “You can start small. You just control what you can control; everyone doing just a little bit does a lot of good.”

Saving energy and money

If you’re looking for ways to live a greener life, there’s good news: It can also save you money. Here are some simple but effective ways to start going green:

  • Reuse it! If you don’t want it, donate it. Many charitable organizations will gladly accept your gently used furniture, home accessories, toys, and clothing.
  • Don’t trash your trash. Most “trash” is actually recyclable or can be reused. Most communities have drop-off locations for computers, cell phones, paint, and household chemicals. Before you toss something into the trash, get in the habit of checking if it can be recycled and putting it into the appropriate bin. Did you know that most food containers and most plastic bags (even the thin ones) can be recycled now too? Even decorative accessories and household items can be recycled such as plastic dishes, toys, and cosmetics.
  • Take a hike. Walking or biking to work, the grocery store, or other nearby locations will reduce automotive emissions. (Bonus: You’ll save money on parking and gas, and the physical activity is good for you!)
  • Pass on plastic. Instead of using disposable plates and cups, rent dishes and glasses for your next party. Renting is cheaper than you think, they handle pick-up, drop-off, and the washing, and your guests will be impressed with your “new” china. Also: Purify your tap water with a filter, and skip buying bottled water.
  • Grab a sweater. Instead of bumping up the thermostat another degree or two, warm up by putting on a sweater and save money. You can also program your thermostat to save energy. Or snuggle with a loved one. It saves energy and feels good!