Waste prevention is reducing the amount of waste that needs to be recycled or landfilled. Take a look through your garbage and see what you are throwing away. If it contains packaging such as food wrappers, boxes and bags, consider the following alternatives:
- Select products with the least packaging or in recyclable packaging. Buy in bulk, buy concentrates or choose the largest size.
- Durable bags for all your shopping.
- Cloth napkins, sponges & dishcloths.
- Rechargeable batteries.
- LED light bulbs.
- Travel mugs.
- Reuse boxes, packaging peanuts, and bubble wrap to ship packages.
- Compost yard debris and fruit & vegetable scraps.
- Grasscycle - mow & leave the clippings. Your lawn will need less water.
- Buy quality durable goods, they last longer. Repair them instead of replacing them.
- Borrow, rent or share seldom used items like ladders, carpet cleaners, rototillers and party supplies.
- Donate usable items to local charities or have a garage sale.
- Choose products and containers with recycled content. Look at labels to find the amount of post-consumer recycled-content. Although not usually indicated, glass containers, aluminum and steel cans and cardboard have high percentages of post-consumer recycled-content.
Holiday Waste Prevention Ideas
Use a large reusable shopping bag and consolidate purchases, so you don't have a separate bag for each purchase. When shopping for decorations, cards, gift wrap and gifts, consider products made from recycled materials or are reusable such as gift bags and boxes.
- Passes or tickets for movies, concerts, theater, skiing
- Gift certificates for dinner, massages, babysitting, shopping
- Lessons for dance, cooking, arts and crafts
- Donation to the recipient's favorite charity
- Give the gift of your time - everyone can use it.
Make the wrapping part of the gift, not something that becomes recycling or trash. Use newspaper or popcorn for packing, instead of foam peanuts. Try decorative tins, hat boxes, baskets or plastic containers that can be reused. Consider cloth napkins, towels and scarves.
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