Reduce

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Reduce – to bring down to a smaller extent, size, amount, number, etc. - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reduce

We have all heard the phrase Reduce Reuse and Recycle, but how many of us actually thing about these things? I know for much of my life, I have not thought, nor cared about any of them. I like many other people, would consume and use anything I could get my hands on.  I would eat McDonald’s every other day. Leave the lights on all over my apartment, and throw many items away that I knew I could easily recycle. So much of my life( A long and grueling almost 26 years now, I know!) has been spent doing the opposite of those three little words. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Since my wife and I have changed our diet, we have started to think more Globally. We have started to do our part. Just by changing our diet from an animal based diet, we have reduced the amount of file000870543222trash that we throw away in a week, by half. By half. That is crazy, just from changing our diet. It is not hard to see why either. Most meats come packaged in a styrofoam  dish and a sponge like paper under the meat, wrapped in plastic.  That takes up a lot of space in the trash can, even if you do break it down a little. You put one of those in your trash a day, it adds up fast.  Next you have your little plastic wrappers. With a kid who goes to school, and eats a lot of cold lunch, cheese wrappers, and other odd plastic wrappers add up quickly. Then there is just general trash, either food scraps or old containers trash.

Now, we do not have the meat packages to worry about. We hardly use our tofutti cheese, unless we really crave it. We also waste a lot less food too. I think much of it has to do with I do not feel guilty for eating a little extra, or having left overs. Many of the snack foods that we used to eat were individually packaged, creating a lot of waste. Now that most of those foods are cut out of our diet, all the trash that was created before, is now not in our trash can. This is just a small way to reduce our trash, and we are not even trying yet. When it comes spring time, my wife and I are going to start a compost, reduce our trash tremendously. There are so many great ways to help and be a positive, it is crazy to think that people do not want to even try.

Since our diet has changed, we think more Globally. What else can we do that we have not thought of to make the world a better place. My wife and I have started to think more actively on this. One of the things that we are trying out is cutting down on our electricity. All of our bulbs are the energy-saving kind. That is not the only way we are trying to reduce our electric bill. We are starting to use candles instead of turning on lights. Today was the first day in trying this. With just candle light, I brushed my teeth, folded and put away all of our laundry, and washed dishes. This was great. Now I know not every family can do this, but think about what your family can do.

Some of the things that my wife and I have thought about doing to reduce our negative impact on the world are : Use candles, make our own cleaning supplies, do not grab plastic bags to put our fruits and vegetables in at the store, use only  reusable bags when grocery shopping, take shorter showers, and recycle as much as we possibly can.

There are many ways for you and your family to help out.  Check out this site for some great tips. http://ehs.columbia.edu/ReduceReuseRecycle.html If you have any great ideas to help reduce in the average daily life, go ahead and leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for reading.
Garrett

For more great articles, and ways to make the world a better place, visit us at The Growing Patch.  

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