Green Your Routine!

Star Power - Green Your Routine

Being organized is about improving your quality of life by using your resources-time, money and “stuff” in the most efficient and effective way.

That is what Going Green is about as well, a way to help you and the Earth.

Here are 10 easy ways to “Green Your Routine”:

  • Catalogues: Save some trees! Go to and opt out of the unwanted catalogs that fill your mailbox. If you are like me, you can cut your mail considerably with this one simple step.
  • Bills: Go electronic whenever possible. This saves time and money, eliminates fees, stamps and checks. Check with your bank as well since some banks offer a Green promotion where they pay $.10 for every electronic and debit card transaction.
  • Light Bulbs: Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFLs) are the way to go. Initially, they cost a bit more, but they use far less electricity that traditional bulbs and last much longer. You can switch all of your over at one time or you can cycle in new ones when the traditional bulbs blow out. For local collections of all used CFLs (they may contain mercury), contact the EPA at
  • Batteries: You can recycle household batteries (AA,AAA,C,D) instead of throwing them in the garbage. Drop them off at a Walgreens store or check your local hardware store. You can also invest in rechargeable batteries for your high drain devices, such as Wii controllers and digital cameras.
  • Daily reading materials: Sign up to receive newsletters, magazines and newspaper on-line. Spread hard copies around by first removing your mailing labels and then leaving them at a nearby doctor’s office or nursing home. Encourage your schools and workplace to issue memos and newsletters in electronic form.
  • Books: Have you completed a book are willing to let it go? Check out or to keep your books and media moving.
  • Garbage: Using the garbage disposal for food is more eco-friendly that using a trash bag. The Water Reclamation can use your sink’s garbage better than your local landfill. Invest in some biodegradable bags like Perf so that garbage that does hit the landfills will not stay encased in plastic for the next 200 years.
  • Lunch: Did you know that 90% of landfill contents started out as packaging? Create your own convenience food by pre-packaging snacks, cookies, grapes, raisins, etc. in reusable single serving containers like Gladware. This will save a lot of time and money, the food will taste great and it will help us learn what a serving size really looks like. This will also cut down on the use of plastic bags.
  • Workplace: Ask your employer about recycling programs or suggest a program if one doesn’t already exist.
  • Errands: Plan your errands before you leave the house and be sure you have everything that you need to accomplish them. Returning home for forgotten library books, items to return to the store or coupons for shopping wastes time and gas and therefore money. Plan one long trip instead of two short trips or incorporate your errands into your to work or to school time. Also, don’t forget to take along your reusable shopping bags so that you can cut down on the plastic bags that come home with you.

About the Author

Colleen Klimczak is a certified professional organizer whose business is located in the South suburbs of Chicago. For more information, visit



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