3 Steps to Going Green

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Three Steps to Becoming Green

Here are the steps I had to employ to overcome the afore-mentioned pitfalls to becoming more environmentally-conscious. Read through them carefully but don’t be shy about modifying them to fit your family or lifestyle. Remember: the goal is living in the Circle of Life, not recycling.
Step one:Have Faith in the Circle of Life

The need for having faith in the “big picture” came to me in a vision over a decade ago while throwing out my once-fresh Christmas tree. I used to wait as long as possible to throw out my tree, either after Orthodox Christmas a week or two into January or when the tree became a combustible fire hazard, whichever came first.

While reflecting on the tragedy of cutting down a tree and then throwing it into a dumpster, a voice spoke to me – I hope it was God – saying how the need for trees to celebrate Christmas sparked the thoughts in the minds of heroic and entrepreneurial Americans to create Christmas tree farms, which in turn led to advances in reforestation techniques and technologies that also regenerated many of the forests devastated by clear-cutting and Mount St. Helens.

Because of the need for Christmas trees, there are actually more trees on the planet today, not less. Obviously, this has been true for food as well, thanks to the heroism of farmers and agriculture scientists, who have optimized sowing and reaping to the point where NY steaks and broccoli were at the lowest prices ever at Smith’s Food Center this weekend.
Faith in the Circle of Life allows me to rinse out my empty V-8 can with water, since the money I pay for the water helps employ people at the Water District and the Sewer District, positively affecting the economy, and ensures that wastewater is treated and recycled into safe water and then returned into the community’s faucets, showers, and golf courses.
Step two: Establish an In-Home System

If there is no system in place, we won’t recycle.

Until I put my Protein Shake system in place, making shakes was just too much of a hassle to do consistently.

With recycling, calling Republic Services to deliver recycling bins was only the first step.

An in-home system also had to be established for my bottles and cans.

Yes, a Brita-style water filter is more environmentally-friendly than recycling plastic Aquafina bottles, but I don’t get nauseous from Aquafina like I do reverse-osmosis tap water, so my in-home system must have a provision for plastic.

Remember, what’s good for pelicans… Each empty plastic bottle and V-8 can is deposited into a recyclables wastebasket in the laundry room. To reduce the need to pre-rinse the containers, I line the wastebasket with a 33-gallon trash bag that I can seal-up and take to the curb when full. I’ve noticed that just by making this effort for cans and plastic – yes, the recycling center’s machines can separate the two so I don’t have to – it has become second nature to bring empty vitamin bottles and milk cartons directly to the bin.
Step three: Sharpen the Saw

By this, I mean, continually refine and improve your system based on the needs – and challenges – of your own household.

If the recyclables wastebasket is too far away to be convenient, you may have to put a smaller one in your kitchen.

People who continue to throw plastic and cans in with the rest of the garbage do so not to be environmentally-unfriendly, but because they have a system in place that makes throwing out regular garbage too convenient.

If there wasn’t a receptacle for regular garbage in the kitchen, we’d leave our trash on the counter or the dining room table, like we do in restaurants.

With trash receptacles in the dining room, however, like at fast-food restaurants, most of us will take our trash there. Likewise, if you have a receptacle for recyclables in your kitchen, you will be far more likely to get in the habit of becoming more environmentally responsible with your plastics and cans.

 

About the author:

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Tiger Todd is the founder and CEO of Hero School and Heroes Inc. He is a motivational speaker, a business consultant, and a powerful changemaker. For the past 10+ years, he has been devoted to solving the issue of homelessness.

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