Codie Posts

Reducing Before Recycling

Reducing Before Recycling

I run the recycling program at my work place, and because of this I always receive many questions on the subject. However, many forget that recycling should be the last option in the steps to living waste free. In order to be successful, a person must follow the first step in the cycle, which is to reduce the amount of waste produced from the beginning. There are several ways that I listed below that we all can do in order to decrease our impact and head towards a zero waste future:

  1. Reducing food packaging

One of the biggest creators of waste are trips to the grocery store; from the packaging, this food is actually in to the packaging that we use to carry the food home in. However, this can be reduced by buying fresh fruits and vegetables rather than those in plastic or processed, buying from local farmers markets, using cloth bags rather than plastic for carrying food, and of course growing food from your own backyard. Whether it’s growing your own herbs or raising chickens in your backyard, every little independent effort can decrease packaging waste from food. As well, most groceries will take a couple cents off for each reusable bag of your own you use rather then theirs.

2. Planning Ahead for Going Out

If you go any place in public from a restaurant to a concert, there are always temptations for producing trash. Creating a plan and thinking ahead will help defend against creating unecessary waste when you’re out enjoying life. There are several ways to combat this issue by asking for no straw (if you need a straw you can always bring a reusable one from home which I tend to do), bringing a reusable bottle, bringing your own cloth tissue or napkin, bringing your own silverware, and even your own to go box. Now I know this is hard to remember but if you plan ahead you can largely reduce your impact by the end of your evening. There are even places such as Starbucks who will allow you to put drink orders in your reusable cup and will reduce the price of your drink by doing this.

3. Buying Used Rather than New

Don’t get me wrong, there are defiantly some things you want to buy new, such as underwear or fresh strawberries, but many things such as furniture or older electronics can be used just as good as new minus the waste. People throw out furniture into the landfills everyday that still could be used by another person so please consider this before throwing out your own personal furniture that you no longer want. There are many donation centers that will gladly take your used furniture or electronics you no longer use, as long as it’s still in a good usable condition. This also means that there are options for you to choose from when you’re looking to add something in your home. Buying used not only reduces packaging waste and cost, but it also saves perfectly operating items from the landfill. As well, it reduces materials being pulled from ecosystems that are needed to create new furniture and technology. Almost every piece of furniture I have is used and I honestly love it, because I didn’t have to spend so much of my hard earned money on buying things when I moved into my first apartment.

 

There are so many ways to reduce your waste from the start and, though at times it can be a daunting process, it’s worth every effort. Actions speak louder than words and every little action can change the future towards a path to zero waste. We have to continue to work together to find ways to decrease are impact and I love hearing any ideas you guys have. Check out my other media links down below and always feel free to comment! Keep working Codegreeners!

 

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Clean Cleaning

Clean Cleaning

I’ve said this many times but I’ll say it again: we always need to be mindful of what we are throwing away and what we send down the drain. People tend to forget that whatever chemical or trash they incorporate into their daily routines can affect not only them, but the environment that surrounds them. Needless to say, we need to mindful of what we use, even with the cleaning supplies we use.

I always try to clean with supplies that are not only reusable but also eco-friendly. For dusting and mopping, I use cloth rather than paper towels and disposable rags that usually come with a “Swiffer”. I’ll use a hair tie to wrap the towel around the swiffer when I’m mopping and I use a cloth duster I bought from the company “Reuseit”,  when trying to clean my shelves. This not only saves me money, but also allows me to reduce waste from using disposable materials that I get to instead reuse over and over again.

 

When it comes to cleaning my drains (especially recently since I was having issues with my drains clogging up), I started using this product called “Earthworm Drain Cleaner” and I really liked it. My drain had backed up so bad the water would sit in my tub (which made shower time pretty unbearable); so having the tub clear after a few days was like an upgrade. This product and others out there focus on getting the job done, while also not having a bunch of harsh chemicals being poured into your local water system. There are also DIY recipes online that I will be trying in the near future on my YouTube channel for different cleaning categories. Let’s work together to be as eco-friendly as possible even when we are cleaning! Check out my media links down below to see other updates of how I’m staying Codegreen!

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The Food Dilemma

Everyone has started talking about the elephant in the room, and it’s something that has become a bigger problem in society than one could’ve imagined. Now, in a industrialized modern world, one would think that this dilemma would actually never exist due to wealth, and access to more resources than many parts of the world; but, alas, we can no longer ignore the growing issue of food waste. Some articles have been quoting food waste to be up to 40% a year in America, with million of dollars wasting away for food to then just be thrown into a landfill. The irony lies in a land who struggles with wasting food and obesity while also dealing with problems of people starving. So what can we, on an individual level, do to help this national dilemma?

