No or low VOCs and other eco-friendly products are all the rage. But those aren’t the only ways that homeowners can be greener. Here are a few ideas to put the old “recycle, reduce, reuse” line to work – some of which might even earn or save you some green.
For many of you, recycling is mandatory. If you live in an area where it isn’t, does your trash service provider offer recycling? (Some municipalities will even furnish you with a plastic bin for free.)
+ Most at-the-curb programs will pick up paper, plastic and aluminum.
+ Some grocery or discount stores have giant recycling bins on their lots in addition to having collection barrels in their entryway for plastic bags.
+ Recycling is a business industry and some companies will pay you for aluminum cans, scrap metal and old appliances.
+ Get e-statements from your bank, credit card, utility and mortgage companies. If you already regularly pay bills online, you can get a year or more’s billing history there, too. Not only less trash, but less filing, too.
+ Share magazine and newspaper subscriptions with friends or neighbors. Or, read those online, too.
+ Buy a filter for your kitchen tap and stop drinking bottled water.
+ Opt out of junk mail.
+ If you find yourself with a lot of leftover materials from DIY projects, offer them up on Craig’s List or donate them to a Habitat ReStore.
+ One of the greatest retail inventions of the 21st century is the branded reusable shopping bag. It is free advertising for the retailer, but these bags are stronger, hold more and not as likely to get tossed as their disposable counterparts.