By Sherry Swensk

Living your best self every day should include having the planet’s best interests somewhere in your daily routine. It can be as simple as diligently recycling plastic water bottles and newspapers. You can raise your consumer eco-consciousness and shop for earth-friendly products before hitting the “buy now” button.

Take a quick survey of your routine around the house. How much stuff do you just throw away that—with a little effort—could be recycled or repurposed? I’m a hard-core recycler, but I admit I’m the worst at being clever with useful clutter or even broken items that seem too promising to toss. But I have found some websites to inspire ideas.

When it comes to shopping for new products, there are many ways to support an Earth-friendly marketplace.

You may already be a Pinterest fanatic, which is a treasure trove of ideas on how to do just about everything with anything. Other resources like DIY (diyinspired.com/tag/repurposing-ideas) have a landfill full of ideas on how to reuse your unwanted household stuff.

If you are the slightest bit crafty or can handle a glue gun; then you can upcycle with the best of them. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time and talent. Did you ever think of making a bookshelf out of a broken ladder? Or a bird feeder from a chipped tea cup and saucer? Visit diyncrafts.com for more ideas.

In fact, you many never throw anything away again! I know that sounds dangerous, so before you decide to dive into being a repurposing diva, make sure you have time and space to save items.

When it comes to shopping for new products, there are many ways to support an Earth-friendly marketplace. Shopping habits matter, and environmental experts say the more consumers ask for eco-conscious materials and manufacturing in the products they buy, the sooner the variety and availability of those products will become mainstream and easier on the waste stream. Merchandise and goods that are made with pre-consumer and/or post-consumer waste have varying degrees of eco-benefits.
Pre-consumer waste saves scraps and trimmings from production materials that get repurposed into a different product instead of being thrown away. Post-consumer waste is a product that’s been used and then diverted from the landfill to be recycled into something else, like office printer paper or detergent bottles.

You
may already be
a Pinterest fanatic, which is a treasure trove of ideas on how to do just about everything with anything
Look for brands and labels that offer to take back their used clothing, shoes or cosmetic containers to be recycled into new products, sometimes offering a freebie product in exchange for your eco-effort. The clothing company Patagonia (patagonia.com/us/worn-wear) asks for their active outdoor wear back when you’re done having fun with it, so it can be reworn or recycled into new cool gear.

If you’re ready to toss out your yoga mat, down dog! Even those can be reused and recycled through a cool program by the Boulder Mat Company (theboldermatcompany.com). Yoga charities around the country are in need of mats for their school, elderly and underprivileged exercise programs. Talk about good karma!

And finally, a company that is really good at reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills with their unique and fun products

is reuseit.com. They have eco-endless ways to reuse and reduce everything for the whole family. They even donate 1 percent of their sales to environmental groups.

So living your best eco-self is easier than you think. Even small changes to your habits at home and how you shop can improve your planet-friendly image of yourself.

Sherry Swensk
Sherry Swensk
Sherry Swensk produces the daily segment “Living Green for Las Vegas” for 8 News Now.
Read her blog at green.lasvegasnow.com.
Stay up to date with Sherry on Facebook and Twitter: Facebook.com/SherrySwensk and @SherrySwensk

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