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Earth Day 2000 21 Tips for Recycling, Reusing and Reducing waste
Release Date: 4/1/2000
Release Date: 4/1/2000
- Don’t toss it – recycle it. Recycle newspapers, plastic, glass and aluminum.
- Buy recycled products and packaging. Recycling your waste products is one way to reduce waste at the source. Another is buying products made with recycled and recyclable materials and packaging. A third is to buy reusable products and avoid disposable goods (this also will cut your costs).
- Use non-hazardous products whenever possible. Many household products contain toxic substances that make them health risks and difficult to dispose of properly.
- Recycle automotive waste. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, take your old oil, batteries, tires, anti-freeze, etc. to city or county waste-reclamation facilities. If you take your car to mechanics, ask them what they do with waste, and patronize those businesses that handle waste responsibly.
- See the light. Switch to energy-efficient, money-saving fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll get more light, and use less energy.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances. Although they may cost a little more, energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves in the form of lower utility bills.
- Moderate temperature changes. Don’t turn your heat or air conditioner to a warmer or cooler setting when you first turn them on. It won’t heat or cool the room any faster, but it will waste energy and cost you more money. Try to keep the thermostat temperature from fluctuating more than 5-7 degrees day or night.
- Repair, don’t replace. Don’t throw away old appliances and toys. Instead, repair and keep them or donate them.
- Buy in bulk or concentrates. When you shop, look for jumbo-size packages or bulk bins that let you buy as much as you need. It’s cheaper, and buying in bulk cuts down on packaging – one of the biggest sources of waste.
- Let lawn clippings lie. Grass clippings take up about 20 percent of landfill space. Leaving your clippings on your lawn will help retain moisture, prevent weeds and fertilize the soil.
- Start a compost pile. Grass clippings, yard waste, vacuum cleaner dust, and some food scraps make excellent compost, which can supply essential nutrients to your lawn and garden. Composting also saves you money and reduces trash disposed of in landfills.
- Use rechargeable batteries. Next time your radio headset or flashlight goes dead, refill them with rechargeable batteries.
- Recycle cans. By recycling your aluminum drink cans, you’re saving valuable landfill space and resources. It takes 96 percent less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to manufacture a new can.
- Reuse coffee cups. Many people enjoy that morning cup of coffee but don’t realize how much waste is generated by the empty cups. Switch to long-lasting ceramic or reusable mugs.
- Prevent paper waste. When preparing a report or memo, copy or print the document on both sides of the paper. You’ll not only cut your paper use in half, but you’ll also save money. Also, edit your documents on the computer screen instead of paper versions, and try using discarded office paper for scratch pads.
- Bring a lunch box. Although most paper products are biodegradable, much doesn’t degrade and remains in landfills. Why? When materials are buried, oxygen and sunlight are blocked, which stunts the decay process. So, cut down on waste – take your lunch to work or school in a reusable bag or box.
- Recharge ink cartridges and ribbons. Don’t throw away old printer cartridges and typewriter ribbons when they run out of ink. Check with your supplier about getting the products recharged or recycled.
- Reuse shopping bags. When grocery shopping, bring reusable cloth or canvas shopping bags or already used paper or plastic grocery bags with you. Discarded bags often end up in landfills where they can’t disintegrate because they are buried.
- Keep cloth rags in the kitchen to clean up spills. Rags are absorbent and can be washed and reused.
- Reuse office supplies. By reusing old file folders, paper clips, rubber bands, boxes, etc., you will save money, resources and valuable landfill space.
- Donate. Give to charity usable, but unwanted items. Before you discard something that still works, call your local charity to see if they can use it. Many organizations will pick up reusable items at your doorstep.