Green Your Life: Reduce

To Reduce: to diminish in size, amount, extent, or number

I am beginning my series on Greening Your life today, in honor of what I think is a profoundly dumb idea: Earth Hour. According to the official website, today "hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour."

Now, I'll leave it up to you to debate the merits of climate change and sitting in the dark for an hour. I want to share 3 things you can reduce that will have a positive impact on your life and help you be a better steward of your time, talents, and our precious resources.

These are things I am actually trying to do in my life. Hopefully you can find one or two ideas that you can use!

Reduce Paper Clutter
4 ideas from housekeeping.about.com
(for more ideas, click on the link)

  1. Automate - Set up online bill pay or automatic payments. Turn off your paper statements.
  2. Contain the Memories - Give each family member a container for storing artwork, birthday cards, etc. When the container is full, they have to decide which stuff to keep and which stuff to give away.
  3. Evaluate Your Subscriptions - In addition to cutting down on unnecessary catalogs and magazines, you can have your name removed from junk mailing lists. For more information, visit newdream.org.
  4. Get Rid of Receipt Mania - You don't need a receipt for everything. If you have the option and the purchase doesn't need to be documented for tax purposes, opt for no receipt.

Reduce Unnecessary Debt
There are many blogs dedicated exclusively to this topic and considering that I still have much progress to make in this area, I'll keep my comments brief.
I know from personal experience the freedom that comes from being debt free. If you have a desire to change your financial future, a great place to start would be with Dave Ramsey. I listen to his free podcasts. His book, The Total Money Makeover, is also excellent.

Reduce Stress
Tips from helpguide.org
  • Learn to say "no"
  • Take control of your environment
  • Limit your to do list
  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
  • Be willing to compromise
  • Be more assertive about things that are important to you
  • Manage your time better
  • Look at the big picture
  • Focus on the positive
  • Learn to forgive
Happy Reducing!

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