Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-The 3 Rs of a Green Family

Leading your family in living a green lifestyle can be as simple as remembering three simple rules, all beginning with the letter R: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. If you can remember these and keep them in mind for all kinds of daily decisions, you will be living in a way that is environmentally responsible. Make signs with the three R’s and put them where family members can be reminded of them. Read further to learn why each one is so important for green family values.


Reducing simply means getting rid of what you really don’t need. If you generate less garbage, you will be keeping it out of landfills. When you make purchases, pay attention to excessive packaging. If what the product comes in will result in a lot of waste, choose another product. Shop carefully, and if you must spend more make it for better quality or multiple use products that will be around longer. When tempted to make that impulsive purchase, ask yourself first if it is really something you need, or just a luxury that you want but may change your mind later.

With your organic garbage and food scraps, you can start a compost heap rather than throwing it away. It makes great fertilizer for a beautiful organic garden, which provides another way to avoid unnecessary purchases and packaging by growing your own produce.


In order to decrease your family’s landfill contribution, it is also a good idea to cut down on disposable products which are marketed to be used once and thrown away. Use reusable items that can be washed and reused and you will be conserving planetary resources and cutting down on needless waste. It is much more eco-friendly to use reusable flatware, glasses, and dishes instead of disposable ones. It also adds a nice touch add cloth napkins to table settings instead of paper.

If you have a baby in the house, consider using cloth diapers and baby wipes. If the laundry this might generate intimidates you, you can always use the money you save on disposable diapers to pay for a diaper service.


Recycling is a great way to use materials to make new products instead of throwing them away. Materials such as plastic, aluminum, glass, and cardboard are all recyclable to make new products rather than filling landfills with more waste. This conserves money and energy. Also make it a habit for your family to purchase post consumer recycled content materials. It is a great opportunity to teach your children what recycling can do.

Another smart way to recycle is to buy gently used second hand clothing or toys and donate what you no longer need so that others can use them. Thrift stores are great places to find “new to you” items to enjoy, or on local online lists like Freecycle or Craigslist. You can join a clothing or book swap to exchange with others and reduce waste. There are even drop-offs to recycle used eyeglasses or cell phones for others who need them.

Any family can learn the 3Rs of responsible environmentalism. It can be fun to adopt some of these tips and learn together as a family about the impact we all have on our environment.