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Blog: Go Green!
Eco-Friendly Organizing Tips Make Every Day Earth Day

The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is providing helpful hints to make it even easier to do your part for Mother Earth on April 22 and year-round.

"People often have the misconception that making our planet a safer and healthier place to live takes a concerted effort," said Linette George, a NAPO member from the Chicago Chapter's Green Team. "People are frequently surprised that one simple change to their daily routines can make a big impact."

George strives to teach her clients and the general public about proper recycling efforts. Here are some suggestions on how to eco-organize, that is organizing with environmental consciousness:

Give it away- Don't automatically throw things you no longer need in the garbage. Instead, donate unwanted items to a charity, or sign up for free local recycling programs, like Freecycle (www.freecycle.org).

Set up a Recycling Center in your home- Designate an area where recyclables can be sorted and kept until collection day. By creating a convenient, easily accessible place to put your recyclables, you'll be more likely to recycle and keep your space well-organized. Most towns offer free curbside collection of plastics, glass bottles/jars, aluminum cans/foil, paper (including junk mail, newspapers, magazines, paper grocery bags) and cardboard. Be sure to recycle plastic grocery bags at your local grocery store.

Set aside hazardous chemicals- If you're organizing your basement or garage, chances are you will run across chemicals that must be disposed of in a special waste collection. Household cleaners, paint, motor oil, batteries, and medicine prescription or over-the-counter should be disposed of at special hazardous waste collection sites/events in your area.

Getting rid of E-waste- As you organize your living or family room to make way for a new TV or computer, keep in mind that electronics must also be properly recycled to prevent chemicals such as cadmium, lead and mercury from contaminating our soil, water and air. Examples of E-waste include: phones, computers and accessories, speakers, TVs, stereos, VCRs, DVD players, cameras, game systems. Ensure the recycling center is "14,001 Certified," which assures that proper dismantling procedures are followed.

Talking trash
In addition to properly reusing and repurposing items, being environmentally conscious also involves refraining from buying needless items, according to NAPO President Standolyn Robertson. Buying more goods creates more trash.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produced 254.1 million tons of household trash in the year 2007 alone. But, last year, as a result of a down economy and consumers' dwindling disposable incomes, landfills reported a 30 percent decline in waste levels.

"The biggest thing that each of us can do for Earth Day is to make better choices about what we buy." Robertson said. "Sometimes our wants overshadow our actual needs, causing us to purchase more than necessary."
# # #
The premier national association dedicated to the field of organizing, the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is The Organizing Authority®. Formed in 1985 as a nonprofit professional, educational association, NAPO is dedicated to serving its members through education, networking, industry resources, and promoting the profession to the public. NAPO's mission is to develop, lead, and promote professional organizers and the organizing industry.

posted on: 4/22/2009 12:30:00 PM by Sarah Buckwalter
category: Social Responsibility

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Go Green!

by Sarah Buckwalter

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About Sarah:

Sarah Buckwalter has been a Professional Organizer for over 10 years. Sarah has helped hundreds of people achieve a relaxed and stress-free life through home and office organization. Sarah is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for NAPO-New England.

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