Note To Self…Simple Ways To Green Your Daily Routine

When my family and I began this journey going green, we started with simple recycling. I am telling you- it is really addictive. We began to notice that trips to the alley for the garbage dwindled as the trips to the recycling center increased. Good, but I knew we could do better. The next step was creating ways to discard even less and begin reusing materials more.

Paper was the easiest material in the beginning so we incorporated the following changes in our daily routine:

  • Created a recycled paper bin where we went to get paper for art projects, making cards, wrapping presents, packaging supplies for my ebay business, scrap paper, pretend post offices, etc.
  • Stopped printing things that we didn’t need to. (Sidebar- this takes getting used to but it works. Since my husband is very tech-minded, he hooked up an extra monitor we had laying around to create a second screen so that I could work with several documents open at one time. I look like Gordon Gecko! Love it!!)
  • Changed the print margins on our printer so we made use of all available space.
  • Changed our print settings so we print on each side of the paper rather than just one side for the times we have to print something.
  • When we have extra one sided paper (like letters from the dentist or the “this page is intentionally blank” letters from the bank) we put it back into the printer to be used again.
  • Researched and finally used services to insure that when we do print at our house, it automatically removes all the unnecessary images and text thus fewer pages are used.
  • Researched website so that we receive less unnecessary mailers.
  • Use my smart phone and my husband uses his Blackberry for grocery lists or to do items that we used to write on post its or pads of paper.
  • Use a clipboard for all papers that can be used again but don’t fit into the printer. When we have to write a note or we use the recycled pages first.

Our next step? Creating online photo albums so that we don’t print pictures any more and we don’t have piles of scrapbooks laying around. (As an organizer, I am addicted to space savers!!)

My Achilles’ heel? Sticky notes! I use virtual sticky notes on my computer, but I can’t seem to find a substitute for the real sticky notes when using them for my eco friendly planning book. Although I have tried using the PC for all of my musings on life or scribbles about blog ideas and such, I am lost without the physical book. I tried taking scraps and using paper clips and they fall out too easily. Yes, I’d like to eliminate the sticky notes as well and not buy any more paper. I consider this one a work in progress.

As my mom always says “Tomorrow is another day.” and so it is. Maybe we aren’t all the way there yet but we recognize it when we aren’t. That is a step in itself.

Original 5 MInutes for Going Green Post. You can read more from Jennifer at her blog The EcoChic Organizer and subscribe to her blog here

8 Responses to Note To Self…Simple Ways To Green Your Daily Routine
  1. Mrs. Greenhands
    July 24, 2008 | 11:20 am

    Thanks for the tips! I typically shred my junk mail and other paper waste and then dump it in a special compost “pit”. I have a large hole dug at the edge of my garden and I fill it with the shredded paper and then cover with a layer of grass clippings or leaves. It takes a full year – sometimes longer – to breakdown and decompose, but it makes wonderful compost in the long run. I make a new “pit” each growing season.

  2. Danielle
    July 24, 2008 | 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I have never heard of digital sticky notes.

  3. Paulette
    July 24, 2008 | 3:25 pm

    Great tips! We too have been working on eliminating paper usage, it just takes a little thought. Our next goal…eliminating plastics as much as possible, using glass jars, etc. Wish us luck! Great blog.

  4. Sommer (Green and Clean Mom)
    July 24, 2008 | 3:57 pm

    I’m loving the idea for the online album. I have piles of pics so this would be great!

  5. Jennifer, Snapshot
    July 24, 2008 | 4:59 pm

    3M makes a product that you rub on regular paper that makes it sticky and removable, like a sticky note. You could use it on your scrap paper.

  6. Jennifer (The Eco Chic Organizer)
    July 24, 2008 | 5:43 pm

    Thanks!! I have checked out a couple online scrapbooks and they look great. I am trying to do away with paper towel and plastic storage bags too. So hard to do!! If anyone can recommend some sturdy glass storage bowls with lids, I would really appreciate it!

  7. Daisy
    July 27, 2008 | 10:12 am

    I like using my shredded paper as packaging, stuffing for gifts and shipping packages. My compost bin reduces the amount of garbage we have significantly, too. Love your ideas!

  8. barb
    August 11, 2008 | 9:38 am

    3M post it glue is brilliant and they also have 30% and 100% recycled content post-its.
    I love the glue stick option, you can use it on articles you save, photos, business cards – all sorts.
    also if your computer screen is ground zero you can cut a frame of cork to afix to your monitors frame and use it as a cork board.

    love you blog – thanks for doing it!