At Abundance Organizing, we’re committed to offering eco-friendly organizing solutions and products, to teaching our clients how to increase sustainability within their households, and to enhancing our own business practices with a mindful eye on prioritizing the planet. You can read more about this in our vision statement where we make a promise to use less than 25% plastic by 2025. On Earth Day, we all celebrate this place we call home and turn our attention to how we can protect and preserve this planet together. To celebrate Earth Day, here are some of our team members’ eco-friendly, sustainability, and planet prioritizing tips:
START SMALL – ONE GREEN STEP AT A TIME
It can be overwhelming when you start researching how to be more green! Start with one small step at a time. Make one goal – whether that be to increase sustainability, to better support the environment, or to commit to an eco-friendly change – and stick to it before adding another goal. Use each small step to contribute to your goal. Here are a couple recommendations of small steps that you can take from our team members:
- Work on eliminating using zip lock bags. You can do this by slowly investing in glass storage containers and reusable portable containers like ZipTops.
- Recycle your ink cartridges. Staples is a great place to do this. While you are at it, you can also recycle old/broken electronics and rechargeable batteries.
- Practice purposeful and conscious shopping. You can do this by bringing a list with you when you shop and only buying what is on your list. This will help you to not make impulse purchases of items that you do not need.
- Keep containers in the shower to collect water for watering your plants.
- If you have the option to buy something in a carton or glass container, choose that over anything with plastic packaging.
- Carpool whenever you have the opportunity. We do this a lot at Abundance Organizing.
- The next time you need to buy a birthday gift, buy a clutter-free or eco-friendly gift.
- Instead of plastic bottles, invest in a reusable water bottle like a Hydro Flask. Did you know that they last forever and have a great warranty policy?
- Donate responsibly – here is a great blog post for more on the green aspect of donating and reusing.
- Bring nature inside – try to fill your home with plants. It gives you something to care for and helps the clean the air. Here are some plant recommendations from Good Housekeeping.
SUSTAINABILITY – MAKE THIS YOUR FASHION STATEMENT
We work with a lot of our clients on their closets. The majority of people only wear 20% of what is in their closets. This means that 80% of the clothes in your closet are not being used. We seek to educate our clients on fashion sustainability – the perils of fast fashion – and encourage them to be more aware of what their fashion purchases do to the environment. Instead of always buying something from the latest fashion trend, we encourage our clients to practice purposeful and conscious shopping. The following guidelines will help you to build a wardrobe that you love and wear:
- Know what items you have. If you do not know what you have in your closet, create an inventory for easy reference.
- Make a list of items you need. You may need items to complete outfits, staples like white/black t-shirts that need to be replaced because they’re worn out or stained, or maybe it is finally time to replace your favorite pair of jeans.
- Don’t shop trends, shop your style. Trends come and go and those items will not stay with you.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry or have been drinking.
- Shop with a good friend or stylist that will tell you the truth.
- Ask yourself: “Do I love it? Do I feel good wearing it?” – and really think about the answer before you buy it.
- If there is any doubt in your mind, do not purchase the item regardless of how “on sale” it is.
- Invest in a good tailor for alterations and repairs, and a good cobbler for repairs to shoes and handbags.
- When you no longer like, wear, or have use for an item it your wardrobe, let it go to someone else who will use it. Here is a great list for donation centers and consignment stores in Richmond and another list for Charlottesville.
Fashion sustainability helps the environment and saves money. Don’t get caught in adding to the perils of fast fashion. You can be a more conscious and prepared shopper by following these guidelines.
CHOOSE ONE RESOURCE TO SUPPORT THE ENVIRONMENT
Waste is ultimately reduced when new items are not created. In order for new items to not be created, items must be reused. When this happens, the environment is preserved, natural resources are protected, and money is saved. Instead of adding to the landfill, or damaging the environment, use the proper channels to recycle and discard items responsibly.
