There are Four "R's" to waste reduction - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Re-buy. By changing the way we approach our daily routines, we can make a positive impact on our local and global environments.
- By minimizing the amount of disposable items consumed each year, valuable resources are redirected to manufacture products that are of more benefit to the community.
- Consumers save money and time by repurposing older items, eliminating some of the need to schedule time for shopping or to spend money on new products.
- By recycling, usable materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill go back into the manufacturing process, making it possible to manufacture products for less cost while lessening the drain on limited resources at the same time.
- Recycling can also reduce energy costs associated with production.
- Composting and mulching saves time and money in the yard by putting nutrients back into the ground and reducing water usage.
Reduce! The goal is to send less waste to landfills, and getting there can be as easy as reusing durable items rather than using disposable items (see Reuse for more ideas). Starting a compost bin by using fallen leaves and food scraps reduces waste and provides free, effective fertilizer for your garden and houseplants. Even better? You can make changes for free! For more ideas, visit www.Reduce.org.
Reuse! Bottled water is convenient, so why not purchase a reusable bottle and refill it when needed? You can use your own mug or cup rather than using disposable ones. Use cloth rags and launder them rather than cleaning with single-use products. Use and reuse cloth bags to wrap presents. Reusing paper and other items in creative ways.
Recycle! Your used goods can be turned into something new. There are some companies out there taking trash and turning it into cash. The weekly citywide curbside recycling collection makes it easy. Not everything can be recycled, so follow the guidelines on the Recycling Services page.
Re-buy! After you recycle, the next step is to buy products made or packaged with recycled material. This closes the recycling loop and conserves the Earth's resources. When you support companies that use recycled materials, it encourages them to continue to find new innovative ways to recycle those materials in the future.
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