Going Green

Nuts About Southwest, the blog for Southwest Airlines, has a new post about ways to go green.

I’m not sure why this post is appearing now (it refers to Earth Day, which was in April, and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which was last year), but the suggestions are still good–even if #5 and #36 are the same thing.

For the record, we’ve done about 3/4 of these. I think the one I feel best about is #13: Stop using paper plates. We have a lot of cookouts in the summer, and it quickly became obvious that paper plates were going to make up too much of our trash if we allowed them to. So we didn’t. We bought cheap reusable plates at IKEA and Target, and now we can host about 15 people without throwing away a single plate.

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Reuse

Sometimes it’s not just about us reusing. Sometimes it’s about helping other people reuse, as well. Goodwill has started The Donate Movement, which encourages people to think of donating used items as green–which it is. If items are being used multiple times, then fewer of them need to be created for single owners. And since Goodwill also provides job training, the calculator on the site lets you see how your donations affect the services they offer.

The vast majority of the furniture in our home is either from thrift stores or from family members who no longer need particular items. Similarly, a lot of our daughter’s clothing is from thrift stores, or hand-me-downs from friends with slightly older children. The new things we’ve gotten are great, but we’re also happy to be getting more use out of perfectly good baby items that simply have been worn before.

I’ve got several bags of clothing ready to go to Goodwill. While I’m there, I’m going to start looking for a bookcase for the nursery. She’s got lots of books and nowhere to keep them, and a used bookcase will hold them just as well as a brand new one. We’ll benefit–less stuff, more organization–and hopefully others will as well.