OK,  not mantras exactly, but choose just one of these “R” words to hang your hat on for the new year. Like mantras, they’re easy to remember, and can kick start a new habit for a simpler, greener, year to help you live with less stuff and more fun!

This year, resolve to:

  • REFUSE free stuff when it’s offered to you. I’m looking at you, cheapo pen from an insurance company or bank.
  • REDUCE the amount of stuff in your home, whether through a one room at a time decluttering cleanse, or an all out minimalist mission like the one Marie Kondo expouts on her bestselling book, “The Magic of Tidying Up”.
  • REPAIR one item now, while it’s still repairable, before it has to be tossed and replaced. I’m taking my boots to the Gear Fix tomorrow!
  • REUSE your coffee cup, water bottle or shopping bag – whichever one you MOST need to be reminded about and results in the most waste.
  • RECYCLE old electronics, like phones and cords, that are cluttering up a drawer in your house, then Find A Recycler for your stuff.
  • RENEW your library books! No need to keep buying books that you read once and fill up your shelves, just get them from the library! They even have e-books, and you can download free songs every week through Freegal.
  • RENT things that you don’t plan on using very often, or just trying something out to see if you like it. (truck, tools, outdoor gear, etc!) This idea can also apply to buying used items from a thrift store or consignment shop. Buy it cheap, use it for the event/experience you need it for, then resell or donate it again.
  • REARRANGE your living space as you start the new year. It freshens things up, helps you see your space and stuff differently, and curbs the desire to buy new stuff. Enlist a friend to help!

 

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Photo Credit: Design Sponge

  1. How can we better support local gardens. Our garden and bee attracting plants create a lot of refuse over the period of a year. We try to compost as much as possible, but some of the more “stick” material is difficult to get rid of in a timely manner.
    We’re discouraged from burning it in small burning barrels. And we can only take it to the dump if we have a truck. It we put it out for pickup it costs too much.
    We need a way to support local gardeners who are growing some of their own food.
    Any suggestions???
    Add in a few chickens and the need for a solution get even greater.
    We need to support this kind of activity in Redmond and central oregon.
    Thanks

    • Hi Dick, great question! Yes it takes a ton of time for that more woody material to break down in a home compost bin, and is more suitable for commercial composting, as it will be chipped and processed much quicker. If you don’t have a truck, it can be tricky to transport. If you live in Redmond city limits, I would suggest ordering a yard debris bin – this is a great way to get rid of stuff you don’t want to compost on site,and you don’t have to transport it yourself. If you are out of city limits, my next suggestion would be to get together with neighbors to share resources. Sharing some of your harvest in the summer may smooth the way towards adding your stuff to a neighbors trip to Negus Transfer Station in Redmond where they accept wood waste and yard debris. Good Luck!

    • Dave – I love this list because it is a great way to look at the extra stuff in our lives that just end up being clutter. However, most of the stuff she lists could be donated or recycled instead of actually thrown away.

  2. A new year resolution driven towards recycling and renewing, i feel, i greatly ignored by most people – myself included. I would add to include helping out your local community tidy and recycle. You’d be surprised how contagious the “go-green” mentality can be.

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