By Lina Younes
As part of my fall-cleaning efforts at home, I decided to tackle the closets. When I looked at them, I felt overwhelmed. Where should I begin? I confess that I was tempted to just close my eyes and throw everything away, but that wouldn’t have been very green. If I just threw everything away, where would it end up? In a landfill! Most of the items, such as clothes, toys, and electronics, were still in excellent condition and could be reused. So, the project to remove the clutter from my home became a generous gift for a charity.
It was easy going through my daughter’s closet. I just had to look at the sizes to identify what she had outgrown, and I knew which toys no longer interested her. My closet was a different story. Since I’ve changed many sizes over the years, I’ve held onto clothes in the hope that I’ll fit into them again or for sentimental reasons. Why not give them to someone who could use them now instead of waiting for that moment in the unforeseeable future?
While the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) are beneficial to the environment, reducing waste and eliminating clutter offer additional benefits to your surroundings and your health. For example, eliminating clutter is one of the key elements of integrated pest management. By removing clutter, you eliminate hiding places where pests can breed and hide. Who doesn’t want to have a pest free home?
Do you have any tips to get rid of clutter at home? Do you have anything planned to reduce waste and recycle during the holidays? We’d love to hear from you.
About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.