5 “Out of the Box” Ways to Simplify at Home

Sure there are a million ways to be more green, but sometimes the thought of saving the earth can be a bit overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but I think I am doing my part, just because I recycle. In honor of Earth Day, however, I created a simple list of 5 “out of the box” ways to be greener at home. My challenge to you is to pick one or two new strategies, and commit to making a positive environmental impact. Remember that simple changes to your lifestyle can have huge impact over time. Here’s a few ways to make a difference now:
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Start a Compost Bin // 5 “Out of the Box” Ways to Simplify at Home // simplyspaced.com
 
1. START A COMPOST BIN
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Millions of tons of biodegradable trash end up in landfills every year. If you have a family like mine, I bet your fridge looks like a landfill on occasion too. Make a commitment to adopting a new method for reducing home and environmental waste by starting a compost bin. I promise, it’s easy! Some cities offer free or reduced cost compost bins to residents, so look up your local Public Works Service Department and reserve one today. It is Earth Day after all. I got mine from the City of Arcadia for $35.
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BONUS: Try worm composting to produce fertilizer for your lawn and garden, and teach your family about green living!
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Identify Your “Household Hazardous Waste Center // 5 “Out of the Box” Ways to Simplify at Home // simplyspaced.com
 
2. IDENTIFY YOUR “HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE CENTER”
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Household hazardous waste left lying around your house can make you sick and poses a hazard to the environment if not disposed of properly. Make a commitment to spending 20 minutes this week, going around your house and collecting any items that need to be disposed of and take them to your local safe center. A simple google search is all you need, and this is information you should know! Household hazardous waste is defined as any substance containing ingredients that could negatively affect your safety, health or the environment.  Remember, you live in these communities and it is your soil and water we need to protect! Here’s a sample list of items accepted at our local S.A.F.E Center, straight from the City of LA’s website:
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  • Motor oil, oil filter, brake fluid
  • Used antifreeze
  • Pain, paint thinner, turpentine
  • Cleaners with acid or lye
  • Pesticides or herbicides
  • Household batteries or car batteries
  • Pool chemicals
  • CRTs, old TVs, misc. electronics
  • Mercury thermometers or thermostats
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Used needles or sharps (In a Sharps container or sturdy box labeled “SHARPS”)
  • Unwanted or expired prescriptions

 

NOTE: I caution you NOT to hand off disposal of these items to landscapers, housekeepers or handymen unless you are certain that they will be disposed of properly. It only took me one time to see a few gallons of paint tossed in the dumpster to learn this lesson.
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 Start an “E-Waste” Box In Your Home // 5 “Out of the Box” Ways to Simplify at Home // simplyspaced.com
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3. START AN “E-WASTE” BOX IN YOUR HOME
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Now that you have identified your local safe recycling center, you know where to drop off old batteries, and electronic waste as it accumulates in your home. Because today we are more connected than ever and much of our lives are battery and device operated, electronic waste is accumulating in our homes all the time. According to Popular Science, 110 billion pounds of e-waste will go straight into the trash over the next three years. Unfortunately, much of that waste contain hazardous materials like mercury, lead, phosphors and ozone depleting elements. You can do your part, by simply starting a small box labeled “e-waste”  and encouraging all family members to safely dispose of batteries, remotes, chargers, and defective equipment.
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NOTE: For larger items like refrigerators or computers, contact your local Waste Management center for free pickup.
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Adopt a “Water Wise” Mantra // 5 “Out of the Box” Ways to Simplify at Home // simplyspaced.com
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4. ADOPT A “WATER WISE” MANTRA
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I don’t know where you live, but here in California, we’ve been experiencing a drought that’s of grave concern to our state (and it’s not just because we didn’t get to ski over the holidays).  Being water aware is important for all of us though, and there’s no better day to start than Earth day. At Simply Spaced, we believe that less is more and water use is one area where we can reduce our global impact on the daily. Reducing shower time, using cold water for laundry, adjusting settings on your machines for proper load size and planting drought resistant plants are just a few ways to be water wise this year.
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We’d love to hear any other ideas you have to simplify at home in an eco conscious way. Feel free to leave your comments below. The key is to be conscious of your water use and reduce where you can. Teaching your kids, and husbands, not to leave the water running while brushing their teeth is a great place to start!
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 Bring Your Own Bottle // 5 “Out of the Box” Ways to Simplify at Home // simplyspaced.com
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5.  BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE
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Being mindful of our addiction to plastic is habit all of us should adopt. Serious kudos to you if you are buying in bulk to avoid extra packaging, or shopping local farmers markets to reduce your plastic take home. Many of us however, fail to commit to some pretty basic green habits, like carrying our own water bottles and travel mugs on a daily basis. I never thought about it until today, writing this actually, but I alone have thrown out hundreds of cups from my morning lattes, while knowing I had a travel mug in my cupboard. Today I am committing to avoiding plastic bottles, and remembering to bring my coffee canteen to Starbucks. Who’s joining me today in a commitment to one small thing you can do to make a difference?
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5 COMMENTS
  • Danae
    May 13, 2015

    Great information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).

    I have saved as a favorite for later!

  • Claretta
    May 16, 2015

    Thanks for finally writing about > 5 “Out of the Box” Ways
    to Simplify at Home – simply spaced < Liked it!

  • EarlieMDies
    June 25, 2015

    Hello, I enjoy reading through your post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

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