Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

recycle symbolSome days you get those subtle reminders about things you should be doing. You know the things you think about but are not always diligent about doing in the rush of the day? Sometimes it takes an ah-ha moment or maybe more than one in a day to make you start to take notice—that maybe you need to change some of your old habits in order to make a subtle difference in our world.

My first ah-ha moment came when I was backing out of the driveway on the way to work and I had to dodge the recycling truck as it was headed straight to the curb by my house to pick up the items in my recycle bin. This is the one day of the week when I can be proud to show what I’ve done as part of my city’s curbside recycling program.

Yes, my bin was curbside with my week’s worth of newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles and other assorted cans. But I admit it probably could have contained a few more things that in the haste of the week got pitched in the garbage or just for my lack of knowledge I didn’t realize could actually be recycled until I looked up the city recycling rules on the Web later that day.

As I made my way past the truck and through my neighborhood, I took notice of the lack of other recycle bins on my street—leading me to believe many of my neighbors still had not grasped the importance of recycling or at least didn’t have something to show for it that week. So I thought what else could I be doing to influence those neighbors about the benefits of recycling. Like maybe preparing a colorful flyer on (recycled paper)and distributing it to my neighbors’ door as a reminder of what items are part of the city recycle program and how they can take part. This is something you could do and put your REALTOR® logo on it!

No matter at home or at the office recycling should be something we are thinking about each and every day.

My second ah-ha came for me at the office later that same day. It was one of those days, documents coming in via e-mail and as I was getting ready to throw a piece of paper into the trash I caught myself looking down at what was already accumulating in the waste basket and thought I need to be printing a lot less in order to save a few more trees in this world.

22469276Think of this fact from the Earth 911 Web site, The average office worker in the U.S. uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. That’s 4 million tons of copy paper used annually. Office workers in the U.S. generate approximately 2 pounds of paper and paperboard products every day. So before you press the print button one more time, think to yourself:

Does this document really need to be printed?
Can I save it to my e-mail folder for easy retrieval if I need to access it in the future electronically?
Where can I save it on my hard-drive for easy access?

And additionally. Do you recycle every chance you get? How can you assist to be an advocate for your city’s recycling program? If your city doesn’t have a program can you volunteer to learn how to get one started? Can you do more to educate new homebuyers about your city’s recycling program? Are there materials you can provide?

Last but not least, don’t forget REALTORS®, before you trade in your cell phone for a new one, that too can be recycled!