Our family is so excited to start the Green UP challenge in March. I want to be up front with our goals for the challenge. We are NOT a perfect family and this is our Green UP journey. We believe that change comes from the individual out. We are just a simple family that has the ability to change OUR lifestyle. So…. that is where we will start. We are going to use the the extended r’s found on the Pare Down website  to guide us  throughout the Green Up Challenge.


If you missed our introduction post and want to know why we are doing this crazy challenge then check out the post “Green UP Challenge: Working towards a greener lifestyle”.


Whether small or big CHANGE MATTERS!!!


If you are following along make sure that you set up clear goals and write out only a goal that YOU can accomplish. If you want to Green UP your life to a single jar then great! Check out the post “Green UP Challenge: Reducing our waste to a single jar” to help you plan your journey to reducing your waste to a single jar.

And remember… If you just want to Green UP one area of your life that is awesome! Make sure to join the challenge for motivation along the way!

Our family’s goal and rules guided by the extended R’s

Green up Goal:

Reduce our family’s waste to a single mason jar


We will focus on the extended *R’s:




Recycled Toilet Paper

I may be using reusable cloth for number ones. I am trying not to feel embarrassed but my mind started to think ”  Can I really do this!”

This is a new development and I will keep you updated. Regardless, we will be using recycled toilet paper as  I am still trying to figure out if there is  a brand of unbleached natural toilet paper that can guarantee it does not contain BPA. While we would try a bidet I was not prepared to spend the money to try one for this Green UP Challenge.


We will continue to use the medications as prescribed by our doctor. We will be returning any used medications to the pharmacist for them to dispose of correctly.


Since I have undergone countless specialist for eczema I will continue to use the soap and cream products I have been using. Luckily I can reuse or recycle the products. I have tried some natural products and have found that they often make my eczema worse because of the severity of my allergies. I am seriously sensitive. My husband will be trying a really great local company’s product and my girls will use the leftover environmentally friendly soap that I bought from  Costco 5  months ago!


Ok friends and family there is no need for your to stress out as we will have a small garbage for you in case you come over and need a garbage that is bigger than a jar. Do NOT feel like you are imposing OR that we are judging you. Honestly we  think your awesome!

Eating at someone else’s house

I am a strong believer on not enforcing my actions directly on other people. For example, if we are eating dinner at a friends’ or a family member’s house then we will follow their waste practices.

Power, heat and water

We will be using our power, heat and water as provided by our landlord! This is not something we are readily able to change.


Waste That will go in the Jar


Items that will most likely go into the jar are miscellaneous items like stickers on fruit.  While my husband Cam said “Just don’t pick the fruit that has stickers on it “. I replied “That  is not the point. The point is to reduce our waste BUT it also gives us an opportunity to see all the different places where waste can be found. It also will show us how challenging it is to avoid waste  in a society that does not promote a Green UP lifestyle.  The  point of this project is to create change on an individual level but also to highlight the waste problems that are unavoidable. The problems that society as a whole needs to change.”

Are you following along? What is your Green UP goal ? Do you have any exceptions?


By Annika Mang


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3 thoughts on “Our Family’s Goal and Rules Guided by the Extended R’s”

  1. I absolutely LOVE this. I’ve become kind of nutty about reducing food waste in my house, but it has ended up transferring out to so many other areas of my life… especially in the food store when buying groceries– I try to only buy foods that do not come in packaging (with the exception of milk and eggs). I’m looking forward to following along in your journey to see how the challenge goes and what you learn along the way.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement! We will be buying cans and some glass jar food as long as I can confirm that the lids can be recycled or we can reuse them. I need stewed tomatos for pasta dinners lol BUT still need to find bulk pasta. Sigh. Such a long process. That is a great goal though and maybe for our next challenge 😉

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