Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buy more recycled school supplies (Change 125)

Last year, around this time, I moaned about the fact that to purchase recycled/recyclable school supplies would cost a fortune.  I opted for only recycled paper that year.

This year, I am vowing to do better.  In addition to recycled paper, I plan on purchasing recycled duo-tangs, pencils and binder dividers.  I will be re-using lots of supplies from last year - calculator, ruler, pencil case, scissors, pencil sharpener, backpacks.

I am going to ease the strain of purchasing these more expensive products by starting my shopping earlier, and watching for sales.  I figure, since I have to buy three sets of things now, I need to really start checking the impact my purchases make.

I will have to buy new lunch bags for the kids, but I'm hoping to find recycled or environmentally-friendly options.  Any suggestions for sources for these?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eliminate cards for big people (Change 124)

It's hard to imagine how much mail one can accumulate until one goes away on holidays.  After a week at a cottage, we came back to a good sized stack of mail.  Contained inside was a thank you note for DD2, a wedding invitation, and two anniversary cards for DH and I.  Each card had its own envelope, with a stamp and return label. 

With the exception of the wedding invitation, everything ended up in the recycle bin shortly after it was read.

Earlier this week, I mailed a birthday card to a nephew and sister-in-law.  Again, each card had its own envelope, stamp and return label.  Later this month, I had planned to send two anniversary cards, two more kid birthday cards, and three adult birthday cards.

Guess where everything will end up, shortly after it is read?  Yup, in the recycle bin.

That is a lot of paper waste for a few brief moments of "Thinking of You" goodness.

The Gift, Novelty and Souvenir Industry was worth $1.8 billion in 2009.  (http://www.ic.gc.ca/cis-sic/cis-sic.nsf/IDE/cis-sic45322rdpe.html)  That is a lot of greeting cards, tourist gifts and novelty items.  Many of these items end up in the garbage/recycle bin in my house.  What about yours?

Many of the people I send cards to are adults that I see often in our lives.  I am in regular communication with them by telephone or email, and many have expressed an interest in my blog, and my environmental process.  So, grown-ups in my life, you will no longer be receiving paper birthday or anniversary cards from me.

I will still send thank you notes to those people that I can't thank in person.    I will still send birthday cards to the children in my life.  Kids love getting mail, and it certainly makes my children's day when I tell them something came in the mail for them.

But everyone else, you won't be hearing from me anytime soon.