When you’re thinking about what you can recycle, it’s also important to first think about all the three “R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
5 Steps to Reducing Waste
The less demand we create for goods, the less will be produced, and therefore the less waste will be produced. Before purchasing items, decide if you really need it. If it will spend more time hanging in the closet or sitting on a shelf, perhaps it is an unnecessary item. One dollar out of every $11 that Americans spend for food goes for packaging.
- Be a smart shopper and buy products and shop at stores that require less packaging.
- Buy products made from recycled content when possible, or items from second-hand stores.
- Buy products with packaging that can be recycled in your area.
- Buy items that last longer, even if they might cost a little more.
- Buy in bulk. You’ll usually get your items cheaper, too.
6 Steps to Reusing What You’ve Got
- Before purchasing something, check to make sure something you have won’t work just as well. That will save you money and storage room, too!
- Reuse food containers after they have been thoroughly cleaned.
- Donate unwanted goods to charity or have a yard sale rather than throwing old items away.
- Find alternative uses for your trash, such as using plastic grocery bags as small trash can liners or lunch bags.
- Store nails and screws in used glass bottles.
- Turn used computer paper over and print on the back side, or use it as scratch paper for notes or grocery lists.
What will be made from your recyclables? Each year, Americans throw away enough motor oil to fill 120 supertankers, enough plastic soda bottles to circle the Earth four times, and enough office paper to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to Los Angeles. These items are all recyclable!
Old Newspapers become: new newsprint, boxboard, cellulose insulation, animal bedding and more.
Glass becomes: glass containers, roadbase aggregate, road surfaces, fiberglass production, glass beads in reflective paint and more.
Plastic Soda Bottles become: fiberfill for ski jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting, paint brush bristles, surfboards, sailboat hulls and more.
Plastic Milk Jugs become: flowerpots, trashcans, traffic cones, pallets, detergent bottles, drainage pipes, plastic yard furniture, toys and more