Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Habits

It’s said you need to do something thirty three times before it becomes a habit. I’ve been wondering how easy it is to break a habit!

Many of our environmentally, negative behaviours are a result of habits.

I’m working hard on reduce.

Recycle is a great word and a good habit but we’ve tried to cut back on many things that are non-essential.

I’ve already mentioned that I don’t like single use water bottles.

Since I decided they were negative I decided to grow a new habit.

I now carry a bottle everywhere I go. This way I can drink tap water that I have or obtain any time.

It’s not the only thing I carry. I also hate single use coffee cups. Though they are often paper based they’re generally waxed or plastic coated. This means they won’t biodegrade.

To avoid using them, I now carry a Keep Cup. It’s the equivalent of thirty five disposable plastic cups so where I use it every day as long as I’ve used it far more than thirty five times then I’ve reduced the impact a hot drink will have long term. As it goes I’ve used it now for five years. The important thing is to make a new habit.

I’ve noticed the number of extra things that are imposed on us for convenience and speed.

Now, with coffee cups come plastic stirrers. They’re not even spoons. They have such limited use.

So I’ve got a reuse able spoon/fork too. I often carry a teaspoon in my bag as well. Then if there’s no alternative to instant rubbish I can make a better choice.

I save up un-requested paper serviettes so that I can avoid using more. I’ve given up paper tissues in little plastic packets. They drive me crazy when I see them on pavements!

If I do use paper tissues (said she with a stinking cold) that’s where the recycled comes in. They are made from recycled paper so that the loop is closed on the paper cycle.

Meanwhile my bag’s not empty yet. And when it comes to plastic bags and their negative effect on wildlife and waste of resources, don’t get me started!

So I need two or three reusable shopping bags too. It prevents that bag mountain; the one growing under the sink or under the stairs or in the boot of the car.

Though we shop less and less it’s useful to have snag for vegetables or books.

I’m working on bringing lower- waste tea bags to replace the ones on offer in nylon fabric with paper, string and metal staples!

Now it’s not a perfect system but I’m working on my habits.

I have to use words too.

Do you need a bag?

No, thank you!

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29 comments on “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

  1. hollymayroberts
    March 20, 2014

    I love this. Good work. Also good work on spreading the word and love. 🙂

    Like

  2. silverbells2012
    March 20, 2014

    I have found a source for totally biodegradable teabags which I fill with herbs (eg fennel).

    It’s amazing, though, how plastic gets into so much stuff – the back of rail tickets, for example. When I recently turned the compost heap, the paper on these had decomposed but there were small sheets of plastic to then pick out and throw away!!!

    Seems like you have gone a long way to reducing the amount of plastic in your life, anyway 🙂

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 20, 2014

      It’s an ongoing process. Like you say the stealth plastic is really hard to eliminate!

      Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 20, 2014

        Well, if I use the train, I hardly have a choice :-S

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 20, 2014

        Thats true. Some places now are digital though. We have a train pass system making tickets unnecessary which helps.

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 20, 2014

        Great stuff! We need that here….

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 20, 2014

        Our ‘oyster card’ equivalent is for the whole country on buses, trains and trams.

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        March 21, 2014

        I think if there was an ‘oyster’ card where I live at least it would only be one piece of plastic – much less in the long run than the slivers on the back of paper tickets.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 21, 2014

        Yep. The card should last some several years. It’s very handy.

        Like

  3. Rambling Woods
    March 20, 2014

    And I thought I was the only one with a spoon in my purse…. We too are trying to reduce

    Like

  4. tootlepedal
    March 21, 2014

    I like the idea of your own coffee cup.

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      It’s really handy. It’s also great when you travel. On TV last night they said at airports all food outlets are obliged to give water so having an empty container then is useful too.

      Like

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      It’s very handy. I use it all the time now.

      Like

  5. disappearingwoman
    March 21, 2014

    Everyone in my house has their own reusable BPA free Nalgene water bottle and a BPA free “to go” coffee cup. We each have our own color so no one ever takes someone else’s. The grocery stores in our area have stopped providing free bags, but I’ve used the cloth ones for years. They hold more things and you don’t have to make as many trips when bringing groceries in. 🙂

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      That’s brilliant. It’s all about habits. We use bags for everything.

      Like

      • disappearingwoman
        March 21, 2014

        Us, too! I think I have a few bags that are 20 years old! We’re very lucky that our waste management company takes all of our recyclables once a week. We don’t even have to separate them. We also have a large metal recycling center about two miles from us that we’ve used a few times.

        Like

      • lizard100
        March 21, 2014

        Every little helps. We have three separate bins and then we also isolate paper and glass.

        Like

  6. Debra
    March 21, 2014

    My city banned single use plastic bags a year ago. It really didn’t take people very long to adjust. One of the nicest benefits is walking through parks now and NOT seeing plastic bags caught in trees or choking streams. My goal this year is to reduce our use of plastic even more. Zero plastic is almost impossible but we are trying.

    My husband drinks tea. He uses a cute little metal thingy that he puts the tea leaves into and then puts that into his cup. He started using tea leaves instead of bags after I told him a little story about a lady i knew from Ceylon. She grew up on a tea plantation and when she first moved to Canada she was horrified by the tea in bags in all the stores. She said that dry tea dust was the stuff they used to sweep up and put in the animal feed and compost bins. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      It’s not difficult to change habits and very satisfying. We use a teapot with a steel sieve built in. I think loose tea tastes better.

      Like

  7. bushlady
    March 21, 2014

    Great ideas. Every small bit helps! I know some people use loose tea with a metal contraption (can’t remember what they are called).

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      We do. Our teapot has a built in sieve. Loose teas are available from lots if fair trade and small companies too. Thanks for reading

      Like

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      It’s maybe a tea ball. They can be a bit fiddly to clean sometimes.

      Like

  8. Jenni
    March 21, 2014

    I love your ideas. I have a cup like that for my husband so he has his coffee when travelling without having to go takeout and the same with water. I’ve also started making my own corial or fruit mixes and re-using the bottles for that so we don’t buy anymore. The recycling is easy but it is the reduced we have to work on I think – all of us as that is what will really make a difference long term I believe.

    Like

    • lizard100
      March 21, 2014

      Your so right. We use some of our home grown Fruit to make cordials too. Packaging can be a real problem.

      Like

  9. Terri&Anna-May
    August 3, 2014

    Reblogged this on Down and out in Bristol with plastic and commented:
    Some good tips here, even doing a few of these will make a difference!

    Like

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