“Waste Not Want Not.”  Is this a directive from God?

When they all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:12 (NIV)

Let’s look at this scripture for a moment. For those of you who are not familiar with this scripture, this is the story of when Jesus fed the 5000 (not including women and children so it was probably considerably more than 5000!) with just a young boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish. What I find interesting is that Jesus makes a point of instructing the disciples to make sure that none of the leftovers are to be wasted.

When I was a child I remember my grandmother saying to us children that if we waste food then one day we would find ourselves hungry and without food (this is paraphrased from a common Jamaican saying). This was probably just her way of getting us to finish everything on our plates by using fear, but in my childs mind I believed that this was a directive from God (my grandmother was an evangelist so I believed everything she said was somehow biblical).

I believe in being Green! Not just because it is good for the environment (which is a big plus) but because I believe that is something God wants me to do.

Also, going Green puts $$$ in your pocket. Here are ten things you can reuse that will save you money:

Dryer Sheet Wedding Dress

Hand ruched bodice made from 100 dryer sheets

1)  Plastic Bags -so many different ways to reuse a plastic bag so it does not end up in the landfill or wrapped around a helpless animal. Check out Care2 to find several ways at reusing the plastic bag.

2)  Dryer Sheets -this is an item that is usually used and immediately goes into the trash directly out of the dryer. Visit SavingAdvice.com for 50 ways to reuse dryer sheets. Some of these I definitely have to try (although not sure I will be making a dress with them?!?).

Christmas card gift tags3)  Old Christmas Cards – this is a new idea for me. Last year one of my sisters reused old Christmas cards as gift tags! There are a few more ideas from this contributor at voices.yahoo.com. I like the last suggestion of donating them to a local nursing home; this is something I never thought of.

4)  Old T-Shirts – This is for the creative/artistic types (or even those of you who think you are) as there are some real interesting ideas for getting the most out of an old t-shirt. Of course you can always donate them to the thrift store, but for the ones you cannot donate (there are various reasons that we won’t get into). Here are some ideas at buzzfeed.com.

5)  Tin Cans – Great for storing pens, pencils and trinkets but if we stretch our minds just a little bit we see what other amazing things can be done with the tin can. Visit this pinterest page on ways to reuse tin cans.

6 & 7)  Books/Newspapers – These next 2 are combined as many of the uses work well for either one. There is more to reusing newspaper than just for cleaning windows! Check out this pinterest page.

8 & 9)  Plastic Containers – Again, some really great and creative ways to reuse those plastic pop bottles, for ideas check out socreativethings.com.

Cereal box notebook10)  Cereal Boxes – These ideas will have you thinking out of the box (pun intended). Checkout this pinterest page (can you tell I love pinterest!)

There are a few things that I do personally in my home:

1)  I do not use juice boxes for my kids lunches. I use sport water bottles, I fill them with water and then add a few spoonfuls of juice crystals;

2)  I reuse ziploc bags (yes I’m that Mom), my kids bring them home anyway as their school has a policy regarding lunch waste. I wash them and hang them to dry and they are as good as new. countertop-bag-dryerEvery little thing helps, especially since it takes about 35 years for a single plastic margarine container to decompose;

3)  I try to make sure that my old electronics (appliances, computers, cell phones, etc.) do not end up in the landfill. If you search on Kijiji you can find scrappers or tech people who will pick up these items from your front door. Sometimes they may even give you a few dollars for your item (I received $5 for our old dishwasher). Although they do not take large appliances, MCC’s Thrift on Kent will accept e-waste.

I hope you find at least one thing on this list that can help you save some $$ and allow you to reduce your carbon footprint as well.

Until next time.