Jul 22, 2011

Good Steward = Going Green

Every era has its trends and I think our current one is definitely "going green". My dad was "going-green" way back in the 80's...back then it certainly wasn't called that. He always called it "being a good steward" - particularly, a good steward of the things God had given us. So, we grew up learning to reuse and re-purpose lots of things - without becoming pack-rats. We recycled aluminum cans and glass bottles for extra spending money, we turned the ignition to the car off  rather than letting it idle, car-pooled whenever possible (heck, we were even a 1 car family of 10 for a long time), walked where we safely could, opened the windows and used the attic fan until the heat became un-bearable, and saved a modest number of grocery bags for reusing. These things seem pretty normal and even moderate on the being green scale these days, but this was definitely not the norm back in the 80's and 90's - when the good ole USA was in an economic boom. These days we've swung the other direction. Rather than being thought of as a little odd, if you don't recycle, shop local, and at least try to eat organic - you're pretty much considered an un-healthy and un-conscientious member of society. Amazing how things change! I don't agree with the typical people who support the "going green" initiative  - because I don't believe that we have some vague responsibility to mother earth. Rather, I think that we're to be good stewards of what God has given us; that we shouldn't be wasteful, that we should reuse, recycle, and re-purpose as much as possible. Not simply to save a few dimes (which is nice), not to save the ozone layer (which is won't), not to erase our carbon imprint (which it can't), and not to reverse global warming (which is nuts) - but because we are all responsible for what we do and how we behave in every area of life. But, I guess the saying "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" might apply here. I have no power to start a global trend, but someone else did. As a result of this "going green" frenzy, everyone is looking for ways to be a better steward (whether they call it that or not). It's now cool, hip, and trendy to do what I've always been taught to do. So in this case, I'm not really concerned that I don't agree with everyone's motives - as long as we're actually doing what's right! So in the spirit of "going green" - I'm going to share a little something that my husband has been doing for years. The milk carton pictured above has been cleaned and a hole cut out that is big enough to fit your hand in. You simply store your plastic grocery bags in it until you're ready to re-use them, or take them back to your grocery store to recycle. We keep one under our sink, store all of our plastic bags there, and then use the bags instead of trash bags. We loop the bag handle on the door handle of our pantry - and put everything in there that can't be recycled, composted, or put down the garbage disposal. This is a surprisingly small amount of stuff - and we just take it out at the end of the day (so we also don't have to worry about anything sitting there long enough for it to start to smell). We still have large trash bags for bigger items, but I probably have to buy them less than 1/2 as often now! We also keep a carton in our car, and one in our garage. They are super handy, and keep the plastic bags contained and neat. My husband "made" them for pretty much everyone we knew for a while and they at least pretended to be excited about them! :)

So do you have any nifty recycling/re-purposing tips? Please feel free to email them to me (pictures too if you have them) at savesimplyblog@gmail.com! There might just be a special prize for the coolest.... :)

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