At Organizing Strategies, I am excited about the new, developing specialty area of Green Organizing. My work with clients includes a focus on lessening their impact on the earth and introducing methods and systems that reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible.
Here are some ideas to help you become more earth-friendly:
Reduce Starts with consumption: the everyday decisions you make about what items you bring into your home or business. Think about purchases in terms of quality - buying things that will last vs. "disposable" items that may appear cheaper initially but will need to be replaced sooner. When purchasing appliances, consider energy usage and buy those with good Energy Star ratings. Consider buying items made from recycled goods where possible. Use compostable cutlery instead of plastic. Discontinue catalogs you don't want and those newspapers and magazines that you never get around to reading.
Reuse When starting an organizing project, many clients can't wait to run out and buy new storage containers. Resist that urge! There may be containers in your home that can be repurposed. Similarly, manila file folders can be reused by turning them inside out and labeling the reverse side of the tab. Starting a scrap paper bin and writing or printing on the reverse side can significantly cut down on your paper usage. Plastic or paper grocery bags? Bring your own reusable ones.
Recycle Many people have already gotten into the recycling habit when it comes to everyday trash including paper, glass and plastic. Think about ways to go further - this might include responsibly disposing of hazardous waste such as batteries, chemicals, and compact fluorescent bulbs. E-waste such as old computers, televisions and other devices represents another major improvement opportunity.
The recycling concept applies to reusable goods as well as trash. Clothing, household goods and books are just some of the items that can be recycled by donating them to charitable organizations through their local collection points, special pickup arrangements or online methods such as Freecycle. For higher value goods, consignment is a way to recycle unneeded items and also generate some cash. In addition to local consignment stores, online options such as Craig's List and eBay are available.
Rethink There are many ways to become more earth-friendly in our everyday lives and the options are growing all the time. As we move through our routines, it's worth challenging ourselves by asking: "Is there a greener way to do this?" For example, turning off the water when brushing your teeth, not idling your car while waiting, and gradually replacing traditional cleaning products with green alternatives can all help reduce your household's impact.
As you read through this section, you may be thinking about other green ideas I haven't mentioned here. I'm always learning from my clients and passing along what I've learned to others. Let's educate one another and help each other move forward.
Organizing Strategies for Home and Office
Helping you organize things, space, time and information.