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Reduce, Reuse And Recycle

It’s a simple formula with long-term impact: reduce, reuse and recycle. Whether we are talking about how we farm and garden, what we eat, how we live or what we do with our trash, it’s vital to take care of our bodies and earth.

Practice the 4 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Review (or Refuse!)
Reduce your trash.

Consider opportunities use materials efficiently and reduce your output of waste. The average person throws out more than 1,600 pounds of trash, according to the EPA. However, if you compost, you can save approximately a 1/2 pound per day!

There are 40 million acres of lawn in the U.S. and, according to NASA, it’s the  single most irrigated crop. It can take 238 gallons of fresh water (often drinking quality!) per person, per day to keep these lawns pert and verdant.

 

Reuse materials.

Organic materials such as compost and tree clippings can be used for mulch. Similarly, rainwater can be saved to use for watering. From donating appliances and clothing to saving containers to reuse for storage, learn more about reusing from the EPA.

 

Recycle to save resources.

This is perhaps the most common way for people to “go green”. However, it’s important to consider the item BEFORE buying it. Can it be recycled? Every product has a limited lifespan. For example, the same piece of paper or plastic can only be recycled two to three times.

Review consumption.

In fact, reviewing is likely one of the most important steps. Make it a habit to take stock of your consumption. For example, what type of waste is your household is producing? Before you buy consider it’s worth, do you need it, can it be reused or recycled? Are there more environmentally friendly alternatives? If not, perhaps it’s time to refuse.

 

Eco-Friendly Tips

  1. Learn to compost and reduce harmful methane released into the atmosphere.
  2. Recycle everything possible.
  3. Skip the greasy pizza boxes. Typically, oil from the pizza seeps into the paper fibers, making them impossible to separate and properly recycle. However, even the greasiest pizza box is perfectly compostable, once you tear it into smaller pieces.
  4. Further, stop using disposable paper cups. Hot or cold, these are often lined with a waxy material that makes them impossible to recycle.
  5. Check the number on your plastics. Look for a small triangle with a number in the center. Generally, the higher the number on the container, the less likely it is that American waste haulers will recycle it, but this varies, so check with your recycling center.
  6. Say no to plastic bags. Most recycling facilities cannot accept plastic bags. For instance, by disposing of your recyclables in a plastic bag, you are creating another barrier to ensuring your items get recycled. However, many grocery stores, take plastic bags as well as plastic film from packaging and packing materials. Visit plasticfilmrecycling.org to find a drop-off location near you.
  7. Keep it capped. Loose plastic bottle caps and jar lids fall through recycling equipment and are swept into the trash. Put caps back on their bottles to ensure they’re recycled.
  8. Reuse everything you can – from water to clothing.
  9. Consider what you are buying: Do you really need it? How long will it last? 

 

In conclusion, everyone contributes to the world’s waste but how can you reduce your impact? Help prevent greenhouse gas emissions, prevent pollution, save energy, save money and sustain the environment for future generations. The time for change is now.

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