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Practicing the 4 R’s

July 8, 2008

Having a sustainable, eco-friendly or green environment for spaces doesn’t have to mean, although it can include, buying new stuff made out of bamboo, cork, or recycled/renewable materials.  Practice the 4 R’s and anything you do, be it small or big, makes a difference as we all add our efforts together.

Be proactive – don’t get the “someone else will do it” mentality.  If we all did that, no one would do anything and we’d be on the fast track to killing ourselves through environmental poisoning.  Uplifting, eh?  The good news is right now, we still have time for making some big change to save and improve the health of our world environment, so heads up everyone!

The 4 R’s:  Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

Reduce } Reduce the amount of stuff you buy in packaging.  Buy in bulk, refill containers, buy packaging made of recycled product content and buy without packaging.  Buying from new-to-you shoppes such as consignment, antique and second hand uses less packaging and resources because the products are mostly not in packaging so resources are saved.  It’s a grande style of resource conservation and there are some GREAT shoppes out there!  See my Green Interiors section on the right for the Seattle resources or google search “(insert your town) consignment, antique or thrift store.”

Reuse } Can you give something a new purpose?   A fresh look with some eco-friendly paint or stain?  Cover it with paper or a bit of fabric for a fresh appearance?  Benjamin Moore Aura line and Yolo Colorhouse both have great lines of eco paints.  OEco Textiles is a fabuous GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified fabric company.  Check out their website for distribution near you!

Repurpose } Rethink the way you buy:  Are you sure you have to buy it in all that packaging or can you get it somewhere else with less packaging?  Rethink with reuse as above.  Research eco-friendly alternatives to your desired product – the net is a great way to find them.  Change the way you package things:  Use recycled packaging, and reusable wrapping such as bags, fabric and reusable ribbons.

Recycle } If you really can’t use it again, can you donate it to charity, give it to a friend or someone in your community, or sell it on Ebay, Craig’s List or at a consignment shoppe?  Most charities are happy to pick stuff up for you if you can’t or don’t want to transport it yourself.  When you recycle things like paper, glass, metal, plastics, electronics, computers, etc., they get made into new materials and products!  Consider using things in your events that you can recycle, compost, donate to charity, etc.

The net is rich with resources for eco-friendly living and entertaining. Lucky for you, I’ve done a lot of that research for you already.  Check out the categories on the right for resources!

If you can’t find an eco alternative for your needs, contact me and I’ll be happy to paruse my resources and do some research for you!

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