Here are some steps I took and you can too:

  1. Eat at home rather than out.

I’m always tempted by some Whataburger and I absolutely love to have Sonic in my life; however, this not only reduces funds but increases waste. If you already have food at home, then there is no need to make a french fry run. This will not only motivate you to save money by cooking with everything you have in the pantry before going out, but also reduce the chance of food waste.

2.  Create a compost bin.

This is something I’ve incorporated into my life due to not only my love of gardening, but also my way of reusing scraps and food that sadly went bad. Remember that if you do decide to set up a compost bin, note that meats or processed foods (like fast food french fries because as I’m writing this I wish I had some) will not be able to go into your bin. This helped me to focus on buying more fruits and vegetables which in return leads me to a healthier diet.

3.  Plan meals ahead of time.

Knowing what I’ll be cooking and what I need to buy at the grocery at the beginning of the week helps me to stay away from going out to eat, and also not buying more then I need. Push yourself to stick to a schedule and you will be more prepared to follow a stricter food regime.

4. Leftovers

I absolutely love leftovers, because it means I have one less meal to plan for lunch or dinner the next day. My moto is if the food is still fresh than there is no need to cook.

 

These tips are my New Year’s Resolution to follow and I hope you guys will join me in helping to reduce food waste! Let me know what steps you guys have personally taken to help this dilemma.

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How a Shelter Kitty Saved Me

How a Shelter Kitty Saved Me

Usually I don’t get too emotional on my blog posts, but today, as I write this, I wanted to do something different. Over a year and half a go, a month after my brother’s death, I was in a place I had never been in. I was constantly stressed to the point that I would have terrible panics of hot flashes; and I hadn’t had a good night sleep for too long, due to nightmares I will never tell a soul. One day, my mom emailed me about a pet palooza event that was going on in the area and suggested we check it out. I mentioned before how I had a goal of adopting a black cat (since statistically black animals are the least likely to get adopted), but after these recent events at the time, I was honestly nervous about bringing a life into my home that I would be responsible for (since I didn’t feel I truthfully was altogether myself). I decided to go and check this thing out anyway (I didn’t have any other plans), and I’m glad I did, because little did I know, that there was a black fluffball that was sitting in a cage waiting to steal my heart.

The next thing I knew I was at Petsmart, buying cat toys and a carrier in order to bring home a cat named Hililaya. I’m not going to lie to you, the first few weeks were rough. I would get a scratch here and there; I still continued to get no sleep, due to being bopped on the nose in the middle of the night for pets. I didn’t know what I was doing, and the adult cat clearly never responded to her name; so with some minor adjustments and a name change, we finally began to form a bond that I only realized now really changed me.

My stress began to disappear and was replaced with cuddles and cat hair in my food. The times that I broke down and cried, I received cat purrs and kitty licks. Honestly, I thought I had helped her out by adopting her out of the shelter. She had spent her 2 and a half years of life in, but actually she helped me. At the end of the day, I believe she saved me from a lot of sad moments filled with despair that sometimes life brings, and she still continues too. That is why I’m so supportive of shelter animals. There are so many amazing animals that are just waiting to be given a chance, to not only be saved from the shelter, but to help another life in the process. I beg for those looking to bring an animal into their lives to give a chance to their local animal shelters. You then can find your black fluff ball of joy too. Thanks for reading this codegreeners, and I hope to write more for you soon! #adoptdontshop

 

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Ridding My Life of Paper Towels

Ridding My Life of Paper Towels

IMG_20170917_184454287_HDRI’m always looking for ways to reduce my waste, and one of them has been to rid my life of paper towels. My goal is to live without creating waste; and instead of using paper, I’ve replaced many things in my life with cloth. Here are  three examples to keep in mind that are really useful:

  1. When I clean, whether it’s the counter tops or the floor, I use cloth. Cloth is not only reusable, but saves you money from your grocery bill!
  2. At work and at home, I use my own hand towel in order to reduce my paper towel use at work. (Don’t have to worry about waste if none is produced in the first place).
  3. When I’m out, I bring my own cloth napkin just in case (you never know if restuarants will use cloth or paper napkins).

Yes, some of this might seem excessive and may involve too much preparation for some, but I truly want to be committed to reducing my waste not only at home, but anywhere I go. If anyone ever has any ideas to continue to reduce waste at the home and office, please feel free to share!! I will see you next time Codegreeners, and keep living each and everyday by Codegreen! Check out my other media links down below.

 

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