Most people would agree that being organized gives you a sense of calm and more time to spend doing the things you love with the people you love. But did you know that being organized positively impacts the planet? As a result of being disorganized in certain areas, we consume more than necessary. For example:
- Purchasing a new plastic bottle of mustard while there are one or two half-full bottles hidden in the refrigerator.
- Purchasing new batteries because looking for them in “junk” drawers is a daunting task.
- Purchasing clothing (perhaps necklaces, neckties, or belts) while there are similar garments hidden in your closet, which you have forgotten about.
The small things add up. Purchasing duplicate small items such as plastic containers of consumables may seem trite, however, not all plastics are recycled and the ones that are, typically are made into non-recyclable products such as textiles. Also, recycling plastic is very expensive in terms of energy-use and capital investment.
On a larger scale, consider that in the last 30 years the size of an average home in America has doubled while the number of people in the average household in America has decreased by half. We are collecting and consuming more and more and require more and more space. Furthermore, according to the Marine Sanitary Service, the US population comprises 5% of the world’s population but generates 30% of the world’s garbage. And, as it turns out, while recycling and reusing is certainly beneficial, consuming less has a larger impact1.
When organized, we can live more comfortably using less space. Consider the amount of utilities, land, and items consumed by a 6,000 ft2 home compared to that of a 1,500 ft2 condominium. If you choose to live in a smaller space, being organized makes it possible to live comfortably.
Living in a smaller home is not for everyone however, having an organized home (regardless of the size) and life helps reduce unnecessary consumption.
How much less driving could each of us do if we were organized about our schedules and errands? How often do we make extra trips to the grocery store for the item or two that we forgot? How often could we carpool to different events if we planned ahead?
In addition to having a positive impact on our planet, being organized gives you the freedom and time to pursue areas of life that give you happiness. An average person spends 55.2 minutes everyday looking for things2. That’s two weeks each year! Is there anything else you would rather spend your time doing?
Over the next week, consider what you are throwing away, what you are purchasing and what you are spending your time looking for. You may find that by simply better organizing certain areas of your home and life you and your family consume less, which will have a positive impact on our planet and on you.