« A non-statistical sample | Main | Re-gifting: Yay or Nea? »




I am reducing my Diet Coke consumption (fountain when I'm out or nothing) and recycling the parts of my class notebooks that I won't use again. I am figuring out a way to keep and store my class notes and articles that I will use again, and I think I will reuse some file folders and used binders that I found in a cabinet in my office. Not entirely my personal stuff, but I managed to get rid of all of my office and school supplies a few moves ago, and am trying not to buy any more.


Jana, I am so happy to read your comment. I am also reducing my Diet Coke consumption. Before, it had been, "Let's get it down to three a day." (Don't ask: it was up there for a while.) But maybe I can wean myself down to your guidelines by the end of the month!


For January, I will try to totally reduce our use of plastic grocery sacks. We have a bunch of canvas bags that the spouse gets for free from various technical/academic conferences so we need to use them instead of the plastic grocery bags. (Our main hurdle seems to be remembering to take the bags to the store...sigh.) I need to reuse many of the organizational items from my old office to set up my husband's home office since his invoicing and other office management stuff is a mess (tax season is a'comin'!). Now that Christmas has past, it is time to recycle all of the catalogs and we got in the mail.

As for reducing your Diet Coke consumption, good luck Lisa and Jana! It is a very hard habit to break but your bones and teeth will thank you. (Plus, my stomach felt so much better without all the carbonation.)

drunken monkey

I'm in; one of my ongoing resolutions for the year, broken into several parts, is to get my apartment in better order, so I think it'll be handy to have three goals to attach myself to every month.

I'm reducing the number of newspapers that come into the apartment. I currently get one paper seven days a week and another on Saturdays, and occasionally buy one or two others. I don't get time to sit down and actually read the paper every day so the damn things really start to pile up; I do most of my news reading online. And half of the Saturday paper ends up in the recycle bin without even being looked at, as I am not looking to buy a car or a condo and consider my boyfriend my own personal sports news RSS feeder. Besides, when I do want a paper copy, I get them for free at work. So I'll be canceling my existing subscriptions and going digital-only.

I'm buying new, much-needed bedsheets this month, so I will reuse our old ones by cutting them up and using them for cleaning rags. I'm always looking for a cloth when I'm dusting.

And I will recycle all the old magazines that I have lying around, because I'm obviously never going to get to that issue of Harper's from June 2006.


drunken monkey - better than using your sheets for rags - if you eat chicken, use them when you roast them. Soak the sheets in butter, then put them over the chicken. As you need to baste, the sheet distributes the juices well, but doesn't steam the bird like tin foil. Every once in a while (once for a chicken, maybe twice for a turkey) make sure that you can still move the cloth and gently separate it if it's stuck to the skin.

I'm running low on old sheets, and rather jealous that you have expanses of them. Color me foolish.

Reduce - number of pre-packaged sweets I buy. I can make as many as I want, but it's not worth spending the money on them and having them be neither as tasty nor as nutritious.

Reuse - gradually switch to rechargable batteries.

Recycle - bring old non-rechargable batteries to someplace where I can recycle them safely. I believe both Staples and IKEA offer this service.


Lisa, do you remember hiring me at the CT? I came across teevee.org, and now I'm here, so I'm jumping in.

For January, I am happy to say that we are reducing the number of diapers in our house. Our daughter is finally getting the hang of using the toilet, so I'm going to take the $50 we spend every month and redirect it to her college fund.

I'm going to recycle our plastic grocery bags. I tend to check our supply, and if we have too many, throw them out. I am also going to recycle the Christmas catalogs that I normally toss. We have a great curbside recycling program, so I have no excuse.

My item for reuse this month is a seashell necklace. It's been in my to-be-repaired pile for a while, but I took a good look at it yesterday and realized that I won't be able to restring it. Instead of tossing it, I'm going to add the shells to our garden.


I'm in!

Reduce: At work, try to cut unnecessary printing. At home, avoid buying things that aren't already "on the list" -- i.e., it's OK to buy a shirt if I have already identified the need for a shirt, but it's less OK to buy a shirt because I was at Ann Taylor and saw a pretty one.

Reuse: At work, print on the backs of things when that's practical. At home, cut off the handles of the LL Bean tote bag that my aunt gave me when I was 13 that got mangled in the washer and use it for a knitting/yarn basket.

Recycle: At work, all paper goes in the recycling from now on! At home, keep up with paper recycling and find out more about what kinds of plastic I can recycle.


Lisa K! Heck, yes, I remember you. I still remember the student film you made. Best of the bunch that we watched over in McBryde.


I am so excited to have everyone posting!

