Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts tagged Recycling

Plastic items are light, easily cleaned, and often cheaper than cloth, wood, metal, or brick. Maybe the three pigs should have built their homes out of plastic. But, of course most plastics do not biodegrade easily or quickly which make them anathema to environmentalists like me. They can, however, be recycled. Conscientious citizens already know […]

Now that one office file cabinet is pretty much pruned and reorganized, I decided to tackle my two bookcases which hold work related books. I had a happy conundrum. Friends who were moving out of town offered me one of their bookcases. It matched my main bookcase in size and style so I was happy […]

I’m in a time warp. Easter was over 2 weeks ago but I’m still finishing up my Lenten resolve to prune my file cabinets. By Easter I had pruned 2 drawers of my first cabinet. (See here ) Once started, I was motivated to keep going. I have now finished the final 2 drawers of […]

I had a good two part plan for Lent this year: *Clean out my work files and shelves *Clear my mind of the political funk that was crowding my spirit The process seemed logical: Step 1: Clear off the ping-pong table, aka my extended desk of papers that were “in process.” Step 2: File papers […]

December 26 is celebrated as “Boxing Day”  in some countries. The name comes from the tradition that on the day after Christmas well-to-do families would give a box of money or presents to their servants or customers. I remembered this as I was cleaning up after Christmas and was struck by the extraordinary number of cardboard […]

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I offer you my 10 Best Living Lightly Tips of 2016. The first 6 are my own. The last 4 come from other bloggers I respect. Most can be read in under 2 minutes. The Beauty of Empty – 8 practical steps to unclutter any part of your […]

I recently ran a little contest among colleagues to find out how folks commonly or creatively tackled the environmental trio of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Out of 222 responses I was especially impressed with the clever, albeit human energy intensive, submission of Therese Brennan. She saves the used shampoo bottle, buys the same kind again, then pours ½ […]

A success I couldn’t fit anything more into the file cabinet drawer assigned to NACFLM, my professional family life association. At this same time, a NACFLM committee I was on decided to archive former newsletters. For many years I had been the newsletter editor. Hmmm. I decided to bite the bullet and go through all […]

I like to think of myself as a pretty decent recycler. I put paper, bottles, cans, and appropriate plastics out for curbside recycling. I decline plastic bags at stores and use my cloth bags instead. I take a reusable water bottle to meetings. I take #5 recyclables to Whole Foods. I compost. I even collect […]

My next several blog posts will cover various angles of recycling (Recycling, The Multiplier Effect, Paper Pruning, and Precycling.) Let’s start with the easy one – recycling plastics. 😉 This will be a refresher for many people but I’m throwing in some trickier items for the hard core recycler. The Usual: Most municipal curb-side recycling […]

We live in an old house. We love it but part of being old means that the window were not energy efficient. We had storm windows but they were a pain to put in and out each year. We finally made the commitment to replace all of the 100+ year old windows. It took awhile […]

OK, technically, I did finish cleaning my desk up by Easter, BUT I conveniently omitted the fact that the file cabinet next to my desk had a lot of paper clutter and odds and ends on top of it too. I had intended that to be part of my Lenten clean up but just didn’t […]

Recycling is good. Right? Well, sort of. Of course it is better to recycle stuff than not to, but remember those other ecology Rs – Reduce and Reuse? This all came to mind recently as my city changed its trash collection company. They used to accept all plastics #1 – #7 but now only accept […]

IT HELPS TO BE CONNECTED. By this I mean that sometimes giving stuff to the usual places (Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Lupus, Viet Vets – GSVPSALVV for short 😉 ) seems like a bad match. It helps to have personal links to potential “good homes.” For example: Challenge #1 – Carpet Samples. Several decades […]

While pruning the clutter of Too Much Information from my life these last few months has been good, other items have been collecting dust. When I’m ready to let go of miscellaneous stuff around the house I put them in a bin and wait for a time to take them to Goodwill, St. Vincent de […]

April 22 is Earth Day. This reminds me of the importance of decreasing our carbon footprint by the familiar formula: reduce, reuse, recycle. Many families, including us: Typical recycling: Put paper, cans, glass, plastic bottles, anything with a triangle (Δ), into our city’s curbside recycling service Compost vegetables and yard waste Take reusable cloth bags to the […]

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we take advantage of it – Community Sponsored Hazardous Waste collection. Once or twice a year my county provides a place to take items like pesticides, paint, medications, old electronics, etc. Jim and I save these items throughout the year and take them to the collection place […]

Occasionally the heavens align and other people help me lighten my mood and my stuff. That’s what happened recently when I was in a conversation with a friend, her daughter, and her fiancé. As the wedding day approached the bride and groom said they were trying to plan a tasteful but simple celebration. One step was […]

About a year ago our electric lawnmower died. I agreed to find a fitting home for its final resting place. We bought a new mower and I procrastinated about researching how to recycle old lawnmowers. Well, it’s grass mowing season again and Jim reminded me of my promise. Spurred on by the recent grim reports […]

NOTE: This week’s blog is longer than usual. Skip to the end, LESSONS LEARNED, if you just want the bottom line – though this means you may miss my humor too. 🙂 Lent is a penitential season so I have a confession to make. I haven’t been cleaning out A-Drawer-A-Day. In the interest of saving […]