|Reduce & Reuse|
Reducing waste means not creating it in the first place. Next time you're about to buy something, ask yourself: "Do I really need this product? How long will it last?" Avoid impulse shopping and buying disposable products. Instead, look for reusable or more durable alternatives.
Reusing means that items in good condition don't get sent to the landfill. Sell or donate these items instead. Somebody else might be looking for just what you're trying to get rid of!
Reducing waste and reusing saves resources, money and space! Here are some ideas:
- Bring a cloth bag or other reusable bag when you go shopping
- Avoid over-packaged products
- Bring your own mug to the coffee shop
- Get rid of junk mail
- Have a low waste picnic
- Use paper on both sides
- Buy in bulk ("economy size") instead of individually packaged portions
- Share tools with your neighbors and co-workers
- Sell or donate reusable items
- Repair furniture, appliances, computers and electronics
More Tips to Reduce and Reuse:
Stop Junk Mail
Every year the U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 90 billion pieces of advertising mail, using nearly 100 million trees. Most of this mail is unwanted, or "junk" mail. Recycling junk mail is a good start, but it's even better to stop getting it in the first place!
Don't let your name get on mailing lists
When you buy from catalogs over the phone or online, make sure to let the company know you don't want them to sell your name or send promotional materials. Order forms often provide a check box or similar to let you "opt-out" of future promotional offers.
Contact Companies and Organizations Directly
To stop receiving mail from specific sources, call the number on the catalog or the customer service number of the organization or business. Request that your name be removed from their mailing list. You can also make your request via e-mail from the company's website or send in a written request.
Tip: It is easier for the organization to remove your name if they have the exact copy of your address label. Have it handy when you call or include it in your written request.
Sign Up for the Mail Preference Service
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the single largest provider of mail lists. Getting off their master list is the most effective junk mail prevention step you can take. Note that there is a $1 fee for this service. Send a letter with your mailing address and removal request to:
DMA Mail Preference Service
PO Box 282
Carmel, NY 10512
You can also make the request online at www.dmaconsumers.org.
For more tips on reducing junk mail, or for a junk mail reduction kit call 1-877-STOPWASTE or go to www.StopJunkMail.org.
Low Waste Picnic
Tips for a Low Waste Picnic Have you ever noticed how much waste there is after a picnic or barbecue? It only takes a little planning and thinking ahead to prepare an event that has all the fun without the trash. Next time you're headed to the park for a family picnic, try these ideas:
Buy family-size packages instead of individually packaged servings. It'll save you money, too!
Bring a bag to keep recyclables like bottles, cans and paper packaging separate from the trash. When you get home, simply empty the recyclables bag into your recycling cart.
Bring your own bag or basket when you go shopping. You'll avoid wasteful plastic bags, and may even get a discount from the store for bringing your own. Durable reusable bags are also less likely to break.
Think ahead and pack a few reusable plastic containers with lids into the picnic basket. That way leftovers aren't wasted and will make it back home without spilling.
Consider investing in cloth napkins and a set of lightweight yet durable plastic plates, cups and silverware instead of purchasing disposables every time you head out for a picnic. Reusable tableware is more eco-friendly and looks better, too!
After the picnic, store the dirty dishes in a light-weight, large plastic tub for easy and clean transport home.
What to do with reusable items Sell, donate or buy used items online
The Internet is a great tool to find people who might be looking for just what you’re trying to get rid of. Listing your items for sale or donation is free through all of the following online resources:
Sell, donate or buy used items at a local reuse business
Check the list below to find a thrift store or reuse business near you. Call in advance for store hours and to make sure your items are accepted. If you know of a store or organization not on our list, please let us know!
Where to Repair Things Locally
Granddad’s cuckoo clock finally broke? Wooden chair missing a leg? A bicycle with a bent wheel? Before you consider throwing out these items, check the list of local repair shops.