Small progress report:

Reducing: Down to 3 cans of Diet Coke daily, for three days running. I am keeping a log of my intake.

Reusing: I was originally going to use my body butter containers to start the seeds for my spring vegetables (drill holes in the bottom for drainage, use the lids as a saucer); now, I will find something else for them.

Recycling: The tree's getting picked up by a local Boy Scout troop for mulching on Saturday morning.


I'm in. For January: Reduce my Coke consumption (not even diet for me!) by buying a 6 pack every week and halting buying them at fast food places, Reuse/use up food in the house, and Recycle the cardboard standup promoting the release of Moulin Rouge on Cinemax. Because someone else must need a little Ewan Macgregor around the house, no?

Amy D

My big one for this month is recycling. I've cleaned out my magazine pile (took old ones to work for the breakroom), sold some books to Half-Price, sold a bunch of CDs, gave some clothes to Goodwill, and put a bunch of old school notes in the recycling bin. That was my big beginning-of-year purge.

I've also resolved to be less lazy and just carry the damn vegetable scraps out the compost heap instead of putting them in the garbage disposal. Sometimes I am really good at this for months, and other times I am a big flake.

I always reuse plastic grocery bags for cat litter scooping, and I did just cut up some old sheets for rags, so I'm going easy on myself on this one this month and saying that I've done enough until next month.

Reducing: I'm reducing my Coke consumption to zero (I only drink it a few times a week at work anyway, so this one will be fairly easy).


I'll be recycling all of the cans, bottles, paperboard boxes, and random paper that is already sitting in my kitchen sorted and ready to go. Which is where it has been for... a few months maybe? (We have curbside recycling. I'm just not great at remembering to put my stuff in the boxes before the people who rent the front house fill them up.)

All this talk of reducing Diet Coke, it's a painful thought, but fine, I'll join in. I'll be aiming for an upper limit of 2 per day. With exemptions for free refill places. Those count as 1, regardless. (I can't help it!!!)

Re-use, re-use... how about I just say that I will attack the mold with vinegar first before going to less environmentally friendly alternatives. I have a huge mold problem at the moment which I have been studiously ignoring for a few days.


I'll give it a shot.
Reduce: I'll try to reduce the amount of meat we eat buy making one new meatless dinner each week.
Re-use: Empty plastic containers (yogurt, cream cheese, etc.) will become my daughter's new sand toys.
Re-cycle: I will remember that curbside christmas tree recycling is next week and will not have the tree hanging around the back yard until October like I have in the past.


Haven't decided exactly what my three are going to be for January yet... but for you Diet Coke people... have you thought about switching to the 8-oz cans? This was my tricky trick; now when I go to the fridge for a DC, I'm still getting my DC, but I'm actually consuming two-thirds as much. We try to buy the little cans of sodas whenever possible, because really, who needs 12 whole ounces?

Plus, they're just so cute.


I'm aiming for:

Reduce: I have old clothes and some sheets that need to be donated. (My husband thinks this doesn't count, as I'm just reducing stuff, not consumption, but it's a start.)

Reuse: I'm going to search the basement for something I can use for storing sewing supplies, instead of buying something new.

Recycle: There's a battery recycling program at work, and I have a ton of dead batteries around the house.


Reduce: I just put the 2nd sturdy tote bag in my car for grocery shopping. I am at the stage where I often remember the one I have in the car, but I buy more stuff than fits into it. I really need to reduce the number of plastic bags coming into my house. I’m trying to think of it as they are charging me 5 cents a bag, rather than it’s a 5-cent discount if I bring my own.

Reuse: I need to sort out the existing plastic bags and give the ones I can’t use as trashcan liners to my friend with a dog for poop pickup.

Recycle: I desperately need another filing cabinet. I will find a 2nd hand office supply store to get one. This could fall under reuse. Because my city has a good pick up program, I already recycle papers, newspapers, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles, etc. They even pick up my Christmas tree every year for mulch, and in the spring I can pick up free mulch.

It's good for me to post my plans, it forces me to think my random ideas through and pick the practical.


Oooh, I'm in! I'll be upfront, I'm cribbing a bunch of your ideas, because they're just that good.

Reduce: The amount of "convenience meals" we eat. I don't mean that I won't be buying anything prepackaged...in fact, in order to cook real food, my schedule and location may dicate buying MORE things like frozen veggies. But we really need to get away from those nights of "i don't care, let's just make a pizza/get takeout."

Reuse: Old clothes, sheets, etc. Make good rags, and perhaps that will lead to another reduction of paper towel use (although wasting paper towels is more my spouse's habit to break than mine...)

