(1) Reduce junk mail: This is a win-win for everyone. Opt out of direct mail solicitations by visiting the Federal Trade Commission site. Here you can opt-out of pre-screened credit card offers and other direct mail solicitations.
(2) Eat Less Meat: Opting for a few meat-free meals per week is also good for your health and your wallet. The production of meat consumes tremendous resources especially when compared to the tomato grown in your backyard or at least locally-sourced!
(3) Buy High-Quality Goods = Buying Less: It’s really simple and we’ve all had this experience. The $25 coat purchased at Target had a cute pattern and bright colors but the zipper broke and the stitching began to fray midway through the winter while the $60-$80 coat from LL Bean lasted several seasons and will be a welcomed hand-me-down to a niece. The same principal applies to everything. Be patient, buy less, opt for quality.
(4) Consignment / Hand-Me-Downs: Birmingham Moms are pros about consignment shopping but no one ever reminds us that it’s also eco-friendly. So, here’s a pat on the back! You are saving money and the earth. (Now, if only you could remember the recyclable bags on the next grocery trip, we know!)
(5) Repairs: Due to the pace of our lives and culture, we tend to throw items out when broken. However, many things (especially of a certain quality.. see number 3) can be repaired. Shoes, small appliances, clothes, iphones, lamps, furniture, etc. Look hard enough and you’ll find a knowledgeable, local small business owner who knows everything about [insert item here.] My personal favorite in this category – House of Vacuums on Crestwood Blvd — those guys are really into vacuums and directed me to a far less expensive but better constructed vacuum years ago.
Bonus Tip (and don’t shoot the messenger here) – STOP giving out plastic bags with cheap plastic toys (that seldom last longer than the car ride home)as party favors at birthday parties. Do we really need the party favors? How about making a donation to the Birmingham Zoo, McWane Center or the Humane Society for the same amount. You’ll give each family a wonderful conversation home talking about the gift made in his/her honor.
Also, Hazardous Waste Recycling Day scheduled for this Saturday, April 26th at Legion Field.