Let’s revisit the first of the three R’s of creation care. The idea is to REDUCE the amount of unwanted stuff that comes into your home in the first place.  An astonishing 146 million tons of solid waste goes in to landfills in the U.S. every year. Located in “someone else’s backyard,” landfills are notorious for environmental injustice and for methane, which contributes to climate change. If you are doing some decluttering, look for alternatives; donate, rehome, or recycle instead of trashing.

I just saw a note from my garbage hauler about the costs to recycle. Glass and aluminum are easy, but did you know less than 10% of plastic gets recycled?  Due to the variety, it’s a real challenge to recycle plastics. Most of it continues to pile up in landfills and in our oceans. The best thing we can do is keep it out of our garbage in the first place.  Look for new ways to reduce your usage of plastic in 2023.  Perhaps you could try bringing your own containers to shop the bulk foods section at the store; just be sure to write down the weight of the container.  You can save money, and the container is reusable.  Carrying empty containers into the store is a good way to remind you to bring your reusable shopping bags too!  Now, we’re addressing REUSE!

When you need to return an item of clothing you bought online, do you imagine it is handled with care and eventually sold to someone else? Unfortunately, much of what is sent back gets sent on to landfills. Before you buy, take your measurements, use the size charts, and rely on customer reviews. Before you return anything, check with friends. Perhaps they would add the piece to their wardrobe if it’s right for them.

I would add a fourth R before RECYCLE, and that’s REPAIR.  Do you know how to sew on a button if one falls off a shirt or pair of pants? It’s a life skill that will save money and keep clothes intact. Maybe you have a larger problem that requires a sewing machine. Have you ever heard of a fix-it clinic?  Some local counties have clinics that offer repairs to clothing, yes, but also appliances!  Maybe you have a lamp, vacuum cleaner, or fan that’s broken.  Don’t just throw it in the garbage.  Try bringing it to a fix-it clinic!  https://www.familyfuntwincities.com/fix-it-clinics/


Throwing things in the garbage is the easy way out of “stuff”, but it’s not good for God’s creation which means it’s not good for us.  Take a little extra time to consider all the angles before you bring things into or throw things out of your home. Let’s be kinder to this planet we call our home.