How Do We
The average person throws away
more than four pounds of trash each day. Packaging alone makes up 64 million
tons by weight or 33% of all our garbage.The family that reduces waste
in the home helps protect the environment. Waste reduction is as important
as recycling in saving natural resources, energy, disposal space and costs,
and in reducing pollution risks.
- Food waste can be composted
in a worm
- Put paper towels out of
easy reach so that they will be used only when really needed. Set up
a countertop or wall holder for reusable sponges, rags, and cloth towels.
- Reuse margarine tubs to
freeze foods or pack lunches to reduce the need for foil or plastic
- Repair/restore used items
before replacing them with new ones.
- Too much junk mail? Contact
the Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, 11 W. 42nd
St., PO Box 3861, New York, NY 10163-3861. Let them know if your name
should be removed from commercial lists, non-profit lists, or both.
- Cancel subscriptions to
magazines or newspapers you don't actually read, especially if you could
read them at the local library. Give old issues to friends, coworkers,
nursing homes, laundromats or libraries.
- Don't throw away usable
clothing or household items. Hold a yard sale or donate the items to
- Buy items you can recycle
locally through curbside collection or recycling centers.
- Buy durable (long-lasting,
multiple-use) items instead of those that are disposable or cheaply
- Avoid excess packaging when
choosing product brands. For frequently used items, buy in bulk. Otherwise,
buy just the amount you need. Larger sizes reduce the amount of packaging,
but smaller sizes reduce leftover waste.
- Reduce toxic waste by purchasing
paints, pesticides and other hazardous materials only in the quantities
needed, or by sharing leftovers.
- Buy concentrated products
to reduce packaging. Examples are concentrated fruit juice and laundry
- Carry a canvas or other
reusable tote bag when you shop. It eliminates the need to use the store's
disposable paper or plastic bags.
- Use both sides of a sheet
of paper before recycling it.
- Use scrap paper for art
- Reuse paper bags, wrapping
paper, or newsprint for book covers.
- Bring a waste-free lunch
by packing it in reusable or recyclable containers.
- Set up a reuse box in the
classroom for used pencils, pens, folders and other items that are still
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