The great thing about working to reuse things is that it also helps contribute to our ability to reduce. Reuse helps keep goods out of landfills for longer, and depending on what you are reusing, helps to reduce the number of less favorable by-products of manufacturing.
Husby and I are always pleased when we can get at least a 2nd use out of something. Some quick examples of things we reuse regularly
- Cloth diapers for our newest family member
- Lots of hand-me-down baby clothes, blankets and toys. We requested for our baby shower that gifts be 2nd hand and got some of the sweetest, well pre-loved gifts to share with Cheeks McGee
- We bring our styrofoam style egg cartons back to the farmers we buy our eggs from. (Cardboard style egg cartons get torn up and added to the compost)
- I love to can produce, so each year I am able to reuse the jars and screw-tops for our pantry items
I mentioned in my post on reducing that we use reusable grocery bags and bring our own containers for bulk items. I know this is an action that is always included on lists of how to “go green” and yet so many times I’ve heard friends and family mention that they just never remember to bring their reusable bags along with them to the store. Honestly, I don’t always remember either, but I’ve developed a couple habits that have helped get those bags to the store with me.
- I try to always keep a reusable bag or two in the car, so if I find myself making an unplanned trip to the grocery store after work, it’s with me. To help remind me to restock the car, I put the grocery bags right by our apartment door. We have a small entry way, so there’s not much room there for extras, which means the bags won’t go unnoticed next time I’m headed out.
- Since the grocery store is walkable for us, we make it a Sunday afternoon outing. Having a set routine helps us to remember the bags.
- We also buy milk that comes in returnable glass bottles. Those bottles have a hefty deposit on them, making it worth our while to bring them back, and bringing back the bottles gets us to bring the bags along as well, to carry the bottles with us.
As for bringing our own containers for bulk goods, when I’m making my grocery list on Sunday morning I try to put the appropriate container into my grocery bags as I add it to the list. We also have a set spot in the kitchen where all of our empties go, so we know to pack them all with us for our trip to the store.
I think that bringing so much with us to the grocery store in the way of reusable containers and making planned, regular trips helps us remember it all and be sure to bring our shopping bags along as well.
There’s always room for improvement though. Around here we’re working on remembering to take those shopping bags with us to non-grocery stores as well.