Recycle: All the plastic grocery bags currently living in our back hallway.


Stephanie, try www.concrobium.com for your mold. It's environmentally benign, and it's supposed kill the mold and seal in the spores; better than vinegar or bleach. (We have a moldy room in our basement and the Concrobium is standing by, but we haven't tackled it yet.)

As for me:

Reduce: Plastic shopping bags and bottled water. We have many reusable bags, we just have to get better about remembering to take them into the store. As for bottled water, we filter tap water in our Brita for use at home, and I will use empty glass juice bottles for taking it on the road.

Reuse: The above glass bottles. I don't want to use plastic anymore, too many worries about what leaches out of it, especially once you start running it through the dishwasher.

Recycle: All the Christmas cardboard that's taking over the garage.


This is such a good idea, and so timely. Here's what I'll be doing:

Reduce: I will be trying to reduce our use of paper towels and plastic wrap, by moving some of my existing rags to the kitchen for spills, rather than dirtying the nice tea towels we use for drying dishes, and by using small reusable Gladware containers instead of plastic wrap for most things.

Reuse: Cut up some of the boy's old-t-shirts for more rags, as well as using them for packing fraglie things. Also, use up as much of the food in the house as possible because I don't want to move it.

Recycle: TONS of stuff is going in the recycle bin, including magazines, old bank statements (shredded of course), recipes I printed but never made, old and out of date maps, etc. I'll also be donating a tonne of books and clothing to various places (and will probably try to sell some of the nicer clothes) and clearing out knicknacks that will also go to Value Village.


Reducing: I am going to count this for January even though I technically bought the yogurt-maker in December--I'm making my own yogurt now and so can reduce the number of little containers I throw away every week.

I'm also going to take a bunch of my backpacker clothes to the Salvation Army store this month.

Too, I would like to reduce the amount of bottled water I buy. In the past I have done so just by being semi-dehydrated all the time but I think I'm going to try to find another way.

Recycling: We don't have curbside recycling in my flat block so I am going to get into the habit of bringing our junk mail to work with me so I can recycle it there. I also need to find out where to recycle our glass and plastic from the house.

Reducing: I want to remember to bring along my bulk foods bags with me in addition to my big re-useable bags every time I go tot he grocery store.

(Lisa: I have had good luck with re-using the smaller-size body-butter things, just by refilling them with sunscreen or pump-bottle lotion and having one with me at work or while traveling, which I especially like because you don't have to worry about the bottles exploding on the plane. I don't know how handy that would be with the larger ones, though.)


1. I donate old clothes to Goodwill.
2. I do not subscribe to a daily or a Sunday newspaper. All my news is online or on TV.
3. We have blue bins next to our trash bins at work to recycle all paper (And a law firm? Creates a freakin' LOT of paper).
4. I use a coffee mug at work, not the coffe cups they provide.
5. My county has local recycling days quarterly for hazardous waste and tires. They also have quarterly days for recycling electronics. I've already got rid of my old TV, printer & monitor this way. The PC is going soon when I get my new laptop in a couple of weeks.
6. The local library has a bin for old batteries. I dump a few in there when I go to get or return a book.
7. Here's the biggie - by local ordinance, the following **must** be recycled. (Pasted for your pleasure from the borough website . . .)
PAPER: Anything you can tear; old mail, envelopes, letters, bills, writing paper, computer paper, note book paper, magazines, newspaper, shredded paper, paperback books, hard cover books, paper bags, gift wrap etc. Shredded paper is recyclable.
CARDBOARD: All types of cardboard including; gift boxes, cereal boxes, cake boxes, pop tart boxes, snack boxes, tooth paste boxes, detergent boxes, file folders, frozen dinner boxes, cigarette box, xigarette cartons, ice cream containers etc.
PLASTIC: All plastic containers, dish liquid, detergents, cooking oils, syrup, soda, shampoo, liquid soaps, juices, coffee containers, plastic coat hangers, disposable razors, toothpaste tubes, frozen food trays, milk containers etc.
GLASS: All glass containers, pickle jars, liquor bottles, beer bottles, apple sauce jars, window
glass etc.
TIN: All tin cans, vegetable containers, coffee containers, empty clean paint cans, aerosol spray cans, metal coat hangers, candy containers etc.
ALUMINUM: All aluminum cans and containers, soda cans, pie plates, cooking pans etc.

This results in my having a total of **two** bags of trash PER MONTH.

REDUCE: I've been switching my accounts over to online statements/payments little by little. I'm going to attempt to be paper-statement free by the end of 2007 where possible.

The comments to this entry are closed.

December 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

On twitter:

    follow me on Twitter