Reduce and Reuse Overview
There are three "R's" to waste management. Recycling is crucial, but it comes after the other two--reduce and reuse. If we can cut down on our consumption of "stuff," we're way ahead of the game. If we can reuse the stuff we buy, we're beating the game. That's why these options are so important to those of us who believe in recycling.
If you're creative, you can think of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of ways to reduce the material you put into the recycling bin, much less the trash. We're all pretty aware of carrying reusable shopping bags. But do you toss styrofoam-packaged fish into your shopping cart without giving a second thought to going to the seafood counter and asking for fish wrapped in papter? If you're tired of throwing away yogurt containers, you could make your own yogurt. Really easy.
The important thing is to make changes that will stay part of your life.
Reduce and Reuse Tips
Why not try out a new “waste solution” every week? Think of the difference you'll make after just a month or two!
- Purchase in bulk.
- Avoid heavily packaged items.
- Bring your own shopping bag.
- Carry a reusable water bottle or coffee mug, and pack lunches in reusable containers.
- Minimize use of disposable goods (kitchenware, diapers, cameras, etc.).
- Use cloth napkins and rags instead of disposable napkins and paper towels.
- Minimize carryout food because of its excessive packaging.
- Read newspapers and other resources on-line when possible.
- Print double-sided.
- Use the library.
- Share books, share magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- Share the use of large household appliances (lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc.).
- Rent! (Videos, rototillers, cars, etc.).
- Donate your unwanted clothing, household goods.
- Cancel your junk mail.