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  • Writer's pictureLisa Harris

Conquering Clutter: Earth Day Edition - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Your Way to a Clutter-Free Life!

Lisa plating flowers in her garden

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Three words we’re all familiar with, but let’s talk about why they are so important, and how this mantra can help protect our planet and help you reduce clutter in your home.


Every year on April 22nd, we come together to observe Earth Day, a global initiative aimed at increasing awareness of environmental challenges and emphasizing the importance of preserving our planet for future generations.


One area where many of us can make a significant difference is in our approach to clutter. Clutter not only affects our physical spaces but also has environmental consequences. It isn't just about having too much stuff; it's also about the resources consumed in producing and disposing of those items. Every piece of clutter represents energy, water, and materials used in its production. By reducing clutter and waste in our daily lives, we can help protect the environment and vice versa! Here are some ways to achieve both goals:


Reduce Spending & Consumption


As a professional organizer and as someone who lives in Bergen County, New Jersey – home of 5 major shopping malls and countless strip malls and retail chains in between – I’ve seen just how much shopping has become ingrained into our culture. Unfortunately, mass production and excessive consumerism have become the norms, leading to not only overcrowded spaces and clutter but also significant impacts on the environment.  


Let’s be honest – shopping can be a hard habit to break! After all, we are constantly surrounded by personalized ads, clever marketing, and the pressure to buy into the latest trends. Conscious consumerism is a learned skill, but you can aim to sharpen it by practicing periods of ‘no buy,’ setting limits to when and what you spend.


Shop Reusable & Sustainable Items


Of course, there will be times when you need to buy something to fulfill a genuine need or want. You don’t have to cut out shopping completely! Instead, aim to choose products from companies that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Look for eco-friendly and ethically sourced goods that have minimal impact on the environment, opting for reusable items instead of single-use whenever possible.


When it comes to clothing, try to avoid ‘fast fashion’ and look for higher-quality wardrobe staples that will last, opting for natural materials like cotton, silk, or wool. Worried about the price? Never be afraid to shop secondhand! Regardless of your budget, consider purchasing gently used items instead of always buying new ones. Thrifting is a great way to save money, find something unique, extend the lifespan of products, and reduce waste.


Recycle Appropriately and Donate


Women donating clothes to charity

If you’ve held onto something because you weren’t quite sure how to get rid of it, then take some time to learn about your local recycling guidelines. Proper recycling helps conserve resources and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Better yet, upcycle and repurpose where you can! Get creative with items that you might otherwise discard, transforming old or unused items into something new and useful.


Of course, another great way to get rid of things is by donating them! Not only does donating items help prevent them from ending up in landfills, but it also finds them new homes where they can continue to be used and appreciated. It’s a win-win, all around!

Making conscious choices about how we consume can protect the planet and create a more sustainable world for all by incorporating these practices into your lifestyle, you can effectively reduce clutter while contributing to environmental conservation and celebrating Earth Day every day.


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