About Us

Friday, June 7, 2013

Don't Trash your Summer - Plans for Being Waste Free this Summer

I don't know about your house, but in the last few weeks of school we get buried in mountains of school projects, completed homework and masterpieces of art.  The amount of "stuff" that comes back home is a bit overwhelming, so we devised a plan.

We put all the papers in a stack.  Luckily virtually every worksheet was printed on both sides, so after celebrating the hard work, we set those aside for recycling.  The special projects that the kids are most proud of get saved.

A bag full of desk supplies, like pencils, markers and crayons are sorted.  New pencils, glue sticks, etc., are set aside for next year.  Broken crayons go into our crayon bin - we will melt some of those down into new "rainbow crayons" as a fun summer project sometime this year.  Pencils, markers  and erasers go into their home desks for use here.  We make good use of these things throughout the summer - they are on hand for our art projects, and then we don't have to run out and buy art kits to keep the kids entertained.

About a week before school let out, we visited the local library.  We all picked at least one book that had projects and activities we were interested in doing this summer.  Projects include making musical instruments (from household items!), recipes for dog treats, and other art projects.  This saved us money because we didn't buy books that we would toss after the summer is over.

Other plans for a waste free summer...

When going to / hosting  potluck parties - encourage everyone to B.Y.O. - Bring your own plates, cups, napkins and utensils.  At minimum - have my own family not use disposable dinnerware.

Always have a filled reusable water bottle in the refrigerator, so you can grab and go.

If the kids need to take a lunch to camp - pack a waste free lunch.  Looking for a waste-free camps and activities?  Check out creative reuse centers (Like reCREATE), or activity based camps - like gymnastic or karate.

The summer has such a bounty of wonderful produce - We will be seeking out loose, un-packaged fruits and vegetables, so we don't have to deal with all that excess packaging.  Scraps and peels from all of the yummy fresh produce will go into our worm bin, not the trash can.

Road Trips / Outdoor Adventures:  Pack out whatever we bring in, plus more.   We have made a habit of trying to leave a place cleaner than we found it, which means either picking up extra garbage others have let when we go to the beach, or playing a game to see who can find ten pieces of garbage on a hike,  that we pick up and dispose of at the next trash can.

Now that we have some free time on our hands, we also check out closets for stuff that can be donated.  Clothes, toys and other things we just aren't using anymore.   And did you know that clothing doesn't have to be in perfect shape to be donated?  This is a good article to explain how donated clothing is processed.