Monday, May 10, 2010

Go "Green" by Getting Organized

One of my favorite sites, My Craft Corner, started a contest which is designed to help everyone get organized. As I read through all the posts it occurred to me that getting organized is a very green activity.

When a space is disorganized, it's hard to know what's there. For example, think about a "junk" drawer ... all manner of odds and ends get thrown into this space ... things which we don't want to toss out because we know we'll eventually need them. Typically, that drawer becomes a "black hole" ... what goes in is never seen again. We forget what's in there and the next time we need that battery or paper clip, etc., we head off to the store to make a purchase. The result is that we use unnecessary time and resources to accumulate more stuff ... stuff which is probably in that drawer.

For many people, it's not just a junk drawer ... it's a closet, a room, or a garage. It can even be a refrigerator. It's any place where stuff gets stashed and disorganized. It's a place which makes us feel overwhelmed and like we'd rather just look the other way. Unfortunately, these repositories continue to use resources (heating, cooling, lights, etc.). Frankly, when one thinks about the use of a space versus the cost to maintain it, a disorganized space isn't a good value.

Consider this ... the average size of homes in America is twice as large as it was 30 years ago. However, the average number of occupants in those homes has decreased. Could it be that we are buying larger homes to accommodate the amount of stuff we buy? And could getting organized help us reduce the amount of stuff we have? I believe so!

There are other ways in which being organized is Eco-friendly. For example:

  • Organizing our errands and planning our travel route will optimize vehicle use and help us to minimize fuel consumption.

  • Planning a week's menu helps us reduce energy. Perhaps we use the oven once to cook more than one dish (example, cook a casserole, desert and a loaf of bread at the same time). We can prepare a double batch of a food, using the same amount of energy it takes to cook one batch (example - cook double the amount of pasta which can be used in tonight's dinner and in tomorrow's salad).

  • Organizing the way laundry is done helps to minimize water consumption when we wash only full loads and reduces energy use when we don't allow the dryer to cool between loads.

  • Arranging our daily routine to open windows when the air is cool and close the curtains when the sun shines through helps us minimize our summer cooling expense.

Getting organized is just one more easy way to walk a little gentler on the earth!

As always, I would love to hear from you!