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 in the City's recycling brochure (PDF).
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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Do's and Don'ts on kitchen F.O.G., or Fats, Oils, and Grease.
- EPA Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
There are many ways to produce less waste. See what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say about resource conservation.
- Earth 911
Find recycling centers by product or zip-code searches.
- Are you a Bag Monster
Learn some facts about plastic bag consumption.
Find steps to compost. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Healthy Cleaning Alternatives
Provides organic alternatives to cleaning.
- Household Hazardous Waste
Dispose of household chemicals in a responsible manner.
- Let's Talk Honeybees
Honeybee facts and honeybee products.
- Local Harvest
Find local farms near you.
- Natural Flea Repellent Ideas for your Pets
Natural ways and recipes to repel fleas and ticks.
- Organic Pest Solutions
Organic pest recipes for your garden and on you.
- Plastics 101
Plastic basics and what those numbers mean.
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Find solutions to use, store and dispose of paint.
- Disposing of Syringes from Households: Do's and Don'ts Safe needle disposal is easy, protect yourself and others