Disposing of Chemicals and Hazardous Waste
Leaving expired chemicals such as fertilizer, old paint, cleaning solutions, and other items for the house or car unused around your home can be problematic. If they spill, or are ingested by an animal or child they can cause a bigger problem for you and your family. It’s good practice to periodically rid your home of these possible hazards. Take time to go through any chemicals you possess and check their expiration dates. Also, we encourage you to read this article on eco-friendly and green cleaning products. There are some great tips for more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Earth911 is a great resource to find out where you can recycle or dispose of chemicals and waste. If there is no hazardous waste collection program in your community, paint can be thrown away BUT it needs to be dry first. If you know you no longer want paint, open the container and let the paint dry out or pour kitty litter into the paint to dry it up. Once the paint is totally dry, you can toss it into the trash. Motor oil and car batteries can be recycled at Auto Zone, Jiffy Lube, or other similar businesses. Just give them a call for more details. Contacting a Hazardous Waste Collection Facility in your area is always helpful to get more details on what can be recycled and how to dispose of chemicals properly.
Recycling, Hauling, and Shredding Resources
We often use these recycling, hauling, and shredding resources when working with our clients. When you have these resources handy, it makes using them and disposing of items properly so much easier. Ultimately this protects and preserves the planet, reducing pollution, waste, and items being added to the landfill. In turn, you will help to preserve natural resources as items will be able to be reused and recycled.
East Richmond Road Landfill & Convenience Center
3800 East Richmond Road, Richmond, VA 23173
Details: Must be a Richmond resident and have ID. For more information on pricing and drop-off give them a call.
Monday-Friday: 7AM to 3:30PM. Saturdays: 8:30AM-2:00PM.
Accepts: Materials accepted include solvents (mineral spirits, paint thinner, turpentine), paints (oil or latex, polyurethane, stains, varnish, shellac, primers – but there is a limit of 20 gallons per month/per household), fuels (gasoline, kerosene, diesel, chain saw or motorboat fuel), propane tanks, car fluids (motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze), car batters and cooking oil.
Does Not Accept: They DO NOT accept fire extinguishers, asbestos, herbicides, pesticides, explosives, or materials that are radioactive or infectious.
5317 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23224
Details: Pays competitive prices for unwanted scrap metal in Richmond, VA.
Monday-Friday: 8AM to 5PM. Saturday: 8AM to 12PM.
No Appointment necessary. On their “contact us” page, they include a map that shows how to enter their facility and drop off items. They will unload items for you so you can leave the heavy lifting to them.
Accepts: pots and pans, scrap radiators – auto, house, scrap refrigerators, roof vents, roof metal, screen doors/windows, scrap siding – aluminum, scrap sinks – stainless, cast iron, metal, vacuum cleaners, scrap washing machines dryers, stoves-electric, gas, wood, insulated wire, aluminum BX wire, steel BX wire, and EC-wire.
3301 Rosedale Avenue Richmond, VA 23230
Details: Clean Earth has cost-effective treatment and management of waste materials for recycling and beneficial reuse. They include services for recycling hazardous and non-hazardous waste, soil, dredge, and electronics.
Monday-Friday: 8AM to 4:30PM. Saturday: 8AM to 12PM.
Residential Drop-Off Hours: 2nd Friday of Every Month: 9:00AM – 3:00PM.
Accepts: For more information check out their website.
Does Not Accept: All residential electronic drop-offs at facilities are suspended until further notice.
Click here to find the store closest to you.
Details: Best buy accepts many items for recycling. Go to the website provided for a full list of what they accept. Some items are free to recycle but some are not. Make sure to check out your local store resources before you go. Best Buy also provides information on how to wipe your hard drives before bringing in computers.
Details: Junk Shuttle offers residential and commercial junk removal services throughout Richmond, VA and central Virginia.
Monday-Friday: 7:30 AM to 5 PM. Saturday 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM.
Appointment Required: call the office and they will review your information, give an estimate, and schedule a pickup.
Details: Gone4Good serves Richmond and surrounding areas, as well as VA Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Danville, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Waverley, Emporia. Pricing is generally $50 for a pickup, but if there is a large amount to be dealt with, it is suggested to discuss with the receptionist.
Appointment required. Call the office and they will review your information and then a driver will call back to schedule the date and time of the pickup. They will arrive and shred on-site.
Do you have a tip to share as we celebrate Earth Day? Let us know and check out our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook and our blog for more resources.