When it comes to the three R’s, many of us are guilty of only focusing on recycling. Recycling is a great way to eliminate the amount of material that goes to a landfill, but not the only way! Here are some tips to help you reduce your waste from the very beginning.
1. Avoid excess packaging. When it comes to packaging: reuse, reuse, reuse! Whether you need a shopping bag, food container, or coffee cup, ditch the disposable for a package with a longer lifespan. By choosing reusable containers over single-use items, you’re saving countless resources and even a few dollars for yourself.
2. Think before you throw – Is that really garbage? A lot of what we end up throwing away could be reused by someone. When you’re finished with old shoes, clothes or furniture, take them to a local donation center. Like they say, one man’s trash may be another’s treasure!
3. “Check out” other options. How many times do you actually read that magazine or book-of-the-month? Checking out materials from the local library saves you money on items you only use once and reduces paper consumption.
4. Buy recyclables or reusables. Learn what materials can be recycled in your community. For Rumpke’s list of recyclable materials, check here. Choose products that come in packaging you can recycle or reuse rather than immediately throw away. For example, some lunchmeat now comes in containers that can be washed and used to hold leftovers.
With just a few small changes, you can lessen your amount of waste from the beginning. Just remember to include reduce in your “go green” plan!
About the author: Darby Fledderjohn is the corporate communications intern.