If you’re not at least a little concerned about the environmental crisis facing all of us here on good ol’ planet Earth, I have a small request. START PAYING ATTENTION!!

Things are getting pretty ugly. And scary. But the good news is that every one of us can do our bit to make things a little better. A little cleaner. We can save some resources and keep more of our hard-earned money. And we can make things a little better for ourselves and for the generations to follow.

How? Recycle. I know, I know. You’ve heard that a million times. You know you should but you don’t have time. It takes too much effort. You don’t have any recycling bins. It’s easier to just toss stuff out. I get it — but those excuses don’t fly any more. Recycling is a lot more painless than it was just a few years ago. So, if you’re not already there it’s time to jump on the recycling bandwagon.

If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. It’s money-in-your-pocket painless.

This first suggestion isn’t actually recycling but it makes perfect sense.  Quit buying stuff you don’t need. Even if it’s on sale. Or is the latest fashion fad. Do you really need it or is it just an impulse buy?

Hey, I understand about impulse buying. It’s easy to talk yourself into buying something. Because you deserve a reward. Because you had a rotten day. Or wow! It’s just too cute to pass up. It’s easy to convince yourself you’ll actually wear it, use it, or decorate with it. Even it you know deep down inside you won’t.

So before you shell out your hard-earned cash, slow down. Is it “a want” or “a need”? If it’s “a want” keep walking. You’ll save money and you won’t have to figure out what to do with that stuff you don’t want, can’t wear, bought “just because,” or can’t use any more. Simple. Effective. A no-brainer.

Recycle those art supplies.

painless-recycling-crayons-10000-butterflies-projectIf you have kids at home or work in a school, don’t toss those broken, used crayons in the trash. Who knew that crayons could be recycled? Crayons are made from petroleum based wax and there’s no reason for them to end up in a landfill.

Here’s where to recycle crayons. (You do have to pay for the shipping costs.) Here’s a thought. Partner with your local school district or parent-teacher organization to collect those partially used crayons and send them off to be recycled.

Keep toxins out of our drinking water.

Compact fluorescent bulbs should never, ever be put in the garbage because they contain toxic levels of mercury. Recycling keeps those toxins out of our groundwater. Much better for our health. And for everything else that depends on water to live.

Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Ikea all have CFL recycling programs They are super easy to use. And FREE. Just drop your CFL bulbs in the specially marked bin, usually found near the checkout stations in the front of each store.

What are your suggestions for painless recycling? Please share!

Small changes can make a big difference. 

Recycle what you can.

One person can’t save the Earth but all of us working together can.



10,000 Butterflies is dedicated to planting hope and growing change. Every one of us has the power to create positive change — in our own lives and in the lives of others. Together we can solve problems and build stronger communities. 10,000 Butterflies is a place to connect with others making good things happen, to find resources, to be inspired and to celebrate what connects us instead of what divides us.

Please join us.

Bonnie Pond is the founder of the 10,000 Butterflies Project and author of The Power of Three: How to be Happy and Get What You Want in Life (Without Doing Anything Illegal, Immoral, or Unethical) and Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU! 

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